When the 2019-20 NBA season tipped off, there were, by most accounts, no fewer than five teams that could be considered true title contenders: The Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers and Golden State Warriors. Four of those teams remain top-tier contenders. Golden State, meanwhile, has gone in the tank, which might not be the worst thing in the world for that organization. 

Outside those teams, parity was, and remains, the word of the season. The Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors look a lot better than expected. The Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz and New Orleans Pelicans look a lot worse. The Denver Nuggets are winning games in an upside-down way, with an elite defense and a sputtering offense. The contrast of the Boston Celtics -- already an elite team and perhaps one move from title contention -- with and without Kyrie Irving is fascinating. 

The Miami Heat appear to be for real. 

The Russell Westbrook experiment with the Houston Rockets remains weird. 

So it goes as the first quarter of the NBA season has come and gone. We saw some things coming, while others have caught us by surprise. Ultimately, it's all information. We know more now than we did this summer. How offseason additions fit. Who might be ripe for a trade. That LeBron James is invested defensively and Ben Simmons is actually capable of taking and making 3-pointers. 

With this added information, we're in a better place to fairly, and hopefully accurately, evaluate what we've seen from each team so far. Call it a progress report. Bear in mind, the highest grades aren't necessarily reserved for the best teams. This is all roster relative. The Memphis Grizzlies -- spoiler alert -- earned a B and they have a 6-16 record entering play on Monday. 

With that said, here are our CBS Sports NBA quarterly grades.

Atlanta Hawks: D

Given the preseason predictions of the Hawks improving significantly upon their 29-win season from a year ago, with a chance of making the playoffs, the start to this season has been incredibly disappointing for Atlanta. Trae Young has been absolutely phenomenal, but the same can't be said for the rest of the roster. John Collins getting slapped with a 25-game suspension for violating the NBA's anti-drug policy certainly didn't help, but his absence shouldn't affect this team to the point where it has only won three games without him. On the bright side, we've seen an unlikely resurgence from Jabari Parker, whose been toiling away in Chicago and Washington for the past few seasons. -- Jasmyn Wimbish

Boston Celtics: B+

Injury issues are the only thing that have held Boston back from a higher grade so far this season, as a couple of its key contributors (namely Gordon Hayward) have been forced to miss some serious time. Otherwise, the Celtics have been extremely solid, and perhaps even one of the bigger surprises in the league considering the fact that they lost two veteran All-Stars in Kyrie Irving and Al Horford over the offseason. The addition of Kemba Walker has been everything that the Celtics could have hoped for, and the continued development of both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown has also been encouraging this season for Boston. -- Michael Kaskey-Blomain

Brooklyn Nets: C+

The Nets had arguably the biggest offseason in the NBA yet have little to show for it so far. Kevin Durant is sidelined for the season with an Achilles injury, while Kyrie Irving has missed over half of the team's games with a shoulder injury. Caris LeVert has also been out with a thumb injury. Though the Nets have been able to stay competitive, they're not a real threat in the East without at least one of their All-Star additions. Spencer Dinwiddie has done an excellent job of carrying the load for the team in the meantime, but ultimately the Nets will go as far as Irving (and Durant) take them, and thus far, injuries have prevented us from seeing exactly what type of team Brooklyn is. -- Michael Kaskey-Blomain

Charlotte Hornets: C-

The Hornets signed Terry Rozier in the offseason to a three-year, $58 million deal just to find out that Devonte' Graham is their best point guard. Graham is a strong candidate for Most Improved Player this year as he's averaging 19.1 points a game after splitting half his rookie season in the G League. Paired with a strong rookie season from PJ Washington, Charlotte is at least intriguing to watch this season. It likely won't result in a playoff berth, but the emergence of Graham and Washington gives the Hornets a small nugget to build with for the future. -- Jasmyn Wimbish

Chicago Bulls: F

After a number of smart offseason signings to supplement their young roster, it seemed like the Bulls might be on the right path; some even saw them sneaking into the playoffs at the bottom of the East. Instead, this season has been a mess. They can't score, young players such as Lauri Markkanen have disappointed and there have been further complaints about head coach Jim Boylen's tactics. Relative to expectations, it's hard to call them one of the most disappointing teams in the league, but they've certainly been disappointing. -- Jack Maloney

Cleveland Cavaliers: D

What is there to even say about this team? The Cavs are terrible, but that was always going to be the case as they continue to pay off the bill left by the second set of LeBron James years. They're too young, and too lacking in talent to win games at this level on a consistent basis, and most of the players on the roster won't be around in a few years. They've handed the reigns to first-year head coach John Beilein, but it's far too early to tell whether he'll be a success. You would like to see some development from their young guards -- Collin Sexton, Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. -- but other than that it's already time to start looking ahead to the lottery in Cleveland. -- Jack Maloney

Dallas Mavericks: A+

Never in their wildest dreams did they think this would happen so soon. It's not just that Luka Doncic's trajectory -- Euroleague MVP, NBA Rookie of the Year, NBA MVP candidate -- is unprecedented; it is that he has elevated the team as much, if not more than his individual game. And it is not just that the 20-year-old is a "once-in-whatever talent," as big man Maxi Kleber called him, it is that Dallas keeps killing teams when the genius takes a seat. The Mavs have the league's best offense and by far the best bench. -- James Herbert

Denver Nuggets: B-

At 14-7, Denver's record is more or less where the masses expected after 21 games. That's a 55-win pace, a slight improvement over last season, but where those wins are coming from brings everything this roster has done into question. The high-powered offense that Nikola Jokic led into the second round last season is currently ranked 20th in the NBA, but the defense most assumed would hold Denver back from a championship run? That's ranked second. Regression is coming for both of those numbers. The Nuggets are going to start making more shots, and opponents will start to hit more of their own. But the loss of their identity is concerning. Merely having Jokic on the roster seemingly guaranteed an elite offense in recent years. That no longer appears to be the case. -- Sam Quinn 

Detroit Pistons: C

With so many injuries, including Blake Griffin missing the team's first 10 games, it's hard to be too harsh about the Pistons' 9-14 start. Even still, it doesn't seem like there's much to learn about them. At this point in this group's tenure, we know the deal. With Griffin and Drummond -- who has been awesome to start the season -- they have too much talent to ever be among the worst teams in the league. At the same time, they're not close to being good enough to cause problems in the East. Maybe they sneak into the playoffs, maybe they don't. Either way this team will be forgettable. -- Jack Maloney

Golden State Warriors: D

You can point to the Warriors' injuries for their plight, but it's not like they were playing well when Stephen Curry, D'Angelo Russell and Draymond Green were healthy to start the season. They've seen early development from young players like Eric Paschall and Ky Bowman, but overall it's been ugly. Then again, losing is probably what's best for them at this point, so maybe they should get an A? -- Colin Ward-Henninger

Houston Rockets: B

The Rockets have rebounded from a tough start, climbing to 14th on defense. Whether or not they are truly title contenders, though, depends on how much better they can get from here. While James Harden has taken his brand of one-on-one brilliance to yet another level of insanity, the Russell Westbrook experiment has had mixed results. The Rockets are different than they were with Chris Paul, but it is unclear if sacrificing point guard defense and halfcourt offense for rebounding and transition offense will raise their ceiling the way they hoped. Westbrook has shot a career-low 21.6 percent on catch-and-shoot 3s, and Houston desperately needs to improve in his minutes without Harden. -- James Herbert

Indiana Pacers: B+

With Victor Oladipo's continued absence due to his quad injury, and a number of changes to the roster over the summer, there were plenty of questions about how this Pacers team would fare to start the season. Thanks to some strong play from Malcolm Brogdon, and the softest schedule in the league, they've gotten off to an impressive start. They can only play who's on their schedule, and they deserve credit for winning more times than not, but it still feels like we need some more time to see what this team is really about. -- Jack Maloney

Los Angeles Clippers: A- 

The Clippers are being graded against themselves here, and in the first quarter of the season they didn't quite unlock their full potential due to injuries and load management. They appear to be in no rush, and they should get even better once Landry Shamet gets healthy and Kawhi Leonard and Paul George get more time together. -- Colin Ward-Henninger

Los Angeles Lakers: A

Sure, there are gripes. The Lakers still need a third scorer, especially in light of Kyle Kuzma's inconsistency, and Anthony Davis is taking too many jumpers, which is symptomatic of playing power forward. Still, in terms of results, the Lakers couldn't have hoped for a better start than this. The Davis-LeBron James combination looks practically unstoppable, most of the role players have exceeded expectations, and the Lakers are the only team in all of basketball that is still undefeated in true road games (with their lone "road" loss coming at Staples Center against the Clippers). The real test will come over the next few months as the schedule gets harder, but so far, the Lakers have lived up to their billing as one of the championship favorites this season. -- Sam Quinn

Memphis Grizzlies: B

Ja Morant is the favorite for Rookie of the Year, and No. 21 pick Brandon Clarke will likely join him on an All-Rookie team. Jaren Jackson Jr. is trending upward after an inconsistent start. The Grizzlies should not be judged too harshly for their 22nd-ranked defense or their struggles in the paint (on both ends), but I'm curious about how much progress they will have made in those areas the next time we check in on them. Everything about them, including their minute distribution, reflects a newly future-focused outlook. (Well, almost everything: their Vancouver throwback jerseys -- and the court that goes with them -- are awesome.) -- James Herbert

Miami Heat: A+

No one expected the Heat to be this good, especially considering some of the best production they're getting is coming from incredibly young players. There haven't been any rumblings of Jimmy Butler scolding his younger teammates, or practices with expletive-filled rants. Instead, Butler's praised the work ethic of rookies Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn, and even Meyers Leonard who -- surprise, surprise -- is leading the league in 3-point percentage. It's one big love fest in South Beach now that they're winning, but what changes if the Heat's shooting goes cold and they start to pick up more losses than wins? We'll see if that ever happens. -- Jasmyn Wimbish

Milwaukee Bucks: A+

The Bucks went 2-2 to start the season, and showed some worrying signs on the defensive end, giving up huge leads in both of those losses. Since then, however, they've been tremendous, winning 14 straight and losing just once (on a buzzer beater on the road against the Jazz) in over a month. Giannis Antetokounmpo has been even better after winning MVP last season, and Milwaukee has both the best record and net rating in the league. At this point the Bucks have proven they're going to run through the league in the regular season again, but the question remains: can they get it done in the playoffs? We'll see. -- Jack Maloney

Minnesota Timberwolves: B

No team will ever be thrilled about hovering around .500, but Minnesota was never realistically going to contend in this Western Conference. The goal this season was progress, and the Timberwolves have undoubtedly made it. Karl-Anthony Towns is playing like an MVP candidate, a surplus of wing talent is developing in Josh Okogie, Jarrett Culver and Robert Covington, and, of course, Andrew Wiggins appears to have been salvaged in one of the biggest surprises of the early season. Minnesota is still a year or two away, and it certainly needs a new point guard, but the outline of a winner is here. That wasn't the case a year ago. -- Sam Quinn

New Orleans Pelicans: D+

I lowered my expectations after Zion Williamson's injury, but apparently not enough. Despite their depth and the structure that Jrue Holiday, JJ Redick and Derrick Favors were supposed to provide, the Pelicans have all sorts of problems: They rarely get to the paint or the free throw line. They don't protect the paint well or force midrange jumpers. They don't run nearly as often as coach Alvin Gentry wants them to, even though they are devastating when they do. Brandon Ingram's development is the only happy story here, and I can't imagine where they'd be offensively without Redick. -- James Herbert

New York Knicks: F

What can you really say about the Knicks? They have the league's worst record, and they fired head coach David Fizdale nearly two months into the season, continuing a pattern of ineptitude that has gone on for years. Unfortunately for Knicks fans, though, Fizdale was far from the team's only issue as the owner, roster and front office all remain the same after his dismissal. Until those other things change, there doesn't appear to be much hope for the Knicks to turn things around. -- Michael Kaskey-Blomain

Oklahoma City Thunder: C+

A .500 record would be a good ceiling for this Thunder team, and they were slightly worse than that in the first quarter of the season. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has looked good along with the steady presence of Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari and Steven Adams, but the rest of their rotation has been inconsistent. OKC's activity leading up to the trade deadline will be worth monitoring. -- Colin Ward-Henninger

Orlando Magic: C

The Magic are a .500 team, with a net rating of zero. You can't get more average than that. Before All-Star Nikola Vucevic went down with a right ankle sprain, the Magic weren't exactly a dynamic offensive team. They played at the second-slowest pace in the league, which resulted in them getting held to under 100 points on most nights. While Orlando hasn't been a completely different team since Vucevic's injury, it has strung together four straight wins against admittedly inferior competition. The Magic still rank 29th in the league in points per game (103.0), but their 10th-ranked defense has kept them competitive. They are essentially treading water in an Eastern Conference that doesn't have a lot of competition toward the bottom of the standings, and that's fine for now. -- Jasmyn Wimbish

Philadelphia 76ers: B

The Sixers have had some hiccups, but they have also shown flashes of their ability to be a dominant team on both sides of the floor, especially on the defensive end where they are one of the league's top teams. Considering the fact that they switched 40 percent of their starting lineup over the offseason, it was always going to find the Sixers some time to find their stride, but a 12-0 home record to start the season gives Philadelphia plenty of reason to feel good about the season moving forward. -- Michael Kaskey-Blomain

Phoenix Suns: B+

Phoenix was the feel-good story of the early season, but its winning ways quickly came to a screeching halt. Injuries to Aron Baynes and Ricky Rubio played a part in the Suns' recent struggles, but overall Monty Williams and Co. have changed the team's culture for the better -- no easy task. -- Colin Ward-Henninger

Portland Trail Blazers: C- 

Portland punched above its weight class in making the Western Conference finals last year, benefiting greatly by falling into the junior varsity side of the playoff bracket. Realistically, this is a first- or second-round roster, and as bad as their record looks, the Blazers entered Sunday only 1.5 games out of the postseason despite perhaps the worst injury luck in basketball. This isn't how anyone in Portland expected the season to play out, but for now, the Blazers can take solace in the promising development of Anfernee Simons, who has flashed star potential. The Carmelo Anthony signing looks like a masterstroke. Things are bad in Portland, but they could be far, far worse. -- Sam Quinn

Sacramento Kings: C-

This grade would be a lot better had the Kings not gotten off to such a horrific start. They actually began playing better after De'Aaron Fox suffered an ankle injury. Once Fox and Marvin Bagley return, Sacramento should get on the right track. -- Colin Ward-Henninger 

San Antonio Spurs: D-

The Spurs somehow got Dejounte Murray back and became an atrocious defensive team, and while their bench is solid, it can no longer compensate for their starting five. If San Antonio was going to overcome its antiquated shot profile -- no team takes a smaller proportion of its shots at the rim or from 3-point range -- it needed so much more than this. Aside from their low turnover rate and accurate-as-it-can-be midrange shooting, the Spurs just aren't that Spursy anymore. If Gregg Popovich salvages the season without a major trade, it will be the most impressive thing he has ever done. -- James Herbert

Toronto Raptors: B

Considering the fact that they lost a consensus top three player in the NBA over the offseason in Kawhi Leonard and didn't replace him with an external addition, the Raptors' start to the '19-20 season has been impressive. They're a tough, experienced team that is capable of pulling out a win on any given night, and Pascal Siakam has developed into a bona fide star in Leonard's absence. The main question about the Raptors at this point is if they have enough top-tier talent to make some major noise in the postseason again. -- Michael Kaskey-Blomain

Utah Jazz: C+

The Jazz were determined to upgrade their 14th-ranked offense this offseason, and made significant investments in Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic in order to do so. The results have been borderline disastrous. Utah is ranked 23rd. Conley's statistics have fallen off of a cliff and dragged Joe Ingles' numbers with them. The Jazz bench is among the worst in the NBA, and Donovan Mitchell appears to have plateaued in his third season. Utah's stellar defense will carry it into the postseason, and an easier second-half schedule always boosts its win total, but there was a strong case to be made over the summer that the Jazz was as good as the Lakers or Clippers. They aren't even close with a quarter of the season down. -- Sam Quinn

Washington Wizards: F

Even Bradley Beal can't make this team worth watching. The Wizards manage to find new ways to lose in embarrassing fashion. They might have the better record than Atlanta in this division, but at least the Hawks can salvage this season when John Collins returns. The Wizards aren't waiting on the imminent return of anyone this season -- save for a miraculous John Wall appearance -- that will provide enough of an impact to help this team. -- Jasmyn Wimbish