The Wizards' stunning upset victory over the Miami Heat last week hasn't yet propelled them out of the NBA cellar. But the fact is there are still worse places to be in the NBA than Washington (records through Monday):
5. Charlotte (7-13) »
With eight losses in a row, the Bobcats haven't beaten anyone since their double overtime win over the Wizards on Nov. 24. Kemba Walker's step forward this season hasn't translated against better teams, and Byron Mullens has fallen in love with a 3-pointer that isn't falling (.277).
4. Cleveland (4-17) » Their young core hasn't proven to be consistently better than Washington's, especially with Kyrie Irving's propensity for injury. The bigger worry now is whether they can hold on to Anderson Varejao.
3. Los Angeles Lakers (9-12) »
It's getting harder each day to assume that the Lakers -- who play nine of 14 games on the road in December -- will simply make the playoffs, much less contend for a title. And they still need to convince Dwight Howard to stay long term.
2. Toronto (4-18) » Amir Johnson tussling with a referee over a ball represents rock bottom for a team ravaged by injuries and has lost 11 of its last 12. At least general manager Bryan Colangelo has been honest enough to call the situation "embarrassing" and "unacceptable," not something about being part of the bigger picture.
1. Phoenix (7-15) »
There are few things worse than the "T" word -- toxic -- which was used this week to describe Michael Beasley, according to SportsOnEarth.com columnist Shaun Powell. But the Suns' immediate prospects got cloudy as soon as Steve Nash left.
- Craig Stouffer