You had to know I would come back at your Ramble.

I’m not impressed with Dallas at all. As far as I’m concerned they will not be winning the NBA Championship. I would almost guarantee that. Regardless of record, in my head they are the #3 team in the West and that’s mainly based on their reputation. Utah is damn good and I would say that Utah would beat Dallas in a 7-game series. Also Coup you draw my ire because you refuse to give the Celtics love and say people are sleeping on Dallas. Come on man.

“Too many people are sleeping on the Mavs, by the way. As I’m writing, Dirk is taking over this Wednesday Rockets matchup. This team seems to be taking the right approach the the regular season, play well against most teams, play big in the marquee matchups, and become great in March and April.”

Dallas is 9-4. Those four losses have come to the following teams: Atlanta, Portland, Indiana and Milwaukee. All four on the road as well. Also add in the fact that they needed miraculous comebacks to beat Toronto and Houston and were a Baron Davis three from losing to a depleted Warriors team and they could easily be under .500 right now. Of course they aren’t so that argument is completely thrown out of the window…but its just worth mentioning. I just don’t see them as a true championship contender. Would it be so far out of the window to see them lose a series to any of the Western Conference playoff teams? Exactly.

I also saw you rag on Houston a little. The key for the Rockets is going to be everyone else but T-Mac and Yao. If it turns back into the T-Mac and Yao show like it was the past couple years the results won’t be pretty. As evidenced by that nasty losing streak, including 3 L’s to the top 3 in the West. However when everyone is chipping in they can be particularly nasty as evidenced by last night’s win over Denver. I’d put them at #5 in the West behind Utah or Dallas. They’re better than LA, New Orleans and Denver.

No one should be surprised that the Warriors have turned it around as soon as S-Jackson returned to the court. They’ve dug themselves a nice hole and now might be scrapping for #8 again instead of fighting for #6.

The Heat are 2-4 with D-Wade back in the lineup. That wouldn’t so bad if they hadn’t gone 1-6 without him. The games they blew early against Phoenix, Charlotte and Indiana are really going to hurt them more than anything. Right now they’re 3-10 and like Chicago have really done themselves a diservice by not winning the games they were supposed to/could have. If you look at their schedule things are more than likely going to get a lot worse before they get better. Remember talking about Chicago and how they had that big six-game road trip that would say a lot about their season. It did. They went 1-5 and are now 2-10 on the year. Miami has two home games that they desperately need to win against Charlotte and Boston before going on their own 6-game road trip. The bad news for Heat fans: it’s a West Coast road trip. And it will make or break their season. Denver, Utah, Portland, Golden State, Clippers and Phoenix.

There are four teams who remain undefeated at home. Quick, try and name them all. I’ll be waiting.

Ok, if you’re like me you said Boston, San Antonio, Dallas and them stammered for a second before saying Phoenix. The first three were right but that fourth team is the Milwaukee Bucks. 6-0 at home. I know I’m just as shocked as you. But before I give them any love I need them to win some road games.

The Magic are getting a lot of attention nationally but I’m sure their fans have to be a little shaky. Maybe because they believe in Deja Vu. No one remembers that last year this team was 12-4 at the end of November and ended up backing their way into the playoffs. End of November…they are 12-3. Stan Van Gundy’s a good coach so they’ll be alright but don’t get too excited.

Let’s take a quick gander at the bottom half of the NBA right now aka all of those under .500. Philadelphia (3-8) and Seattle (2-11) kind of resemble each other. They both are scrappy and will compete but don’t have the personnel to either get the W or put a complete game together. Portland (5-8) and Memphis (4-9) are much better than their records show. Portland can’t win on the road and Memphis not only plays in the toughest division in the NBA but has seen the 50/50 games go the other way. Chicago (2-10) can only blame themselves for their record, obviously they are better than 2-10 but the combination of losing games they were supposed to win and a tough schedule leave them at the bottom. Miami (3-10) was without D-Wade but still watched some games slip away and are in a much deeper hole than they may be able to get out of. Golden State (5-7) is on the way back up thanks to Stephen Jackson. Atlanta (5-7) and Indiana (6-8) are as inconsistent as they can be. They both trick you into thinking they’re better than they are and then lose two or three in a row to remind you. New York (3-7) can sometimes show flashes of brilliance against a decent team at home. Otherwise they show flashes of ‘Oh my god how does Isiah Thomas have a job’…ness. And yes I just made that word up. Sacramento (4-9) plays hard but won’t be any better until Bibby returns and Theus tells Francisco Garcia to stop shooting the ball in clutch situations. Seriously, maybe it’s just me but I feel like every close game I’ve seen the Kings play Garcia tries to play Superman. Last but not least Minnesota (1-10) is easily the worst of the bunch and is starting to enter “Just Plain Bad” territory after last night’s horrifc 24 point 2nd half, including being outscored 30-12 in the 4th quarter and losing to Atlanta. The fact that both Antoine Walker and Sebastian Telfair play significant minutes is enough for them to become the first team this year to be stamped ‘Unwatchable’. As we speak I’m Googling Minnesota zip codes so I can change my NBA League Pass Broadband and get those games blacked out.

Just had to get that out of my system.