1. Golden State Warriors (4-0)

There isn’t a statistic in the book that could make Steph Curry look bad right now. His PER is over 50; 30 is considered outstanding. He’s shooting close to 50% from three-point range. Due to this, the team is averaging 119 points per game and absolutely slaughtering every opponent they’ve faced so far. This team could challenge some of the best of all-time. At this point, they should also be considered favorites to win the NBA Championship again this season.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers (3-1)

With a healthy Kevin Love, this team is showing much more balance than they have in the past. And although JR Smith has struggled out of the gate, the rest of the team has picked up the slack. Richard Jefferson and Matthew Dellavedova both are shooting well right now, which is a pleasant addition. And with LeBron at the helm, expect the Cavs to contend for a first place finish in the East this year once again. They will be scary when Kyrie Irving is healthy.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder (3-1)

The Rockets seriously needed a win on Monday night, which is the only reason the Thunder have a loss. Westbrook and Durant are both top-five in scoring, and this may be the deepest team in the league to boot. Their 118.3 points per game are second only to the Warriors. This is a team with few holes, and one that seems poised challenge the Warriors for the top spot in the West.

4. Los Angeles Clippers (4-0)

The Clippers have started off their season by beating three teams (in four games) that are all pretty good. Blake Griffin is shooting about 62% and averaging close to 30 points a game. Jamal Crawford, Paul Pierce, Josh Smith and Austin Rivers have all been effective coming off the bench. All signs point upwards for the Clippers.

5. San Antonio Spurs (3-1)

Monday night’s 94-84 win over the Knicks marked Tim Duncan’s 954th win with the Spurs, the most wins by one player with one team in the NBA all-time. This season, look for Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge and the always consistent Spurs to widen the gap between Duncan’s 954 wins and John Stockton’s 953 with the Jazz. Their only loss was a tightly-contested road battle in Oklahoma City on opening night, and Kawhi looked like the best player on the court.

6. Chicago Bulls (3-2)

The Bulls are likely the most balanced team in the NBA. Derrick Rose is starting to regain a feel for playing, and Nikola Mirotic is blossoming into a dynamic, three-point-shooting (46.4% on the season) 4-man. As the team adjusts to Joakim Noah coming off the bench, they’ll only improve. Coach Fred Hoiberg has a lot to work with – look for this team to go far in the East.

7. Toronto Raptors (4-0)

Is DeMarre Carroll the missing piece that will thrust the Raptors towards a postseason series victory? The Raptors have a very talented starting five and have started this season strong. Yesterday, Terrence Ross signed a multiyear deal with the team, which shows they’re willing to bank on their young talent. This could be the dark horse team that creates a lot of waves across the league – akin to last year’s Hawks.

8. Miami Heat (2-2)

Hassan Whiteside is one of my favorite players to watch in the NBA, and is playing like a beast inside. He’s one-fifth of an extremely talented starting five, and although Goran Dragic hasn’t provided much of a spark yet, Chris Bosh’s return has more than balanced this out. Justise Winslow is another really exciting piece of the puzzle. A loss to the Cavs stings, but a commanding win over the Rockets certainly makes up for it.

9. Atlanta Hawks (4-1)

Sure, they’re 3-1, but those three wins were against the Hornets and Knicks. Kyle Korver is only shooting 28.6% from three through four games. Al Horford is the only starter shooting above 47%. This is a good team, but whether or not they can sustain a good season like they did last year will be at the forefront of head coach Mike Budenholzer’s mind. Who is their go-to scorer?

10. Utah Jazz (2-1)

This is a team that will win games on defense alone. Derrick Favors is finally beginning to find himself as a leader on this team, as he’s going for 21.3 PPG and 8.3 RPG through three games. Rudy Gobert is a legitimate contender for Defensive Player of the Year. But do the Jazz have enough pieces to contend in the West? That’s yet to be seen.

11. Houston Rockets (1-3)

In their first three games, the Rockets averaged less than 90 points and gave up close to 110. James Harden played terribly in all three. Then, the Rockets beat the Thunder behind a huge game from Harden. The Rockets have talent, but it’s just not showing right now. A much bigger effort is needed from the newly acquired Ty Lawson, who is still struggling to fit in on both ends of the court, and Dwight Howard needs to get healthy.

12. Memphis Grizzlies (3-2)

You can blame the two losses on playing the two conference champions from last season. Sure, the Grizz looked terrible against the Warriors, but honestly, who doesn’t? That being said, this team absolutely needs a scorer. Mike Conley’s 13.4 PPG leads the team right now, and scoring less than 90 per game just isn’t going to cut it in the West.

13. Detroit Pistons (3-1)

Absolutely the surprise of the season thus far, the Pistons have come out of the gate smoking hot. They’ve beaten the Hawks, Bulls, and Jazz, three very solid teams. Andre Drummond’s play specifically has carried the team – he’s averaging over 19 rebounds per game. With the way they’re playing right now, Detroit is a playoff team. But they can’t regress.

14. Washington Wizards (2-1)

With Bradley Beal and John Wall leading the way, this team could be as good as a 3-seed this season. Still, Marcin Gortat and Otto Porter haven’t been dominant on the inside, and the Wiz definitely have room to grow. Wall must get his turnovers down from nearly five per game.

15. New Orleans Pelicans (0-4)

Injuries. That’s ultimately what’s slowing the Pellies down, and Anthony Davis can only do so much. He’s averaging a double-double, and he is getting some nice production from Toney Douglas and Jrue Holiday. Maybe if New Orleans didn’t have to play Golden State in two of their first three games, they wouldn’t be 0-3. But there’s no room for excuses in the West, so Alvin Gentry will have to right the ship soon.

16. Dallas Mavericks (2-2)

This team just seems very middle of the road to me. That said, Deron Williams seems like a good fit and is averaging 12 points and 6 assists per game through the first three. Both of their wins (Lakers, Suns) are unsurprising, as is their losses (Clippers and Raptors). With an aging Dirk, I’m interested to see how they pan out. The Wesley Matthews-Chandler Parsons pairing could be lethal on the wing, but both are still recovering from major offseason surgeries.

17. Minnesota Timberwolves (2-1)

The Timberwolves are off to a nice start despite tragically losing Flip Saunders to cancer. This team is playing inspired basketball, and it got them two wins to start off. The upcoming Heat matchup should be fun to watch. Karl-Anthony Towns is second on the team in PPG (17.7) and first in rebounding (10.3). Look for him to contend for ROY (the Timberwolves may have finally picked well). Our prayers go out to the Saunders family and Timberwolves nation in the light of Flip’s passing. He was revered around the league and his imprint will be left on basketball for years to come.

18. Phoenix Suns (2-2)

Eric Bledsoe isn’t hitting from three right now, but he is still leading a team that beat the scrappy Blazers twice. So far, nothing in particular stands out about the Suns. Likely, they’ll beat the teams they’re supposed to beat and lose when they’re supposed to lose, and finish the season around .500. If the starters can step up, however, there’s a chance they could sneak into the playoffs as an 8-seed.

19. Boston Celtics (1-2)

They were within eight points of beating the Spurs and ten of beating the Raptors. They also won confidently to start the season at home against Philadelphia. Despite being fourth in minutes and coming off the bench, Isaiah Thomas leads the team by far in PPG with 22.3. The Celtics need names like Kelly Olynyk and Jae Crowder to start stepping up if they’re going to contend this year.

20. Milwaukee Bucks (1-3)

There was a lot of confidence this year in Milwaukee after a 41-41 finish last year. Then the Bucks lost their first three games, albeit without several key contributors. This is a young team still figuring things out, but Coach Jason Kidd should be expected to work his magic to turn the Bucks into something great this year. Greg Monroe was a really nice addition inside, as he’s already brought a badly-needed interior scoring and rebounding presence. Milwaukee fans are salivating at Jabari Parker’s imminent return (tonight!).

21. Portland Trailblazers (2-2)

Wins over the injury-riddled Pelicans and the Timberwolves have Portland at 2-2. CJ McCollum blew up in the opener against New Orleans, going for 37 points on 14 of 22 shooting. His play will likely be an X-factor, as this team is going to have to rely on Damian Lillard for most of their scoring. I wonder if Meyers Leonard is the right choice at starting power forward.

22. Indiana Pacers (1-3)

Paul George is still finding his footing after sitting out last season, as he’s currently shooting 20% from three-point range -and Monta Ellis is shooting 18.2% from three. This seems like a team that will win some games once they start making shots. The turnovers, however, need to go down – the Pacers’ 18 per game is third-to-last in the NBA, oddly in front of Oklahoma City, who play at a much faster pace.

23. Denver Nuggets (2-2)

The excitement over Emmanuel Mudiay has simmered a little bit, as he’s making less than a third of his shots and averaging over 6 turnovers per game through the first four games. This team worries me, as they really don’t have much to build around (maybe Jusuf Nurkic). Danilo Gallinari just isn’t going to be that player, nice as he may be in a complementary role. Sophomore Center Joffrey Lauvergne could have a nice season.

24. Sacramento Kings (1-3)

So the Kings are 1-3, but the three losses were close games against the Clippers and the Grizzlies. A DeMarcus Cousins achilles strain doesn’t help, and the vibe in the offseason was not good for the Kings (is it ever?). Despite all of this, the Kings are averaging 108.5 PPG through their first four and Willie Cauley-Stein is looking sharp, shooting 73.7% so far.

25. New York Knicks (2-2)

Kristaps Porzingis’s posterization of LaMarcus Aldridge was admittedly very fun to watch. The city should be excited about the rookie, who’s second on the team in points and first in rebounds. Rookie guard Jerian Grant has also played well. The team will likely see an improvement over their 17-65 finish last season, but their best players might be too young (or aging, in Melo’s case) to take them far this year.

26. Orlando Magic (1-3)

This team doesn’t deserve to be 1-3; they’re playing pretty well. A one-point loss to the Wizards, three-point double-overtime loss to the Thunder, and five-point loss to the Bulls got them the first three losses, though, and there’s no changing that. Victor Oladipo had a triple-double against the Thunder, which was pretty impressive.

27. Charlotte Hornets (1-3)

A 130-point effort against the Bulls Tuesday finally got the Hornets in the win column. They’ve also played close games against the Hawks and Heat, and could easily be 3-1 right now. This is a team that also doesn’t have a star, and they’re going to need to improve on their 39.1% team shooting if they want to start winning games.

28. Brooklyn Nets (0-4)

Joe Johnson, who leads the team in minutes, is getting older and losing what skills made him good. This team has a lot of players on the way out and a lot on the way in, and are lost in a middle ground right now. They’re going to have a tough time if they can’t score and rebound, and they’re not doing either particularly well right now.

29. Los Angeles Lakers (0-4)

It might be hard to hear, but Kobe is way past his prime. He’s shooting the ball far too much, which would be a problem if the team had a few other good shooters, which it doesn’t. The Lakers have some pieces to build around, and D’Angelo Russell could be good in a few years, but expect the Lakers to struggle mightily in 2015 and 2016. On a brighter note, Julius Randle looks legit.

30. Philadelphia 76ers (0-3)

First, the positives: Jahlil Okafor is great. Like, ROY great. Nerlens Noel leads the team in minutes, which is also a form of progress in Philly. The 76ers will be very bad this year, and with their starting point guard shooting under 30%, they’ll struggle. A high draft pick next year could boost them, so long as Okafor and Noel stay healthy.

Image: Griffin