The Miami Heat didn't look like the favorite to win the NBA title after consecutive losses with All Star Chris Bosh out for personal reasons.
Perhaps Bosh will get a little more respect as the oft-dissed member of Miami's Big Three. Without Bosh, the Heat's lack of depth in the post was painfully obvious.
Joel Anthony is a nice guy. Juwan Howard was cool to watch when I was in middle school and he played at Michigan. But relying on them for offense isn't enough for Miami.
With Bosh back, the Heat look like the favorite again. So perhaps he's the MVP of the team?
(Records through Friday's games)
1. Miami Heat (30-9, Last week, 3) - Chris Bosh is back in the lineup and order is restored in South Beach after back-to-back loses.
2. Chicago Bulls (30-8 LW 2) - Suffered rare home loss to Orlando, but still on course to play Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals.
3. Oklahoma City Thunder (31-9 LW, 1) - For a good team the Thunder still commits too many turnovers.
4. San Antonio Spurs (26-13, LW 4) - Their 17-game winning streak over the Clippers ended Friday with Tony Parker out with a sore thigh.
5. Orlando Magic (26-15, LW 6) - For a team wondering if its best player will be traded, the Magic have played surprisingly well.
6. Memphis Grizzles (23-15 LW 9) - A five-game winning streak has Memphis back in the running for homecourt in the first round of the playoffs.
7. Los Angeles Clippers (23-15 LW 7) - Have struggled of late but picked up an important win over San Antonio.
8. Los Angeles Lakers (24-16, LW 8) - The Lakers won't last long in the postseason if they can't play better than on the road (7-14).
9. Indiana Pacers (23-14, LW 5) - Have lost two in a row, but are still comfortably in second place in the Central Division.
10. Philadelphia 76ers (24-17, LW 10) - With their lead dwindling in the Atlantic Division, the Sixers thumped Boston.
11. Denver Nuggets (23-18, LW 14) - Ty Lawson didn't make the All-Star team but he is playing like an All Star.
12. Atlanta Hawks (23-17, LW 13) - Josh Smith reportedly wants to be traded. Not the kind of news the Hawks want to hear.
13. Boston Celtics (21-18, LW 15) - If the Celtics don't make a trade, they will rely on their vets for one last playoff push.
14. Dallas Mavericks (23-19, LW 11) - Have lost 7-of-10 heading into their third game and in three nights Saturday at Golden State.
15. Houston Rockets (21-19, LW 12) - Five-game losing streak, but Rockets are still in playoff contention.
16. Minnesota Timberwolves (21-20, LW 18) - Chances of making the playoffs were hurt with Ricky Rubio's season-ending knee injury.
17. Utah Jazz (19-20, LW 19) - As expected, Jazz cooled off after a fast start, but the future is still bright.
18. Phoenix Suns (18-21, LW 20) - A team just good enough to almost make the playoffs in the West.
19. Portland Trail Blazers (19-21, LW 17) - Team with this much talent playing this poorly usually gets a coach fired.
20. New York Knicks (18-22, LW 16) - Four-game losing streak has quieted all the excitement around Madison Square Garden.
21. Golden State Warriors (15-21, LW 21) - Franchise looking to make a big splash is back where it's been lately - near the bottom of the standings.
22. Milwaukee Bucks (16-24, LW 22) - Former Kings guard Beno Udrih has come up big late in games.
23. Detroit Pistons (14-26, LW 24) - The Pistons should rely on veterans like Tayshaun Prince as they play a lot of road games this month.
24. Cleveland Cavaliers (15-23, LW 23) - Friday's win at OKC might be their most impressive of the season.
25. Sacramento Kings (14-26, LW 25) - Current nine-game homestand should provide a boost in the win column for the Kings.
26. New Jersey Nets (14-27, LW 27) - Brook Lopez is hurt again and Deron Williams needed 57 points to be the woeful Bobcats..
27. Toronto Raptors (13-26, L 26) - Still one of the best NBA cities to visit, even if their team isn't playing well.
28. Washington Wizards (9-29, LW 29) - Even in their upset of the Lakers the Wizards had their usual follies on the floor.
29. New Orleans Hornets (9-31, LW 28) - Injuries have made the Hornets a team of players you probably have never heard of.
30. Charlotte Bobcats (5-33, LW 30) - You can bet the Bobcats have scouted all the top prospects for June's draft extensively already.