During the NBA's 82-game, 170-day regular season, the view from the top can frequently change.
The Utah Jazz is off to a 15-5 start, has won seven straight and stands atop the Northwest Division.
Point guard Deron Williams scores 24 points and handed out 16 assists in a 22-point romp against Indiana, continuing his early bid for the NBA's Most Valuable Player.
Today: Williams is with the New Jersey Nets and will have wrist surgery Monday. His long-term future with the Nets is cloudy at best.
The New York Knicks have won eight straight and the acquisition of Amar'e Stoudemire is all the rage.
The Knicks are 16-9 after outscoring Denver 129-125 in Madison Square Garden. Stoudemire has 30 points. Wilson Chandler has 27. Raymond Felton has 19 points and 17 assists. Danilo Gallinari has 16 points. For the Nuggets, Carmelo Anthony has 31 points and 13 rebounds, Chauncey Billups has six assists and Shelden Williams is starting at power forward.
Today: Anthony, Billups and Williams are with the Knicks. Chandler, Felton and Gallinari are with the Nuggets. Denver has scary potential in the playoffs while the Knicks are at least able to boast they will finish no worse than .500 for the first time in 10 years.
The Miami Heat is 30-9 and clicking, having won 21 of its last 22.
Offseason acquisitions LeBron James and Chris Bosh are working in harmony with incumbent Dwyane Wade. James has become the head of the monster and is arguably the leading MVP candidate. On this night, he has 44 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in an overtime victory at Portland.
Today: Though frequently successful, the Heat still runs cold at times. James and Wade rank No. 2 and No. 3 among NBA scoring leaders, but neither is the clear-cut choice as the man in charge.
The San Antonio Spurs are 37-6 and on an eight-game winning streak.
They are the class of the league and most everyone agrees the team's best player is guard Manu Ginobili. His numbers, like his game, are well-rounded at 17.7 ppg, 4.9 apg, 3.7 rpg and 1.6 spg. His knack for late-game heroics has become so impressive, he is considered worthy of league MVP.
Today: San Antonio has clinched the top playoff seed in the West, but its recent six-game losing streak showed the balanced importance of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Antonio McDyess in addition to Ginobili.
Chicago begins a stretch where it will win 18 of its next 20 games to take residence in the Eastern Conference penthouse.
The Bulls are led by the explosive play of point guard Derrick Rose, who has a remarkable ability to take control of a game in multiple dimensions.
Today: The Bulls (59-20) have clinched the top seed in the East and trail the Spurs (60-19) by only one game for the league's best record.
With four days left in the regular season, the choice for league MVP is obvious.
John Rohde: 475-3099. John Rohde can be heard Monday-Friday from 6-7 p.m. on The Sports Animal Network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.
JOHN ROHDE'S ALL-NBA BALLOT
First team: G Derrick Rose (Bulls); G Kobe Bryant (Lakers); C Dwight Howard (Magic); F LeBron James (Heat); F Kevin Durant (Thunder).
Second team: G Chris Paul (Hornets); Dwyane Wade (Heat); C Kevin Garnett (Celtics); F Dirk Nowitzki (Mavericks); F LaMarcus Aldridge (Trail Blazers).
Third team: G Rajon Rondo (Celtics); G Russell Westbrook (Thunder); C Pau Gasol (Lakers); F Kevin Love (Timberwolves); F Amar'e Stoudemire (Knicks).
Player of the year: 1. Derrick Rose (Bulls); 2. Dwight Howard (Magic); 3. LeBron James (Heat); 4. Kobe Bryant (Lakers); 5. Kevin Durant (Thunder).
Rookie of the year: 1. Blake Griffin (Clippers); 2. John Wall (Wizards); 3. Landry Fields (Knicks).
Coach of the year: 1. Tom Thibodeau (Bulls); 2. Doug Collins (76ers); 3. George Karl (Nuggets).
Defensive player of the year: 1. Dwight Howard (Magic); 2. Tyson Chandler (Mavericks); 3. Tony Allen (Grizzlies).
Sixth man of the year: 1. Lamar Odom (Lakers); 2. Jason Terry (Mavericks); 3. Glen Davis (Celtics).
Most improved player: 1. Kevin Love (Timberwolves); 2. LaMarcus Aldridge (Trail Blazers); 3. Kris Humphries (Nets).