NBA Perfect Ten (Week of February 7th)

The trade deadline is a day away and teams are all positioned to possibly upgrade their rosters and make one last push to ensure a deep playoff run. Let’s see where the teams all stand in this week’s NBA Perfect Ten.

NBA Perfect Ten (Week of February 7th)

#10. Cleveland Cavaliers (32-16) (+1200/+3500) - The Cavs have flown under the radar all season while building one of the best records in the conference. Strengths: Mobley and Garland are both back for a roster that not only survived but thrived in their absence. Weaknesses: Will the Cavs’ management be patient with this roster and give them a chance with possibly a move to strengthen the roster by the end of the day on Thursday? Last Week’s Rank: 10th

#9. Philadelphia 76ers (30-19) (+1000/+1800) - The Sixers wait patiently for the condition of Embiid’s balky knee post-surgery. Strengths: The Sixers have watched Maxey develop into a legitimate start this season and that helps immensely in Embiid’s absence. Weaknesses: Embiid’s future outlook for this season could hinge on the team’s ability to stay respectable while he’s out. Last Week’s Rank: 9th

#8. Phoenix Suns (30-21) (+650/+1200) - The Suns’ wins at this point are almost unimportant as their fanbase holds its collective breath hoping they remain healthy. Strengths: Three scorers have started to meld their games together to give each other space and flourish. Weaknesses: Health will be the name of the game for the Suns down the stretch. Last Week’s Rank: 8th

#7. New York Knicks (33-18) (+900/+2500) - The Knicks’ win streak came to an end courtesy of the Lakers but they bounced back with a W against Memphis on Tuesday night. Strengths: The development of DeVincenzo has given the Knicks a solid backcourt. Weaknesses: The Lakers’ size certainly gave the Knicks problems as they play without Randle and are limited to just Hartenstein as a viable center. Last Week’s Rank: 6th

#6. Minnesota Timberwolves (35-16) (+900/+2000) - Minnesota has certainly been sniffing around eligible players at the trade deadline. Strengths: Top-flight interior defense and a killer closer in Edwards. Weaknesses: The Wolves do get light without their starters in and could certainly use an influx of offensive depth. Last Week’s Rank: 4th

#5. OKC Thunder (35-16) (+900/+2200) - OKC returned home and got right quickly and remained near the top of the Western Conference standings. Strengths: Time. This team is likely a year or two away but playing with house money certainly seems to suit them. Weaknesses: Lack of time. As in, lack of playing experience time on their roster. Last Week’s Rank:7th

#4. Milwaukee Bucks (33-18) (+240/+600) - A new coach and a new direction for the Bucks with less than half the season left. Strengths: Lillard has played his best basketball in the last few weeks and finally looks comfortable as a Buck. Weaknesses: As the Bucks remain in the rumors for every player available in the trade market, does the Bucks’ management think this team is championship-driven? Last Week’s Rank: 3rd

#3. LA Clippers (34-15) (+280/+550) - The Clippers stormed through the East Coast and now have the best winning percentage in the Western Conference. Strengths: The Clippers are healthy and have the best version of Kawhi Leonard since his title run in Toronto. Weaknesses: The Clippers are still waiting for the best of Paul George this season. Does he have it in him? Last Week’s Rank: 5th

#2. Denver Nuggets (35-16) (+210/+425) - The Nuggets are still hovering near the top in the Western Conference as the All-Star Break approaches. Strengths: The Nuggets are primed to defend their title with their current roster. Weaknesses: Can Denver find a key veteran at either the deadline or after contracts are bought out to help them in the playoffs? Last Week’s Rank: 2nd

#1. Boston Celtics (38-12) (+120/+265) - The Celtics added some depth at the deadline with the addition of Tillman from Memphis for just two second-round picks. Strengths: The Celtics looked extremely flat in their loss to the Lakers at home. This team may welcome the All-Star Break to tighten things up. Weaknesses: Complacency could be an issue for this team as it has been in the past. Last Week’s Rank: 1st

Top-Five MVP Candidates:

Here are my Top Five MVP candidates in the NBA at this point along with their current odds to take the award.

#1. Nikola Jokic (-155) - Embiid’s injury clears the path for the Joker to take home his third MVP in four seasons. His numbers remain top notch and his team is among the best in the NBA. Last Week’s Rank: 1st

#2. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (+250) - SGA may be the only true threat to Jokic unless Giannis and the Bucks close big. Last Week’s Rank: 2nd

#3. Luka Doncic (+1100) - Doncic still represents the best odds on the board if you want to be a contrarian to Jokic. Numbers-wise, he is unparalleled. Last Week’s Rank: 3rd

#4. Giannis Antetokounmpo (+650) - Giannis’ number dropped a bit this week with the removal of Embiid from MVP consideration. Lillard’s improved shooting could propel him to even better numbers. Last Week’s Rank: 4th

#5. Jayson Tatum (+6000) - Leonard has jumped Tatum in the MVP odds but I’m sticking with the Celtics’ best player in a season that the C’s will likely end up with the best record. Tatum has proven that he can still be dominant while scoring less with an improved supporting cast. Last Week’s Rank: 5th

Game of the Week, Season Record 6-9: The Mavs blew a double-digit lead and made losers out of us in last week’s Game of the Week.

Phoenix at Golden State: I’m going with the Suns in this spot with the Warriors having difficulty matching up with Durant in the post and keeping up with both Booker and Beal on the perimeter.

  • In parenthesis, conference odds and finals odds. Player MVP props are also in parenthesis. All odds Courtesy of

By Mark Ruelle

Author Profile
Mark Ruelle

Mark has been a sports fanatic since childhood. He is also an avid follower of sports analytics and has used it in his own betting analysis for over two decades. Now we have Mark on our team here at Stat Salt. He holds degrees in marketing, broadcasting, and English and uses this vast array of assets to dissect and analyze game matchups. Mark will provide you with a wide variety of statistics to consider and a strong opinion in each matchup that he covers. Please follow him daily for an up-to-the-minute analysis of all the important games.