16. Toronto Raptors (6-5)
A five-game winning streak gave the Toronto Raptors an unexpectedly quick 6-3 start to the season, but their five early home losses aren't encouraging and they face an upcoming stretch of eight of nine games being on the road.
Still, the Raptors have to be excited about the return of Pascal Siakam to the lineup on Sunday -- the first time he's suited up since May 8th. His 15 points and four boards were a good sign of things to come as he looks to get back into rhythm and get back to All-Star form.
Rookie Scottie Barnes is already turning heads in the NBA, even getting the attention of the best player in the game, Kevin Durant, on Sunday.
Next for Toronto: Celtics, 76ers, Pistons
15. Los Angeles Lakers (6-5)
Not that this is any sort of news flash, but the Los Angeles Lakers really need LeBron James on the court. While he wasn't needed in an early win over the Spurs, his absence was certainly felt in recent losses to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers.
The addition of Carmelo Anthony has shown itself to be a perfect move so far, as his 17.6 points per game and flaming hot 39-of-75 (52%) start from the outside can attest.
Integrating Russell Westbrook into the mix, however, has produced mixed results. From hitting the corner of the backboard on a jumper to repeated ill-advised decisions in the clutch (5-of-13 from the field and six turnovers in clutch situations), it's been an adventurous 11 games for Los Angeles.
Still, I expected a slow start from the Lakers as they looked to get all their pieces to gel together, and 6-5 sounds about right given their star power is good enough for some wins on its own. If LeBron James and Anthony Davis can remain healthy for most of the season (and that's a big if), there's no reason the Lakers shouldn't be a top-five seed in the West by playoff time.
Next for Los Angeles: Heat, Timberwolves, Spurs