10) Dallas Mavericks:
The Dallas Mavericks have a legitimate super-star in Luka Doncic. He is averaging 30.3 points, 9.3 assists and 10.7 rebounds per game. He is an offensive machine and defenses haven’t found a way to stop him. Kristaps Porzingis will get better as the year goes on. He missed all of last season with an injury and is averaging 18.6 points, 2.2 blocks and 8.9 rebounds per game. This team is built around these two young players. They need to add more scoring and depth over the next few years.
9) Philadelphia 76ers:
The 76ers have looked sluggish, they are 9-5, but haven’t been consistent. Ben Simmons is averaging 14.1 points, 7.6 assists and 6.1 rebounds per game. Joel Embiid has become a double/double machine. He is averaging 23 points and 11 rebounds. Al Horford provides veteran leadership and that should help down the stretch and during playoff time.
8) Denver Nuggets:
The Nuggets are 10-3. They are perfectly built to win regular season games. They play hard, they play smart and the share the ball on offensive, every night. I just don’t see this team advancing passing the 2nd round of the playoffs. They have no one on this roster who can get you 25 points per game during the playoffs.
7) Miami Heat:
The Heat are fun to watch and have good chemistry. This is somewhat shocking because everywhere Jimmy Butler has played, he has appeared to be unhappy. They are getting contributions from their rookies and veterans. Miami could be the sleeper team in the Eastern Conference.
6) Toronto Raptors:
Should we just give Fred Van Fleet the Most Improved Player Award in the NBA? He is averaging 17 points, 7.6 assists and 4 rebounds. Pascal Siakam is the quietest super-star in the NBA. He is averaging 25.1 points and 8.8 rebounds per contest. This team is well coached and everyone knows their roles. I had Toronto as a borderline playoff team to start the season. I was wrong.
5) Los Angeles Clippers:
The Clippers have the best best depth in the NBA. They are going to need that bench because Kawhi Leonard and Paul George won’t play more than 68 games this season. The only goal that Doc Rivers has for this team… Be healthy for the Playoffs. LA could have the best 1-2-3 defensive combination in the NBA. Patrick Beverly, Leonard and George could give opposing offenses nightmares.
4) Houston Rockets:
James Harden is averaging 38.4 points per game. He is putting up “video-game” like numbers. Russell Westbrook is thriving now that he is the #2 option. The Former UCLA star is averaging 21 points,8 rebounds and 7 assists. Clint Capela has controlled the paint with 2.2 blocks and 10.5 rebounds per contest. This team is fun to watch and will put up a ton of points. The question is… can Houston get stops late in the 4th quarter when they need too?
3) Milwaukee Bucks:
Is Giannis Antetokounmpo the most complete player in the NBA? Offensively and defensively his numbers are what fantasy basketball players dream of. He is averaging 30.5 points, 13.8 rebounds, 6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks. Khris Middleton is going to mix the next month or so with an injury. This teams depth is the question. How many minutes can “The Greek Freak” play per night? He is going to need help and the Bucks coaching staff should rest him about 10 to 12 game during the regular season.
2) Boston Celtics:
The Boston Celtics are better without Kryie Irving. They have 4 players in their starting lineup who are averaging over 18 points per game. Before his injury, Gordon Hayward, was averaging 18 points, 7 rebound and 4 assists. Enes Kanter provides interior scoring and rebounding off the bench or as a starter. Brad Stevens is a very good coach. Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum are averaging 42 points per game. This team will be a top 4 seed in the east.
1) Los Angeles Lakers:
The Lakers have the best record in the NBA. Their team is playing with energy, intensity and their chemistry looks great. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are the best 1-2 punch in the league. They are averaging, 50.2 points, 17 rebounds, 14 assists, 4 blocks and 3 steals combined. Kyle Kuzma and Dwight Howard are providing great sparks off the bench. Danny Green and Avery Bradley are providing some offense and great defense. I am shocked at how everyone on this team contributes every night. I still think the Lakers need to go after Chris Paul. Come playoff time, great defensive teams will pressure LeBron James full court and that will slow him down. The Clippers did this in the first game of the season and it worked.
The Phoenix Suns are playing very well. Ricky Rubio is averaging 13.6 points, 8.7 assists and 6.3 rebounds per game. Devin Booker is averaging 25 points per game. If this team can stay around .500 until Deandre Ayton comes back, they could be in the playoff hunt.
Andrew Wiggins is having a phenomenal start to the season. He is averaging 25.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. He is finally living up to his #1 overall draft pick hype.
The Portland Trail Blazers have struggled big-time to start the season. This is a team that was looking to have a 1-4 seed by the end of the year. They look sluggish, bored and out of sync.
Knicks rookie, RJ Barrett has been great. He is averaging 16 points, 3.6 assists and 5.6 rebounds per game. He is consistent every night and contributes, even when he is not scoring. He is a future star in the NBA.
Top 5 MVP Candidates:
5) Luka Doncic
4) Anthony Davis
3) James Harden
2) Giannis Antetokounmpo
1) LeBron James
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