NBA Weekly Vision Oct. 31 - Nov. 6
Photo cred: Boston Celtics Instagram
NBA Weekly Vision is a recap and analysis of the NBA each week. Each team will get a very brief overview weekly even if nothing much is coming from the team’s news or statistics. A few games may be occasionally highlighted that need to be mentioned such as the season openers or marquee games for example.
Week three was as savory as Salisbury Steak. Well, for more teams than others. The main team that’s simmering like soul food must be the Boston Celtics. On the flip side, the team that’s starting to smell like chitterlings is surprising the Cleveland Cavaliers. There are a bunch of teams that’s in the 4-5, 6-4 range so the search for the sauce is still prevalent with most of the squads. Enough with the food puns, let’s get a nice scoop of the NBA week 3 peach cobbler.
Nike (0-5): The NBA grabbed a loss last week because we saw another ripped jersey. Ben Simmons jersey basically melted off his body when an opponent grabbed him. That’s five jerseys this year. Nike must know better than making their jerseys out of margarine. Nike did come out and state that they will make a change in the jerseys. Nike fix the jerseys, please Just Do It.
Atlanta Hawks (2-9): Atlanta has not been good, that has not changed. BUT, and it’s a big but, the Hawks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in a close game. There has been talk of trading Jahlil Okafor so keep an eye out for that.
Boston Celtics (9-2): Kyrie Irving and Celtics are the best in the league. Currently on a 9 game winning streak, C’s have picked up the pieces from losing Gordon Hayward and turned around into an amazing squad. Kyrie’s playing phenomenal, the young guys are stepping up (Jayson Tatum & Jaylen Brown), and Al Horford is looking like his old self. Keep streaking guys.
Brooklyn Nets (4-6): Brooklyn did the Harlem Shake a bit as they went on a 4-game skid. Fortunately, they did pick up a win against the Suns to end the skid where D’Angelo Russell shined. Going 1-2 last week is not great but the Nets show promise. Brooklyn may not be lottery bound this year but may just miss the playoffs.
Charlotte Hornets (5-5): The Hornets went 1-2 this past week and seems like they will be up and down all season. One must appreciate the big step up from Jeremy Lamb (17 PPG) and the consistency of Dwight Howard with him still averaging a double-double.
Chicago Bulls (2-6): The Bulls has had many events happen last week, more than any other team. Kris Dunn made his way back from a finger injury but lost David Nwaba to a right ankle sprain for about four weeks. Speaking of comebacks, Bobby “Ali” Portis will be back from his suspension for right hooking Nikola Mirotic. The Bulls continue to slide but did manage to defeated the rolling Orlando Magic, shooting 48% in 3-pointers. With players coming back in the rotation, Chicago’s luck may change. Chicago has also been rumored to be the destination for Jahlil Okafor.
Cleveland Cavaliers (4-6): Ok well what we have seen from the Cleveland Cavaliers has been surprising. The Cavs dropped four in a row, won against the Wizards thanks to LeBron James’ 57-point performance, and THEN lost to the lowly Atlanta Hawks. Confusion at its finest. Tristan Thompson will also miss a month due to a calf injury. The Cavs need Isaiah Thomas back, BAD!
Dallas Mavericks (1-10): The Dallas Mavericks are the first team to hit double digit losses and that is to no surprise. Currently, the only positive note that can be said about the Mavs is that they have a bright future. Dennis Smith Jr. plus a high draft pick will be the base of the rebuild.
Denver Nuggets (5-5): The Nuggets picked up two wins against the Raptors and the Heat but fell the Warriors. Denver may need a few more weeks to find that rhythm with their roster since the addition of Paul Milsap. Apparently, the addition of Milsap, did not disrupt the rhythm of Nikola Jokic who’s looking great this season.
Detroit Pistons (7-3): Detroit are still shining so they may not be a fluke. After losing by 20 to the Lakers, the Pistons bounced back with two wins. The combination of Tobias Harris and Andre Drummond has the Pistons looking like the 2004 Pistons. Maybe? Is too early for that?
Golden State Warriors (8-3): There was no need to worry about the Warriors as they got their chips back in order. Even shooting poorly against the Heat, the Warriors still grabbed the W. These are the Warriors we expected to see and Steve Kerr got his team in order last week.
Houston Rockets (8-3): The Rockets are on a 3-game winning streak and during that streak, James Harden made a solid case at MVP by scoring 56 points in only three quarters. Insane. Eric Gordon is looking better as a starting rather than coming off the bench. Things will get interesting once Chris Paul makes his return.
Indiana Pacers (5-5): After the Pacers beat the Spurs, they took care of the Kings and the Cavs. Though they dropped the next two games, they are winning games without their star Miles Turner. Victor Oladipo should be front runner for Most Improved Player this year.
LA Clippers (5-4): After starting the season great, the Clips stopped Clipping. The Clippers are 1-5 since starting out 4-0. To add to the misery, Danilo Gallinari has a lingering bruised left hip that leaves more work for Blake Griffin.
LA Lakers (5-5): The Lakers have shown improvement over the course of these weeks. At .500, LA have had their bright moments, like the game against the Grizzlies. Going 3-1, last week the young group’s chemistry is starting to mix. Unfortunately, Larry Nance Jr. fractured his left hand and that will keep him out for at least four week. This will give Kyle Kuzma more playing time and experience. Also, Luol Deng seeking buyout from LA in which gives Julius Randle a bigger role.
Memphis Grizzlies (6-4): The hot Memphis Grizzlies have cooled off. Starting off 5-1, Memphis has slid to 1-3. It is unknown why the cool off is occurring but it looks that the Grizzlies are just being outplayed. No need to panic though, just a bad week for Memphis.
Miami Heat (4-6): The Heat are up and down currently and there is word that they are some leadership problems with Hassan Whiteside. Miami blew a 25-point lead but still won against the Clippers. Miami is still finding its identity but Goran Dragic playing good basketball is a start.
Milwaukee Bucks (4-5): Giannis Antetokounmpo might have to add three more letters to his name and those letters are MVP. The Bucks will also do some adding with the addition of Eric Bledsoe, trading away Greg Monroe and a first-round pick. The Bucks are slipping right now, currently on a three-game losing streak but the change in roster might heavily shake things up.
Minnesota Timberwolves (7-3): After a rocky start, the Timberwolves are moving up. The T-Wolves won five games in a row and the team is looking great together. Karl-Anthony Towns is averaging a double-double and Jeff Teague has stepped up in the absence of Jimmy Butler when he was out.
New Orleans Pelicans (5-5): This was Anthony Davis team last year but Demarcus Cousins is looking like the star. Davis is playing great basketball but Cousins is playing like a MVP candidate. That being said, the Pelicans do need Rajon Rondo back to run the floor and his return is coming soon. We should see more consistency from Nawlins once Rondo gets there.
New York Knicks (5-4): Kristaps Porzingis has led with an iron Porzing-fist. Winning 5 of the last 6 games, Porzingis has stepped up in the absence of Melo and is putting up MVP numbers. The comeback win against the Pacers was no fluke as Porzingis took over with a 40-point performance and Frank Ntilikina showed why he was drafted so high. Remember, the Knicks started out 0-3 so NY is looking playoff bound if they can keep it up.
Oklahoma City Thunder (4-5): The Thunder just can’t seem to tackle the refs. OKC has been on the bad end of questionable calls which costed them games. Carmelo Anthony was ejected from the lost against Portland and it is hindering the team trying to mesh. An iffy start does not mask that Russell Westbrook is playing the MVP that he is.
Orlando Magic (6-4): The Magic dropped a few cards recently after losing two games last week. After beating two great teams beforehand, it just looks like a case of a bad week for Orlando. Evan Fournier is definitely a contender for Most Improved Player.
Philadelphia 76ers (5-4): The process is looking gooood. On a four game winning streak, Philly is making a name for themselves. Joel Embiid has been the talk of the league as he should but Ben Simmons is looking like the actual best player on the squad. Not to compare, Simmons was balling at the moment. Since starting out 0-3, the 76ers only lost one game since.
Phoenix Suns (4-7): The Suns had very high expectations coming in the season and started 0-3. The Suns seemed to heat up though after firing the head coach and sitting (eventually trading Eric Bledsoe) winning the next 4 of 5 games. They now have dropped 3 straight but one Greg Monroe gets in the lineup, we might see the Suns heat back up a bit. Maybe? Hopefully? For Devin Booker’s sake?
Portland Trailblazers (6-4): Portland are winning games late and that’s fine. It is Damian Lillard’s time to shine but don’t think CJ McCollum is far behind him. 2-2 this past week for the squad and adjustments can be made but Jusuf Nurkic is improving which is delightful to watch.
Sacramento Kings (1-8): The Kings are looking like jesters while they are on a 7-game losing streak. They are trying though, moving Buddy Hield to the bench. De’Aaron Fox is getting the experience though, which is good.
San Antonio Spurs (6-4): Ouch, the Spurs dropped 4 in a row and only one game was close. They did win two games in a row afterwards but it is obvious that Kawhi Leonard is needed asap.
Toronto Raptors (5-4): Another team in the 5-4 area, the Raptors are starting to get consistent. DeMar DeRozan is playing good and is carrying the team at this point. The team needs more production from their starters (mainly Kyle Lowry).
Utah Jazz (5-5): Utah had a decent week, winning three games straight and then dropping two straight. The Jazz did let James Harden go off on them and that shows a weakness in Ricky Rubio. At .500, Utah is still struggling to find the scoring needed to fill the Hayward void but they are getting closer in that regard.
Washington Wizards (5-4): Washington slipped a pinch last week and one reason can be the shoulder sprain that John Wall suffered. Wall hurt his shoulder in the game against the Cavs and still played through the injury (though he stated that he should not have). A win versus the Raptors showed that Bradley Beal can step up.