Roughly one-third of the way through the NBA season, here are 15 thoughts for each team in the Eastern Conference. This should be fun.
Atlanta Hawks– Congratulations, Trae Young. You are Eastern Conference Player of the Month. You have joined the ranks among all-time greats Michael Carter-Williams, Andrew Wiggins, Ben McElmore, Chris Copeland, and Yi Jianlian. I’m just kidding, really, it’s a good sign.
Boston Celtics– Haywards recent 30 point/9 rebound/8 assist explosion versus the Minnesota Timberwolves seems to be a complete outlier. A few days later, Hayward went 2/6 from the field for 8/6/4. His season averages are 11/5.5/3.5/1 head of hair most resembling a Pidgeotto.
Brooklyn Nets– What is the general consensus on Kenny Atkinson? Everyone knows the roster is a flaming pile of garbage, but Atkinson keeps Brooklyn’s Offensive Rating at a respectable 109.2, 18th in the NBA. Not bad when 300-pound Jared Dudley is your starting power forward.
Charlotte Hornets– In classic Hornets fashion, Charlotte is yet again under-performing compared to their expected win-loss record. Per basketball reference, the Hornets’ expected W/L is 15-10. Alas, they are actually below .500 at 12-13. At least they are hell-bent on re-signing Kemba Walker, who has cooled off substantially in the last several weeks, shooting 38% from the field in his last eight games.
Chicago Bulls– It is the end of an era in Chicago. Fred “The Mayor” Hoidberg, after going .500 or above in his first two seasons, finished his tenure in Chicago with a 115-155 record. Move over, Vinny Del Negro, there’s a new sheriff in town.
Cleveland Cavaliers– Cleveland Cav legend Matthew Dellavedova has made his triumphant return to The Land. This is the best news out of Cleveland all season. In a Cavs uniform, Delly is 143-103.
Detroit Pistons– Forget about Detroit’s recent three-game skid. Blake Griffin has returned to being a monster on the court and slowly becoming one of the most likeable players in the NBA. Okay, I’m kidding about the second part. But 25.2/9.3/5.0 on .577 True-shooting percentage is All-NBA worthy!
Indiana Pacers– The Pacers have been treading water without Victor Oladipo in the lineup. Will this continue? How long is Oladipo going to sit? Will Lance Stephenson be back on the Pacers in less than 60 days? Nobody knows.
Miami Heat– The Goran Dragic decline is real, folks.
- 2016-17: 20.3/5.8, .575 TS%
- 2017-18 17.3/4.8, .543 TS%
- This season- 15.9/5.1, .518 TS%
Milwaukee Bucks– Will Khris Middleton make the All-star Game this February? Absolutely.
New York Knicks– The Knicks appear to be out on Frank Ntilikina. After playing less than 15 minutes per game in his last four appearances, Frankie Smokes has been a big, fat DNP-CD the last three games.
Orlando Magic– The Disney squad has stepped up their game this season, many thanks to Nikola Vucevic, who is having a career-year. 23.0/11.3/3.7 on .617 TS%. What is in this guys’ Hunny B’s?
Philadelphia 76ers– Joel Embiid has fallen off a cliff since Jimmy Butler came to town. Sure, the Sixers are winning games, but Embiid doesn’t seem to be a happy camper. His points per-game has dropped nearly five points, 28.2 to 23.8. His field-goal percentage has also plummeted from 48.4 to 43.1.
Toronto Raptors– Kyle Lowry has likewise regressed substantially in the past several games. Lowry is has made five shots from three-point range in his last 27 attempts. He is going to need to step up sooner than later is the Raptors expect to remain atop the Eastern Conference.
Washington Wizards– Don’t look now, but the Wizards are playing like a professional basketball team again. After starting the season 2-9, the Wizards are now 11-14. John Wall, however, is still a nightmare to deal with.