→Friday: Milwaukee. The Bucks are one of the league’s early-season surprises. Despite Team USA gold medalist Michael Redd being sidelined for all but four games, Milwaukee has the fourth-best record in the East.
→Sunday: Houston. The Rockets have transformed themselves into a fast-paced team that’s winning despite Tracy McGrady being sidelined, Yao Ming out with a season-ending injury and Ron Artest leaving in the offseason for the Lakers. →Dec. 2: Philadelphia. The Sixers switched coaches after a slow start last season. Maybe coaching wasn’t the problem. This is a roster that should be producing more wins than an East bottom dweller. →Dec. 4: Boston. The Celtics roared out of the gate with a 6-0 start, including some lopsided wins. Boston, though, has been a .500 team the past two weeks. Kevin Garnett (13.2 average) still hasn’t regained his form. →Dec. 7: Golden State. The dysfunctional but always dangerous Warriors once again are scoring a ton of points but lose a ton of games. Stephen Jackson demanded a trade and got his wish. He’s now in Charlotte.