18. Sacramento Kings (5-6)
If the San Antonio Spurs are going to make a bid for the play-in tournament, they'll probably be contending with the Sacramento Kings all season. Wednesday's first showdown might be a big step in that direction.
At age 29, Harrison Barnes is having the best season of his career, putting up 22.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game and becoming the team's go-to guy down the stretch.
Despite having one of the worst shooting percentages on the team at 39.3%, De'Aaron Fox is adding 19 points and 6.2 assists per game while sophomore Tyrese Haliburton is proving to be a wise choice in last year's NBA Draft. Another wise choice? Davion Mitchell in this year's.
Just do yourself a favor and watch him play on-ball defense at some point this season.
Next for Sacramento: Spurs, Thunder, Pistons
17. Portland Trail Blazers (5-5)
The biggest story of the young season for the Portland Trail Blazers has been the ice-cold shooting of superstar Damian Lillard (24.7% from three and 35.1% from the field). Still, hovering at 5-5 isn't so bad when you consider that fact.
The Blazers have managed to sneak into the top 10 offensively despite Lillard averaging 10 fewer points per game than he did last season, and it's hard to believe he won't snap out of it eventually. Saturday's win over the Lakers was a good sign of progress for the six-time All-Star, as he scored 25 points on 6-of-14 shooting from downtown.
I expect Portland to get things going a bit more once Lillard does. I imagine his slump has to be ending soon, if it didn't end already on Saturday.
Next for Portland: Clippers, Suns, Rockets