the Celtics in power, the Kings of California!

As every week, Westport reviews the past week in the NBA, including the delights and disappointments. In the Eastern Conference, the 2022 finalists, the Boston Celtics, took over following the Bucks’ injury-plagued losing streak. In the West, the Jazz continue to surprise as one team goes on to win, the Sacramento Kings. Go back to 5th competitive week in the NBA.

NBA: who will stop Boston and SAC?

Although it was a difficult end to the summer with the Ime Udoka affair and the injuries to D.Gallinari and R.Williams, doubts surrounding the Boston Celtics. With an inexperienced coach, Joe Mazzula, the specialists did not know what to expect from the beginning to the season from the Massachusetts players. But after fifteen games, the conclusion is clear: let’s hope for the NBA finalists again this season! With the best record in the NBA (13-3), Jayson Tatum (30.3 pts, 7.4 rebounds and 4.5 ast) and his teammates are still making an attractive offensive game (more than 120 points per game registered) and remains on 9 victories in a row, which put them in front of Milwaukee Bucks (11-4), which had to rest some players last week (G.Antetokounmpo, B.Lopez, J.Holiday…). Another team in form at the moment, and this is a surprise, the Indiana Pacers (9-6). Revealed in the shallow and in the rebuilding, the Pacers managed to climb into the top 5 in the East with a good attack (116.4 pts). With an all-star level point guard that continues to improve, Tyrese Haliburton, who is the best distributor in the NBA with an average of 10.5 assists, and the contribution of rookie Bennedict Mathurin (19 pts on average), Indiana gained confidence, which is important for a very young group. Can they keep up? Answer in the next few weeks!

If in the Eastern conference, logic is more or less respected, what about the Western conference? With the Jazz (12-6), the Blazers (10-6) and the Kings (9-6) in the top 5, we can’t say that many people released this ranking after 5 weeks of NBA competition! In Salt Lake City, it seems like nothing can stop the Jazz. In the condition of Lauri Markkanen producing career-best basketball (22.3 pts and 8.4 rebounds), the Jazz collective continues on its merry way, like the Portland Blazers. And this despite a Damian Lillard less productive in attack (26.3 pts and 7 ass), the Oregon franchise can rely on players like this Jeremy Grant (almost 20 pts per game for the former Piston) and Anfernee Simons (22.5 pts) justifying the decision made by Blazers leaders to move CJ McCollum. But the team in the form of the moment is called the Sacramento Kings! After a disastrous start (4 losses in 4 games), the California players found their stride. In the back By Aaron Fox (25.4 pts and 6.4 assists) and Domantas Sabonis (17.5 pts and 11 rebounds), this is a whole group that takes advantage of their talent to express themselves. Malik Monk, Kevin Huerter, Terence Davis and the entire bench know their roles and what they can bring. The quest now remains to reach the play-offs next spring, which Kings fans have been waiting 16 years for!

There is no sign of improvement in the Bulls, Heat, Warriors and Lakers

The weeks follow each other and look alike for some teams, and especially for those who are not expected at this (low) level. With 6 wins in 16 games, where is the problem with Chicago Bulls ? In disappointing frames like Nikola Vucevic and Zach Lavinethe Illinois franchise couldn’t launch its season, and logically certain tensions with the coach began to emerge Billy Donovan. Even though the season is still long and there are more than 60 games left, the impression the Bulls have left is negative so far. Doubts are also there in Miami Heat. Despite a solid workforce, the Floridians (7-10) failed to gain continuity in efforts. A private shot of J. Butleranother one of K. Lowry, instability can be seen every night. While there is talent in the Miami franchise, the lack of consistency can cost you dearly. The only good news for these 2 teams in the Eastern Conference is in the homogeneity of the teams and the balances, which allows them to stay very close to the top 8 and the play-in.

On the other hand, nothing works for Los Angeles Lakers. With a dismal record of 5 wins and 10 losses, LA continues to languish in the final spots of the Western Conference. however, Russell Westbrook seems to have found its role on the bench and Anthony Davis (see below) finally found the level that was common to him. Deprived of lebron james, the Lakers must now chain victories like in the last few days to catch up. In Golden State Warriors, it’s a two-sided team at the moment. 7 wins in 8 home games contrasted with only 9 road wins. The reigning NBA champions still lack the intensity and character outside of San Francisco. Although the players have spoken to each other, the words have not yet been followed by actions. Although we still remain confident for this franchise knowing the talent of Stephen Curry where Clay Thompsonthe coming weeks will be interesting to follow to see the evolution taken by the teammates of Draymond Green.

Player of the week: Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers)

Lebron James is injured, Anthony Davis knows how to carry out his responsibilities in the absence of the quadruple NBA champion. The result was an impressive stat line of 35 points, 17, 6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 3 games last week, with 3 wins for his team. We know that Unibrow is able to dominate his position when his body leaves him and he is aggressive. The Lakers will need an Anthony Davis at this level to climb the ranks and find the play-offs!

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