You can have the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers — the most compelling team in the NBA resides in Philadelphia.
The 76ers have won five of their past six games and seven of the past nine, vaulting Philly to within 5.5 games of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
Are the Sixers for real, though? Find out below as we rank all 30 teams in the NBA one month before the All-Star Game in New Orleans.
Brooklyn Nets (previous ranking: 30)
The Nets continue to provide a model example for how NBA teams should rebuild, particularly when it comes to leadership. The franchise has figured out how to blend veterans who can share their knowledge with young guys trying to make names for themselves, and the end result is promising.
Miami Heat (29)
On the latest episode of his In The Zone NBA podcast, FOX Sports analyst Chris Broussard floated an intriguing Goran Dragic trade idea that involves the Nuggets. Give it a listen if you want to know more.
Phoenix Suns (28)
Suns coach Earl Watson insisted to reporters this week that Tyson Chandler isn't going anywhere. Given how bad the Suns are and Chandler's contract, you really have to wonder if this is just a smoke screen — because keeping the veteran big man makes no sense for Phoenix.
Minnesota Timberwolves (25)
Multiple reports indicate the Wolves are finally, actually shopping Ricky Rubio to the rest of the NBA. The only problem? We're not entirely sure Kris Dunn is the answer to take over at point guard in Rubio's potential absence.
Brad RempelBrad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Lakers (22)
Larry Nance Jr. is drawing closer to a return, and the Lakers desperately need him back if they're looking to turn things around in 2017.
If Los Angeles wants to tank, though? Then Nance should take his time.
Dallas Mavericks (27)
Dirk Nowitzki doubled down on his commitment to playing 20 seasons in Dallas, with this being his 19th year in the NBA. As (relatively) spry as he's looked recently, we're not going to bet against him — which is a pleasant change from the first half of this season.
Sacramento Kings (17)
Rudy Gay's injury sucks. There's no way around it. Yet Sacramento has a clear path forward these days — trade the vets, other than Boogie, and see what the young guys can bring. At least there's that silver lining.
Orlando Magic (24)
If the Magic aren't exploring every possible Serge Ibaka trade, then Orlando's front office is committing professional malfeasance. Ibaka's great, and his veteran presence is undoubtedly valuable. But the Magic need to assets to get out of this rebuild, not guys like Ibaka.
New Orleans Pelicans (20)
Anthony Davis made it very, very clear that he plans to stay in New Orleans for as long as possible, which is great. That's what you want your franchise player to say. But if the Pelicans don't start putting pieces around him soon, he could change his mind sooner than later.
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Philadelphia 76ers (26)
BREAK UP THE SIXERS!
No, they're probably not actual playoff contenders. On the other hand, the schedule is relatively light over the next month, other than a couple of dates with the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets. Posting a winning record in January is a distinct possibility for Philadelphia, and that's before the Sixers get Ben Simmons back.
"Trust the Process," indeed.
Chicago Bulls (21)
If the Bulls are headed for a rebuild, Dwyane Wade isn't sticking around — especially if it means Jimmy Butler ends up somewhere other than Chicago.
USA TODAY SportsSteve Mitchell
Portland Trail Blazers (16)
You can already feel the rage building in Damian Lillard for his All-Star snub. I mean, he obviously wasn't going to be a starter, and there's still a pretty good chance he'll make the team as a reserve.
Try telling him that, though, as Lillard is destroying opponents on his revenge tour.
New York Knicks (19)
Surprisingly, Carmelo Anthony for the first time acknowledged the possibility that he could waive his no-trade clause if the Knicks no longer want him. These days, though, we're not really sure which team would want Melo and his enormous contract.
Denver Nuggets (23)
The Nuggets with Nikola Jokic as a starter aren't just incredibly fun; they're also spectacular on offense, as evidenced by Denver's recent four-game stretch. If this is the future for the Nuggets, maybe this team can finally make an impression in its own city, let alone across the NBA.
Detroit Pistons (18)
When you're as bad offensively as the Pistons are, the little things make all the difference — such as Reggie Bullock setting an example for his teammates by making effective off-ball cuts to open up space. Bullock is so good at that little trick, in fact, that he earned Stan Van Gundy's praise this week, which is never easy to do.
Charlotte Hornets (15)
Kemba Walker displayed a ton of humility in telling reporters he's not an All-Star because the Hornets aren't living up to his expectations, but he's wrong. Walker being excluded from the Eastern Conference reserves would be a sports tragedy.
Milwaukee Bucks (13)
KHRIS MIDDLETON BACK!
Soon, anyway, according to reports from ESPN. And with Milwaukee staying afloat in Middleton's absence, we can't wait to see how good this team can be at full strength.
Indiana Pacers (14)
We were rough on Jeff Teague to start the season, so it's only fair we acknowledge how impressive he's been over the past month or so. If Teague can regain some semblance of his All-Star form, Indiana has a solid core to build around with him, Paul George and Myles Turner.
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Los Angeles Clippers (8)
We were confident the Clippers could make it through a Blake Griffin injury, but adding Chris Paul's thumb issue might spell the beginning of the end for Los Angeles. If they're not title contenders this year, it's time to consider blowing this team up and starting anew.
Maybe we were looking at the wrong Hawks big man when it comes to trade rumors. According to a recent report, the Pelicans and Hawks explored the possibility of moving Howard to New Orleans. We like the move for the Pelicans, but we're not quite sure what Atlanta would get in return.
Memphis Grizzlies (10)
The Grizzlies' affinity for close games came back to bite them this past week, with Memphis suffering several losses by five points or fewer. A big win over the Rockets prevents the Grizz from falling in the rankings, however.
Washington Wizards (12)
Otto Porter is looking like the NBA's Most Improved Player, John Wall added fuel to his fire when he wasn't named an All-Star starter, and the Wizards are red-hot. We're not sure this is sustainable, but Washington takes its first leap into the top ten for now.
Forget Steph Curry over Russell Westbrook; the fans choosing DeMar DeRozan to start the All-Star game instead of Isaiah Thomas was the single most egregious result from Thursday night's announcement.
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Toronto Raptors (5)
Speaking of All-Star voting, whether you supported DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowry as the Raptors' No. 1 All-Star candidate says a lot about whether you value winning basketball or filling up the box score. Those who watch the Raptors regularly know which player is more important — and it's not DeRozan.
Of course, that hardly matters when Lowry is the happiest person in the world about his teammate's selection.
Utah Jazz (7)
George Hill's ankle tweak this week was definitely scary, but he looks to be fine, and the Jazz keep rising now that they're more or less at full health.
San Antonio Spurs (3)
Pau Gasol's injury by itself won't sink the Spurs. They have plenty of other skilled big men to put on the floor. One does wonder, however, if asking the next man up to do more than he's used to might have a trickle-down effect in San Antonio — and whether the Spurs' reliance on older players could be an even bigger problem.
Houston Rockets (4)
We always knew James Harden was spectacular, but no one expected him to play like this — and that includes the Rockets. Multiple high-ranking members of the organization admitted recently even they're surprised by how perfectly coach Mike D'Antoni and Harden meshed, and at how quickly Houston saw results on the court.
Cleveland Cavaliers (2)
Cleveland's epic beatdown at the hands of the Warriors wasn't great, we'll admit. Honestly, though, we think LeBron was playing opossum, letting Golden State build up a false sense of security before an inevitable Finals rematch.
We hope that's what happened, anyway, for the Cavs' sakes.
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Golden State Warriors (1)
The Warriors faced the toughest week of their regular season and passed the test with flying colors. From here, the only question before the playoffs is whether this team now belongs to Kevin Durant.