A look at the nba 1/3 into the season
Here we go. 4 takes for each conference I guess
1: The East is as tight as ever
I did not expect the east to be this competitive. They have 12 teams between .650 and .400, which is crazy. Some teams we thought were trash (Knicks, Hornets) exceeded expectations and are in the playoff picture currently. And some teams, whether it was underperforming or injury, have disappointed (looking at you, hawks) This is why the east is shaky right now, and you can’t really take any standings for granted.
2: The raptors are back
People were saying “they need to rebuild”, or “lottery pick coming”. I wonder where they are now.
The raptors are on a four game win streak, and they are now firmly in the playoffs.
3: The nets are in a groove right now
6 wins in a row for this team. Their 3 stars are starting to gel. This team is scary offensively, and when locked in their defense is solid as well.
4: Exceeding expectations: Julius randle, Lamelo, LaVine
Julius Randle is dropping 23 pts, 11 reb, and 6 ast while shooting 41% from three. His elevated play (and thibs) has got the Knicks in the 7th seed.
Lamelo, well he was the ROY favorite, but still. I was not expecting him to be this good right out the gate. His 3 pointer is looking fine, he still needs to get better on defense, but he is improving. He is also miles bridge’s perfect teammate. I mean, how many Lamelo bridges connections have we seen this season?
LaVine should not be a snub this season. Not only has LaVine played even better than last year, Chicago is also the 9th seed, which bolsters his argument.
1: The jazz have found the secret formula for winning basketball games
The jazz are on fire, and I think they have been playing so good that I dont think they can sustain this level of play. Mike Conley is looking great, Donovan mitchell is elevating the team, Rudy is being Rudy. Role players like ingles who are playing great are really pushing this team forward.
2: The spurs and Trail Blazers are both on revenge seasons
As you can see, the Trail Blazers are the 5th seed in the west, and are 8-2 in the last 10 games. And CJ is injured.
Gary Trent Jr is emerging as a good combo guard who could sometimes slide into the three. The defense is holding fort. People are getting dame time alarm clocks. It’s good in Portland.
The spurs, yeah, that team with the 82nd best player in the league? They are the 6th seed, and are 7-3 in their last 10 games. While derozan has been great, I think it has been the young core’s collective improvement that helped the team.
3: The mavs need to pick it up
Porzingis is looking more like a bosh to Luka than a wade. Losing Seth curry for Richardson hurt the mavs a lot, considering how Seth is playing right now.
The 1 mavs offense from last year is looking average now. And I’m not sure how they’re going to fix it. I mean, they shoot a lot of threes inefficiently. So make more threes I guess?
4: The lakers roster needs a few adjustments before it becomes unstoppable on paper.
That adjustments name is,“defensive big”. Last season the lakers won by paint mashing and playing tough defense. Now it’s clear they won’t win by the same methods this year, but getting another defensive big like Drummond wouldn’t hurt the team. Even ariza, so when the tough gets going you can go small ball with Ariza PF and AD at center. But they need one more defensive stopper, whether it be a taller wing, or a big.
Those are my takes, thank you for reading
The Jazz are a huge surprise. I agree. I keep waiting for the wheels to come off. But they aren't yet.
I think Coach Quin is shaping up to be a great successor to Sloan. He'll be there for 20 years if he wants to.
@11wakawaka I agree with the Spurs and Blazers take. Did not expect them to be playing this well, especially Portland with their injuries. Thought the Spurs would be a Memphis type of team, not 5 games above .500