The Celtics and Nuggets are advancing in masks

After almost a month of competition, the NBA positions are starting to thin. In the Eastern Conference, the Milwaukee Bucks continue to lead the dance, followed by the Boston Celtics who are back behind them. In the Western Conference, the Utah Jazz and the Blazers are not slowing down, along with one team that has returned to the top of the standings, the Denver Nuggets. Here’s our review of the 4th competitive week in the NBA.

The Celtics and the Nuggets, the power attack

If the Milwaukee Bucks (10-2) saw their invincibility come to an end last week with 2 losses to Atlanta and San Antonio, the Wisconsin team mostly had to do without their big-three (G.Antetokounmpo, J.Holiday and K.Middleton ), was injured and left to rest a few games. That doesn’t stop the Bucks from staying at the top of the eastern conference. But one team came back very strong in their basque, the Boston Celtics (10-3). Always carried by their magic duo of Jayson Tatum (32.3 pts, 7.3 rebounds and 4.1 ast) and Jaylen Brown (25.3 pts, 6.8 rebounds and 3.3 ast), the Celtics are running at full speed with the offense that is now the best offense in the points scored in the entire league (almost 120 points on average) and didn’t rely on consistent defense for 48 minutes, Boston knew how to close out the game late in the game . With a 6 game winning streak, the Celtics are right there at the beginning of the season. Another team is back in the race, and we didn’t expect it, the washington wizards (8-6) by Bradley Beal and Kristaps Porzingis. With 4 wins last week, including 3 against the teams at the top of the Western Conference table (Dallas, Utah and Memphis), the Wizards surprised a pleasant team to see play and a more oiled collective than last season (4 players with more than 11 points). However, we must not forget that Washington had already made a good start to the 2021-2022 season before collapsing…

In the Western conference, the Denver Nuggets (9-4) by Nikola Jokic is finally where we expect them to be. With the return this season of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr, the Colorado team is a contender for the title. With 7 wins in 9 games, Nikola Jokic doesn’t need to force his attacking talent (20.8 pts, 9.5 rbds and 8.9 ast) and play his teammates. As a result, the offensive animation of the Nuggets is attractive (117.1 pts average) and the double NBA MVP is no longer the only danger in the attack. As a result, Denver leads the Western Conference with something surprising Portland Blazers (9-4), who continues to go the distance with leader Damian Lillard (28.6 pts, 5.0 rbds and 6.0 ast), back after a minor calf injury. Overrevving or not, Oregon’s players continue, as do the Utah Jazz (10-5), who after defeating 2 teams from Los Angeles in California (the Lakers and the Clippers), lost only 2 straight games to Washington and Philly and gave up their spot as the leader. Special mention for Sacramento Kings (6-6) who, after starting the season with a 4-game losing streak, managed just 6 victories in 8 games to balance their record. Domantas Sabonis and De’Aaron Fox’s relationship is moving forward in meetings and hopes have been rekindled among Kings fans to finally get a glimpse of the NBA play-offs after a 16-year absence.

It’s disappointing that the Bulls, Warriors and Lakers are still struggling

The team was formed to play the play-off, the Chicago Bulls (6-8) seems disoriented. With high players like Demar DeRozan, Zach Lavine, Nikola Vucevic or Goran Dragic, the collective of the Illinois team cannot make a game. But above all in the intensity and the defensive efforts the problems are the most glaring. Without doubts and without the desire to fight, the players of Billy Donovan do not show the face of a team that wants to play at the top of the table. As for New York Knicks (6-7) that has alternated between good and bad since the start of the season. With a defensive coach (Tom Thibodeau), the Knicks seemed to find the right footing 2 seasons ago. But the observation is that from last season, the workforce of the Big Apple is not built for this type of game. Often amorphous on the ground, like an Evan Fournier lost in his starting place but also in the body language of some players suggesting that the union is hanging by a thread with the coach, the Knicks are preparing, again , for a galley season.

California is still struggling in the NBA after a month of competition. After a difficult road trip (5 losses), the Golden State Warriors (5-8) found their audience and the victories (sluggish victories against the Kings and Cavs). But again on the road last night, the NBA champions couldn’t stop the Kings from getting their revenge. Result, an 8th losing 13 games and executives like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymon Green and Jordan Poole needing to raise their intensity level outside of San Francisco. Hell, the Los Angeles Lakers (3-10) understood this to their cost. With only one small victory in the last 6 meetings, LA continue to fail and no positive signs are showing. If Russell Westbrook (16.3 pts, 5.5 rbds and 7.2 ast) finds his rhythm off the bench, it doesn’t stop the losses. Lebron James is injured and out of several games, the future looks very bleak in the city of angels and changes are expected in the coming weeks.

NBA Player of the Week: Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)

Leader of a finalist team last season, and riding a 6-game winning streak, Jayson Tatum has been a quieter leader this season in the NBA. In the past week, the Celtics player produced at least 36.7 pts, 5.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists, to lead his team to second place in the Eastern Conference. Solid in the hot weather, the franchise player from Boston has only one goal in mind, to bring a new title back to Massachusetts.



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