An exciting opening week of basketball has came, and went, leaving behind only five undefeated sides in its dust. We’ve seem some exciting play from youngsters like Ja Morant and LaMelo Ball, while Paul George is ready to take the scoring burden with Kawhi Leonard out. Carmelo Anthony creeps up the All-Time scoring list, while Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving aren’t even close to returning to action.
In either regard, we have another exciting week up ahead, and the teams rank something around these lines.
1] Utah Jazz (+2) 2-0
Trying to erase yet another post season disappointment, the Jazz took care of business with victories over the Thunder and Kings, en route to a perfect start. Donovan Mitchell is struggling from the field from the two outings, shooting a subpar 35.7/37.5 while averaging just 21.5 points a night, which is nearly what Rudy Gobert is grabbing off misses, as the French big man is averaging 20.5 boards.
vs Denver, @ Houston, @ Chicago, @ Bucks
2] Denver Nuggets (+4) 2-0
With the reigning Most Valuable Player, the Nuggets have come off to a hot start, getting a victory in Phoenix over the side who swept them in the playoffs a few months ago, and then taking care of business against the San Antonio Spurs during their home opener. Denver is still missing the services of Jamal Murray, which has open end the door for Will Barton to step up. A date against Utah next week will be fun to watch.
vs Cleveland, @ Utah*, vs Dallas, @ Minnesota
3] Golden St Warriors (+7) 3-0
Golden State is off to a blazing start, netting three victories against divisional rivals, as they beat the Lakers in Los Angeles before defeating the Clippers and the Sacramento Kings at home. Steph Curry has been on an absolute tear thus far, averaging 33 points a night and hitting an astonishing 47.6% from three on ten attempts a night. The Warriors could very well win the next three as well.
@ Oklahoma City, vs Memphis, vs Oklahoma City
4] Milwakuee Bucks (-3) 2-1
Following a good win against the Nets on opening and ring ceremony night, the Bucks were absolutely floored by the Miami Heat before bouncing back with a victory over the struggling Spurs. Jrue Holiday had missed the Miami game, but returned versus San Antonio.
@ Indiana, vs Minnesota, vs San Antonio, vs Utah*
5] Miami Heat (+3) 1-1
Miami followed up their spectacular victory over the reigning champions with an overtime loss to a difficult Indiana Pacers side on the road. Kyle Lowry has become a welcome addition in South Beach, taking off pressure from Jimmy Butler while Tyler Herro has walked his talk, thus far. Three road games coming up for Miami will be a nice early season gauge on where they are.
vs Orlando, @ Brooklyn, @ Washington*, @Philadelphia
6] Philadelphia 76ers (+7) 2-1
Despite the Simmon-scenario, Philadelphia has been doing what it needs to, with victories against the New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder, with a defeat to Brooklyn in between. Tobias Harris has stepped up, averaging 21.5 points a night and hitting half of his field goal attempts.
@ New York, vs Detroit, vs Atlanta
7] Charlotte Hornets (+10) 3-0
LaMelo Ball has the Hornets surging, as they put up an undefeated opening week, which culminated with a 16 point victory in Brooklyn, following wins against Indiana and in Cleveland. Miles Bridges has taken the next step in his organic growth and Charlotte may be a legit option at the five slot from being a team to reckon with.
vs Boston*, @ Orlando, @ Miami, vs Portland
8] Chicago Bulls (+6) 3-0
Despite numerous new faces, from Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan to Alex Caruso and Ayo Dosumnu has Zach LaVine feeling and playing well. A pair of the Bulls victories came against the lowly Pistons, while the Pelicans was the other, but the following week will give us an idea of just where the Bulls belong.
@ Toronto, vs New York, vs Utah
9] Memphis Grizzlies (+9) 2-1
Ja Morant has been nothing short of amazing, and was a missed free throw away from sending the Grizzlies to overtime against the Lakers and a possible 3-0 start. Memphis has been on a roll, while missing the services of Dillon Brooks, one of the league’s most underrated two-way wings, and the future is bright.
@ Portland, @ Golden St*, vs Miami
10] New York Knicks (+6) 2-1
Knicks had a beautiful chance to start the year 3-0, but dropped a decision, at home, to the Orlando Magic, who they had just defeated a few days prior after defeating the new look Boston Celtics in double overtime to start the campaign. Still, the mecca of basketball is off to a solid start, which was needed as a difficult week looms.
vs Philadelphia, @ Chicago, @ New Orleans
11] Atlanta Hawks (-4) 1-1
Following a surprise run to the conference finals, the Hawks started the campaign off well, defeating Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks. What came next was a stunning defeat to the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Trae Young will look to righten the ship as the Hawks have four winnable games coming up.
vs Detroit, @ New Orleans, @ Washington*, @ Philadelphia
12] Portland Trail Blazers (+3) 1-1
Portland bounced back well to the loss against Sacramento with an absolute demolishing of the Phoenix Suns. The reward for such a victory? A pair of games against the Los Angeles Clippers, sandwiched with a date against Ja Morant. Early games the Blazers need that come with playoff seeding implications.
@ LAC, vs Memphis, vs LAC
13] Phoenix Suns (-9) 1-2
Phoenix recorded an impressive win in Los Angeles against the Lakers, sandwiching defeats versus the Denver Nuggets and in Portland. Still, a team led by Chris Paul, with Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton right by his side is one that could run off victories at any given point.
vs Sacramento, vs Cleveland
14] Dallas Mavericks (-2) 1-1
Recovering from a defeat in Atlanta, the Mavericks took care of business against the Toronto Raptors with Luka Doncic averaging just under a triple double (22.5/10/9.5). Kristaps Porzingis has been giving the Mavs a rim presence, averaging three blocks a contest to this point.
vs Houston, vs San Antonio, @ Denver*, vs Sacramento
15] Brooklyn Nets (-10) 1-2
A side that has hedged its entire season on three players, is bound to struggle when one of the trio is missing, and that third will be out for an indefinite period. Then, when another of the third is adjusting to a league where he doesn’t receive every whistle and is playing himself into shape, it spells nothing but a disaster, which has been blatant to start the year.
vs Washington*, vs Miami, vs Indiana, vs Detroit
16] Los Angeles Lakers (-14) 1-2
After two horrendous displays, the Lakers bounced back with an absolute nail biter of a victory against the young and hungry Memphis Grizzlies. Still, the play in Los Angeles is a bit concerning, namely with Vogel’s seeming unwillingness to move away from his starting unit. With a soft schedule coming up, Los Angeles needs to get the chemistry going and pad its wins.
@ San Antonio, @ Oklahoma City*, vs Cleveland, vs Houston
17] Washington Wizards (+7) 2-0
Spencer Dinwiddie has been an amazing addition in the nations Capitol, taking a load off of Bradley Beal’s shoulders. Kyle Kuzma has turned his game up to another level, while Montrezl Harrell seems to be back to his 6MoY level of play. If Washington can keep up the victories over the next week, playoffs could very well be in reach.
@ Brooklyn, @ Boston, vs Atlanta*, vs Boston
18] Sacramento Kings (+3) 1-2
Following up a solid road victory, Sacramento dropped decisions to the Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors respectively, putting them in an early hole against teams they are projected to battle for a playoff slot. Davion Mitchell has shown precisely why he was selected when he was.
@ Phoenix, @ New Orleans, @ Dallas
19] Los Angeles Clippers (-10) 0-2
A pair of close losses has the Clippers sitting with a donut in the win column to start the year, but that hasn’t been due any lack of effort. Paul George has elevated his game to start the year, averaging 35 points, 10.5 rebounds, 5 assists and a pair of steals while hitting 56.3% from the field and 43.5% from three on over 11 attempts. If the supporting cast steps up, Los Angeles should bounce back up the rankings.
vs Portland, vs Cleveland, @ Portland
20] Minnesota T’Wolves (+5) 2-0
Off to a surging start, the Wolves secured victories over Houston and New Orleans as they hope to get back into the post-season. Karl Anthony-Towns has been spectacular, as per usual, while Anthony Edwards has taken the next step, averaging 24 points a night.
vs New Orleans, @ Milwakuee, vs Denver
21] Boston Celtics (-10) 1-2
Ime Udoka’s start as a head coach has been rocky, with a double overtime defeat to New York, and then a loss to the Raptors before defeating the lowly Houston Rockets has some in New England worried. Still, the Celtics have the talent level to bounce back.
@ Charlotte*, vs Washington, @ Washington
22] Indiana Pacers (-3) 1-2
Pacers have been involved in a pair of overtime games, splitting it, and both of their losses have been come by a combined two points. Chris Duarte, who was passed up by teams in the draft due to age, has shown that his game was ready for the NBA, giving the Pacers over 20 a night.
vs Milwakuee, @ Toronto, @ Brooklyn, vs Toronto*
23] San Antonio Spurs (-) 1-2
Spurs secured a win against Orlando to start the season before dropping expected games to the Nuggets and Bucks. San Antonio has six players averaging double figures, with a seventh averaging just .3 below that mark, led by Keldon Johnson at 20.7, while veteran, Doug McDermott is connecting on 55.6% from range on 6 attempts a night. San Antonio might not win many games this year, but they will battle night in, and night out, in true Pop fashion.
vs LAL, @ Dallas, @ Milwakuee*
24] Toronto Raptors (-4) 1-2
Raptors finally getting to play at home, and are yet to snatch their first victory in Canada. However, they were able to secure a solid win in Boston, and with Pascal Siakam still out, Scottie Barnes has been playing exceptionally well, a sight that will be great to see next to Siakam, upon his return.
vs Chicago, vs Indiana, vs Orlando, @ Indiana*
25] New Orleans Pelicans (-3) 0-3
Pelicans have been leaving a lot to be desired, and the return of Zion Williamson can not be coming faster. Nickeil Alexander-Walker has been playing well, 17.3 points and 8 rebounds per outing.
@ Minnesota, vs Atlanta, vs Sacramento, vs New York*
26] Cleveland Cavaliers (+2) 1-2
Cleveland was able to steal one away from Atlanta, after dropping to Memphis and Charlotte and are looking to be a dark horse for the post-season this year. With six players averaging double digits while rookie Evan Mobley is putting up 15.7/8.3/3.0 and 2.3 blocks, with a couple of breaks, the Cavaliers can pull that surprise.
@ Denver, @ LAC, @ LAL, @ Phoenix*
27] Orlando Magic (+2) 1-2
Cole Anthony had an amazing night during the tail end of a home and home against the New York Knicks, as he scored 29 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and dished out 8 assists to lead his side to their first victory of the young season. Orlando has themselves a nice talent after choosing to stop being a treadmill side.
@ Miami*, vs Charlotte, @ Toronto, @ Detroit*
28] Houston Rockets (-1) 1-2
Jalen Green put up 30 points while draining 8 threes in a losing effort against the Boston Celtics, and the Rockets secured a victory against Oklahoma City on the young season. With a tough week coming up, Houston fans should be focused on the improvement of Green.
@Dallas, vs Utah, @ LAL
29] Oklahoma City Thunder (-3) 0-3
Oklahoma City is in yet another year of rebuilding, but the excitement of youth is there for the team, led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Josh Giddey has proven himself to be a solid talent while Darius Bazley has shown flashes. OKC won’t win many games, might not even be close in most of them, but they will be fun to watch.
vs Golden State, vs LAL*, @ GSW
30] Detroit Pistons (-) 0-2
Losing a home and home to Chicago, the Pistons have a busy week coming up, with three road games and a single home tally. Top pick Cade Cunningham is yet to suit up, and Detroit has nothing to look forward to until that happens.
@ Atlanta, @ Philadelphia, vs Orlando, @ Brooklyn*