NBA Christmas report card: The place do all 30 groups stand going into New Yr? | NBA Information

It has been a scintillating begin to the season, with motion, controversy and drama galore in each the Japanese and Western Conferences. Should you’ve missed out at any level, then you definately’ll wish to dive into the 30-team evaluation under, with all the newest perception in your favorite franchises.

1) Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics can not resolve who needs to high the East Convention standings. Leaders final week, MVP frontrunner Giannis Antetokounmpo and co have now returned because the quantity two seed after their 118-100 defeat to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday. In doing so, they handed over an eighth consecutive victory to their opponents, who at the moment are working of their longest lively successful streak since 2012.

Giannis Antetokounmpo plays against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Giannis Antetokounmpo performs towards the Cleveland Cavaliers.

2) Boston Celtics

Again with a bang atop the East Convention standings, it was as soon as once more the mesmerising duo of Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown who demoted the Bucks, with a 121-109 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. It was a much-needed win after the Celtics racked up consecutive defeats to the Orlando Magic and appeared in turmoil forward of the Christmas run-in with 4 losses in 5 video games. Fortuitously, Tatum and Brown, who scored 23 of his 36 factors on Friday within the fourth quarter, was in a position to assist flip issues round. His crew will want extra of the identical once they face off the Bucks in a tantalising Christmas Day match-up.

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Highlights of the Minnesota Timberwolves towards the Boston Celtics in Week 10 of the NBA season

3) Memphis Grizzlies

No Ja Morant, no hassle. Certainly, the return of Desmond Bane, who had been sidelined for months with an harm, has revitalised the Grizzlies assault. In opposition to the Devin-Booker-less Phoenix Suns this weekend, he racked up 17 factors alongside Jaren Jackson Jr. Now tied with the Denver Nuggets for the Western Convention lead at 20-11, the Grizzlies shall be seeking to construct on this promising victory forward of their subsequent stretch of fixtures on the highway.

4) Cleveland Cavaliers

Don’t be fooled by their positioning in our standings. For the reason that return of Jarrett Allen, the Cavs have quietly risen to 6-2, reinstating their defensive strengths with victory over the Utah Jazz this week. Working on a four-game successful streak, evidently the celebrities could be lastly lining up for Donovan Mitchell and co forward of this February’s All-Star sport.

5) Denver Nuggets

With Nikola Jokic within the form of kind he has been of late, there isn’t any denying the Nuggets warrants a point out as they battle to grab the No 1 seed from the Grizzlies. Certainly, Jokic grew to become the third participant to register a 40-25-10 sport final week towards the Charlotte Hornets. Alongside the returning Jamal Murray, there’s has been a notable distinction; on this Saturday’s 120-107 victory over the Portland Path Blazers the pair mixed for 54 factors.

Proceed on this kind, and his positioning amongst the MVP standings will solely flourish.

6) Brooklyn Nets

There’s one thing particular taking place underneath new head coach Jacque Vaughn. Certainly, the Nets have claimed eight wins in a row, together with 11 of their final 12 throughout all competitions. Couple that with the very fact Kevin Durant is in MVP-form, averaging 30.4 factors a sport, with the Kyrie Irving debacle behind them, and the hype across the Nets in the mean time is greater than warranted. The actual fact they put away the Milwaukee Bucks this Saturday is maybe way more telling than any of their particular person property.

7) Phoenix Suns

The Suns have been all the craze just lately, for causes that concern the basketball, in addition to motion away from the courtroom. For starters, Devin Booker exploded with 58 factors final week towards the New Orleans Pelicans. Then, inside days of that victory, the upcoming sale of the franchise was introduced by NBA insiders, to Mat Ishbia within the neighbourhood of $4bn. After all, as quickly as issues began going effectively, they had been hit with accidents, which is why you possibly can by no means fairly inform whether or not “issues going effectively” really equates to something. They actually are maintaining followers on their toes on this Christmas stretch.

8) New Orleans Pelicans

After a seven-game successful streak, led by the transcendent Zion Williamson, the Pelicans stumbled again right down to earth with 4 consecutive defeats, choosing up losses to the Jazz, the Suns, and the No 1 seed within the East, the Bucks. It appears no matter gears Williamson and co had been levelling as much as, weren’t sustainable. It took a efficiency to recollect from Trey Murphy III to overturn a nine-point deficit that led to their first victory in 5 video games towards the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder this Saturday.

The return of Brandon Ingram, and regular rehabilitation of CJ McCollum shall be key within the upcoming weeks.

9) Philadelphia 76ers

Since their tense additional time win over the Toronto Raptors on Monday, the 76ers at the moment are having fun with a sixth consecutive win, and that is with out Tyrese Maxey. With Maxey set to return after the Christmas interval, Joel Embiid has pulled off a mammoth job to maintain the offense ticking alongside. In Saturday’s win over the Los Angeles Clippers, he racked up one other 44 factors as his facet overcame a 20-point deficit within the first half to steal all of the glory. They’re going to want his prowess on Christmas Day once they face off the Boston Celtics.

10) Los Angeles Clippers

Accidents and diseases have plagued the Clippers for weeks, with Paul George, Reggie Jackson, Ivica Zubac and Norm Powell out. The silver lining, nevertheless, is that Kawhi Leonard appears to be within the type of his life, after having spent the higher a part of a yr recovering from an ACL tear. The Clippers star put up 25 factors towards the Celtics this month, after which adopted it up with a season-high 31 towards the Wizards. The Clippers will want Leonard to proceed on this kind as his team-mates return to health.

11) New York Knicks

After breezing their well beyond the Golden State Warriors on Monday, the Knicks had racked up eight wins on the trot. It ought to have been 9 this Friday towards a Chicago Bulls facet languishing at 12-18. However DeMar DeRozan flipped the script, hitting a jumper with lower than a second left to play to present the Bulls a 118-117 win. It shouldn’t be too regarding, provided that RJ Barrett and Julius Randle have persistently been in effective kind, sufficient to recommend they need to have the ability to get again on monitor.

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Highlights of the Chicago Bulls towards the New York Knicks in Week 10 of the NBA season

12) Portland Path Blazers

The Blazers have misplaced three of their final 4 video games, however the extra inspiring information is Damian Lillard is again, like *again* again. He is averaging 28.3 factors per sport, with seven assists so as to add towards groups that discovered it troublesome to include him. None extra so evident than within the defeat to the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder. It took a scintillating efficiency from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to spoil the celebration.

13) Sacramento Kings

The Kings could be on their strategy to a primary playoff go to since 2006, led by the formidable pairing of De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis. Certain, they’ve suffered questionable defeats to the Charlotte Hornets, New York Knicks, and most just lately, the Washington Wizards. However they’re the quantity six seed within the Western Convention, and apart from dealing with the Denver Nuggets, have a winnable set of fixtures within the post-Christmas stretch.

14) Miami Warmth

It is onerous to have any actual religion within the Warmth when they’re so inconsistent of their outcomes. One week they’re successful towards the Rockets, the subsequent they’re shedding to the tanking San Antonio Spurs and fading Indiana Pacers. Ought to we be excited that they’ve received 4 of their final 5 outings? That Tyler Herro is averaging 24.9 factors a sport? Or that they appear to have a purposeful defensive setup? Solely time will inform.

15) Atlanta Hawks

Issues haven’t been all that rosy in Atlanta, however a minimum of the return of Dejounte Murray and John Collins shall be welcome information.

The pair had been sidelined for a mixed 13 video games, each coping with ankle accidents. Of their absence, the Hawks misplaced consecutive video games to the Magic, slipping to the seventh seed within the standings.

Each dove straight again into the motion on their return; Murray added 26 factors to the win over the Pistons on Friday, whereas Collins racked up 12 rebounds.

The Hawks will want each of their subsequent stretch of video games, that includes the Brooklyn Nets, Los Angeles Lakers, and the Indiana Pacers.

16) Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks are led by arguably the most effective participant within the league in Luka Doncic, evident in Friday’s career-high, 50-point efficiency towards the Houston Rockets.

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Highlights of the Dallas Mavericks towards the Houston Rockets in Week 10 of the NBA season

They’re additionally flaunting one of many worst defensive data within the league. Not solely have they misplaced 10 of their final 17 video games, however they’ve allowed over 115 factors per sport too.

It is no shock, contemplating the accidents rife of their defensive setup. However except they’re able to outscore opponents, which could be aided of their commerce conversations, not even Doncic will have the ability to save them.

Upcoming video games on Christmas Day, together with the Timberwolves, Rockets and Lakers, ought to have the ability to halt their slide a minimum of briefly.

17) Utah Jazz

They began off because the league’s shock crew, at one stage the No 1 seed within the West. Many mentioned it will not final – it did not. The Jazz at the moment are the quantity eight seed, although one factor has not modified; they’re nonetheless being led by the attacking prowess of Lauri Markkanen, who scored a career-high 38 factors towards the Detroit Pistons final Monday. Extra impressively, he was 9-of-13 from three-point vary, tying Channing Frye for essentially the most threes hit by a seven-footer in a sport.

18) Golden State Warriors

Issues are nor all that golden in any respect for the Warriors in the mean time. With Stephen Curry out for a month with a shoulder harm, becoming a member of Klay Thompson and Andrew Wiggins, a torrid file on the highway, and all accountability laden upon James Wiseman and Jordan Poole, the truth of an early exit from the motion is setting in.

Can the Warriors even snatch a play-in spot if issues proceed on this vein? Will coach Steve Kerr be pressured to make trades to shake issues up? Is Draymond Inexperienced proper in labelling this franchise as ‘fragile’? How will the defending champions reply to their abysmal 143-113 defeat to the Brooklyn Nets?

19) Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves don’t appear like a facet positive of the place they stand within the combat to stay an honest crew within the standings, or a crew seeking to declare a future first-round choose. Simply final week they racked up a franchise-record 150 factors, earlier than showcasing their worst offensive efficiency final Wednesday, following it up with defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. They might want to present up as the previous of their subsequent run of fixtures on the highway.

20) Indiana Pacers

The Pacers have misplaced eight of their final 11 video games, however they’re nonetheless able to flashes of brilliance. This week, towards the Miami Warmth, it was Tyrese Haliburton main the cost.

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The Indiana Pacers’ Tyrese Haliburton broke the file for many factors scored in a sport for the Indiana Pacers and equalled essentially the most scored towards the Miami Warmth

Certainly, Haliburton exploded with 43 factors, together with a successful three-pointer within the ultimate 4 seconds of the sport – all this, on the again of a 33-point sport within the win towards the Boston Celtics on Wednesday. Can the Pacers depend on him, and to that extent, rookie Andrew Nembhard to proceed to defy the percentages?

21) Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers appeared in good spirits – after which they had been hit with an harm to their greatest participant, Anthony Davis. Davis had been in MVP kind, racking up 40 + factors in consecutive video games earlier than he was struck down with flu-like signs and a proper foot harm. Updates since that wretched day recommend a stress harm that can put Davis out of the motion for weeks, which suggests it might be right down to LeBron James and his assist act to pull the Lakers via their subsequent spherical of video games.

22) Toronto Raptors

Once they say, “issues could not get any worse”, they’re positively speaking in regards to the Toronto Raptors this season. Certainly, they rank twenty ninth within the NBA in three-point share, have misplaced 9 of their final 12 video games and at present are the quantity 10 seed within the East. But, the place there is a Pascal Siakam, there is a means. Certainly, the Raptors star has been the main man in current video games. On Wednesday, he scored a career-high 52 factors towards the New York Knicks, nabbing one other 26 on Saturday.

If Siakam can preserve his kind alongside Fred VanVleet, there nonetheless could be hope but on this Christmas run in.

23) Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder

It is the Shai Gilgeous-Alexander present in Oklahoma, sufficient to warrant his place in our MVP predictions and picks. On Monday evening, he hit a baseline jumper on the buzzer to beat the Portland Path Blazers. Not as fortunate this Friday when his facet misplaced to the New Orleans Pelicans, SGA was nonetheless in a position to contribute with 44 factors and 10 rebounds.

Ought to he stay match, he has greater than made an argument for his inclusion within the All-Star conversations.

24) Orlando Magic

Orlando are within the midst of their greatest interval of basketball this season. Having now received eight of their final 9 video games, which included two victories over the Boston Celtics, and extra just lately, a 133-poinr rout over the San Antonio Spurs, it’s their talisman, Paolo Banchero, orchestrating the enchantment.

Averaging over 20 factors within the video games he begins this season, Banchero is main the Rookie of the Yr charts, and extra importantly, the Magic’s declare to higher picks come this July.

25) Chicago Bulls

The Bulls have misplaced seven of their final 10 video games however had been in a position to snap that streak on Friday towards the New York Knicks due to DeRozan’s attacking contributions.

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Highlights of the Chicago Bulls towards the New York Knicks in Week 10 of the NBA season

Although their talisman might need acquired them via that specific enterprise, there nonetheless stays loads of considerations surrounding their defence; they gave up 150 factors to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday far too simply. How will they fare towards the Milwaukee Bucks?

26) Washington Wizards

Bradley Beal’s return has resulted in a collective sigh of aid in Washington. The Wizards ahead had been sidelined with a hamstring harm for months. His first name to motion? Serving to his crew snap a 10-game shedding streak towards the Phoenix Suns. Beal made 4 three-throws within the ultimate 13 seconds. He then adopted that up with 24 factors to beat away the Sacramento Kings on Friday. They may want him to select up from alongside Kyle Kuzma if they’re to climb up the Convention, with six of their subsequent eight video games on the highway.

27) San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs are in full tanking mode. They didn’t put up a lot of combat once they misplaced DeRozan final yr within the commerce permutations and appeared all too completely happy to assert 4 future first-round picks. This season, they’re the 14th seeds within the East Convention, and have 20 defeats already racked up. Although Gregg Popovich claims they’re in it to combat, this one is already seeming a shedding battle from the onset. Anticipate the losses to proceed flowing.

28) Houston Rockets

The Rockets have been experimenting in fairly just a few methods this season, mainly in beginning rookie Tari Eason – the quantity 17 total choose – as their guard. Surprisingly, it has paid off. For starters, Eason picked up two buzzer-beater performances in the previous couple of weeks and stays considered one of 5 gamers within the draft class with constructive plus-minuses. Whether or not he can proceed his streak of success is but to be seen.

29) Charlotte Hornets

The Hornets had been in a position to halt an eight-game skid with victory over the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings, nevertheless it appears an increasing number of like they need to embrace the tanking and attempt to snap up Victor Wembanyama whereas they’ve the prospect. The returning LaMelo Ball does barely complicate that method. However their upcoming fixture listing, which incorporates the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder, might present an excessive amount of punch to overthrow.

30) Detroit Pistons

The Pistons could be the fifteenth seed within the Japanese Convention, however they’re impressing with Alec Burks main the offence. The problems inside the franchise come from their defence, or their lack of. Certain, the Pistons have scored a franchise-record 141 factors towards the Hornets, however they routinely conceded over 120 factors, and that can show to be their greatest downfall.

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