Ladies and gents, your first-place Memphis Grizzlies. If there was any doubt about them incomes the No. 1 spot this week, they eradicated any shred of it with a 41-point thumping of the Bucks on Thursday night throughout which it appeared like they certainly not missed a shot. Memphis has now gained seven video video games in a row and 9 of its last 10. Ja Morant missed a recreation and shot 36 p.c for the week, and the Grizzlies nonetheless gained by a imply of 26 components. The experience is so deep and the occasion has been so spectacular that you should admire what the Grizzlies have been able to do in just a few seasons.
Now we have not said this often this season, nevertheless what a troublesome week for the Celtics. Consecutive blowout losses to the Warriors and Clippers have been adopted by an extra time win over the Lakers that required a monumental late comeback. Jayson Tatum averaged 27.3 components and 9 rebounds for the week, whereas Jaylen Brown added 25.7 components per recreation on 54 p.c capturing. The safety is the first concern, nevertheless a back-to-back home set in the direction of the Magic — and the return of Robert Williams III — ought to help regenerate Boston’s confidence.
The Pelicans started off the week with consecutive wins over the Suns, the first of which sparked some controversy when Zion Williamson decided to unleash a vicious 360 windmill dunk instead of working out the clock inside the final seconds. The tip of the week didn’t go as correctly, nonetheless, as New Orleans dropped two video video games to the Jazz in Salt Lake Metropolis. With Brandon Ingram nonetheless out, Williamson has been a terror, averaging 31.8 components, eight rebounds and 5 assists this week on 63 p.c capturing. He even went 3 for six from 3-point fluctuate, just for kicks. The safety, which has been so good all season, slipped a bit this week as they allowed a minimum of 117 components in each recreation.
This week was a roller coaster for the Bucks, who beat the Mavs, then misplaced to the Rockets, then beat the Warriors, then obtained annihilated by the Grizzlies by 41 components. Khris Middleton turned his ankle merely six minutes into the Houston recreation, nevertheless was able to come once more for the next two video video games. Sadly Jrue Trip missed every of those video video games attributable to an illness, so Milwaukee was not typically full. Giannis Antetokounmpo was the mainstay, averaging 23.3 components, 11.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per recreation, nevertheless he shot an uncharacteristic 41 p.c from the sector. Bobby Portis put up a double-double of 17.8 components and 10.3 rebounds per recreation for the week.
Denver solely had two video video games this week, beating the Jazz and the Wizards. They scored 141 components in the direction of Washington, with Nikola Jokic putting up a ridiculous line of 43 components, 14 rebounds and eight assists. Jamal Murray averaged 17.5 components and 5.5 assists inside the two video video games, capturing 60 p.c from the sector.
You already know points are rolling for those who sit primarily your whole rotation and nonetheless come away with a win. Edmond Sumner, Cam Thomas and Day’Ron Sharpe have been glorious in an unbelievable win over the Pacers on Saturday. Within the meantime, the Nets gained their totally different two video video games this week as correctly, making it eight of their last 9. Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving blended to frequent virtually 60 components inside the wins over Atlanta and Washington, whereas Ben Simmons put up eight components, seven rebounds and 6 assists in virtually 22 minutes per recreation.
It was a barely weird week for the Cavs, who lower up video video games in the direction of the Kings and Thunder with out Donovan Mitchell, then misplaced to the Spurs in his return sooner than selecting up a robust win in Dallas. The safety was sturdy in all 4 video video games, nevertheless offense was slightly little bit of a battle, even with Mitchell averaging 31 components after making his return. Darius Garland struggled this week capturing the ball, hitting merely 36 p.c from the sector.
The Clippers opened a complete lot of eyes with three straight wins, along with a blowout of the Celtics throughout which Kawhi Leonard appeared like KAWHI LEONARD for the first time this season, going for 25 components, 9 rebounds and 6 assists on 10-for-12 capturing in 29 minutes. They rested Leonard, Paul George and a bunch of avid gamers in Thursday’s loss to the Suns, nevertheless that is doable solely a blip on the radar. George averaged 26.3 components, eight rebounds and 6.7 assists inside the three wins, whereas the Clippers allowed a frugal 97.6 components per 100 possessions. Let’s hope the workforce can preserve healthful for an trustworthy stretch this time.
The Jazz misplaced to the Wolves and Nuggets to start the week, nevertheless bounced once more for two sturdy home wins over the Pelicans, the second of which featured a 13-point comeback and some clutch shot-making down the stretch. Perhaps not coincidentally, Lauri Markkanen missed the two losses, and returned to frequent 25 components on 44 p.c 3-point capturing inside the wins over New Orleans. Malik Beasley is on one amongst his scorching streaks, averaging 20 components this week on 40 p.c from previous the arc, whereas Nickeil Alexander-Walker had a strong week at 16 components per recreation on 52 p.c 3-point capturing.
The 76ers put an end to a three-game shedding streak by starting a three-game profitable streak, beating the Lakers, Hornets and Kings in home video video games this week. Joel Embiid was a madman, averaging 40.7 components for the week — along with 53 on 32 pictures inside the win over Charlotte. James Harden had an especially surroundings pleasant week as correctly, averaging 22.7 components and 14.3 assists on 44 p.c 3-point capturing. De’Anthony Melton had a career night in the direction of the Lakers, putting up 33 components and seven steals whereas making eight 3-pointers.
The Blazers rattled off three further wins this week, two over the Wolves and one in the direction of the Spurs, and they also’re now 4-1 since Damian Lillard’s return from his latest injury hiatus. Speaking of Lillard, he has scored a minimum of 36 components in his last 4 video video games, along with an 11-3-pointer barrage in 29 minutes in the direction of Minnesota. That’s about as scorching as Lillard will get, and it has been good to see after his injury factors the ultimate couple of seasons. Anfernee Simons was an excellent working mate, averaging 22 components on 44 p.c 3-point capturing inside the three wins.
It’s good to see some pleasure throughout the Knicks — every the workforce and their followers — as they gained three further video video games this week to make it 5 in a row normal. Both facet of the ball have been clicking, with Julius Randle attempting similar to the All-Star of a pair seasons prior to now. He averaged 30.3 components and 9.3 rebounds this week on 36 p.c 3-point capturing, whereas RJ Barrett has come alive of late as correctly, putting up 25 components, 7.3 rebounds and 4 assists per recreation on 44 p.c from previous the arc.
The Kings went 2-2 this week, with wins over the Cavs and Raptors and losses to the Knicks and 76ers. Sacramento obtained right here once more from a 16-point deficit to beat Toronto on Wednesday, with Domantas Sabonis putting up a monster recreation of 21 components, 20 rebounds and seven assists. With De’Aaron Fox missing two video video games this week, Sabonis took the lead offensively, averaging 20.3 components, 15 rebounds and 5.5 assists. Rookie Keegan Murray is heating up from 3-point fluctuate, hitting 43 p.c this week en path to 12.3 components per recreation.
After shedding to the Pelicans twice and to the Rockets by 14 components to ship their shedding streak to five video video games, the Suns obtained a schedule break on Thursday and easily handled the Clippers with out an enormous contingent of their starters. Safety was the issue this week, as Phoenix allowed 120 components per 100 possessions inside the three losses. The good news is Chris Paul and Devin Booker are every once more on the courtroom docket, though neither has been able to find the capturing stroke. Mikal Bridges picked up the slack, averaging 20.8 components for the week on 36 p.c 3-point capturing.
After a loss to the Spurs, the Heat gained three shut video video games over the Pacers, Thunder and Rockets. They are not exactly blowing the doorways off opponents, nevertheless they may positively take the wins. Tyler Herro has been a wrecking ball, dropping a career-high 41 components and 10 3-pointers in the direction of the Rockets on Thursday and averaging 26.8 components for the week whereas making 55 p.c of his virtually 12 3-point makes an try per recreation. Herro, Caleb Martin and Max Strus have been the one Heat regulars to play all 4 video video games this week, as a result of the revolving door of accidents and leisure stays in motion.
The Pacers are possibly regretting the reality that they allowed 136 components in a loss to the depleted Nets, nevertheless they managed to close out a 2-2 week with a large win over the Warriors. Tyrese Haliburton continues to be the engine of the offense, averaging 22 components and eight assists this week on good 55/54/93 capturing splits. Buddy Hield saved up his great capturing, flattening 42 p.c of his 3-pointers whereas averaging 20.3 components for the week.
Points have been attempting up for the Warriors after their best win of the season over the Celtics on Saturday, but it surely absolutely didn’t last prolonged. Road losses to the Bucks and Pacers hurt, nevertheless not as lots as Steph Curry struggling a shoulder injury which will reportedly protect him out a minimum of just some weeks. Golden State has a minus-11.1 web rating this season with Curry off the bottom, and the offense plummets to a disturbing 99 components per 100 possessions. Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole would possibly need to step up, whereas it’ll be on Draymond Inexperienced, Kevon Looney and the safety to make up for the dearth of offensive firepower with out Curry.
The Mavs misplaced any momentum they seemed to be gaining last week, going 1-3 with ugly losses to the Bulls and Cavs. There’s a meme circulating of Luka Doncic refusing to shake the hand of Dwight Powell, which has sparked some concern about Doncic’s dedication to a workforce that gives him little offensive help. Doncic averaged 33.7 components, 8.3 assists and 7.3 rebounds this week, nevertheless shot merely 28 p.c from 3-point fluctuate. Safety has been the first downside, nonetheless, as a result of the Mavs allowed 122.5 components per 100 possessions this week — not exactly going to get it achieved.
The Wolves started off the week with a win in Rudy Gobert’s return to Utah, nevertheless dropped three straight video video games after that — two to the Blazers and one to the Clippers. D’Angelo Russell was scorching scorching inside the three video video games he carried out, putting up 25.7 components per recreation on 52 p.c 3-point capturing. Gobert’s scoring output has elevated since Karl-Anthony Cities’ injury, with the huge man putting up 18.3 components per recreation this week to go along with his 13.8 rebounds. Even with the output from these two, the Wolves managed merely 108.5 components per 100 possessions inside the 4 video video games.
Had been it not for a miracle extra time win over the Bulls on AJ Griffin’s contorting layup as time expired, this may occasionally have been an 0-4 week for the Hawks. They dropped video video games to the Nets, Grizzlies and Magic whereas allowing a robust 120 components per 100 possessions for the week — a sign that they’re having hassle adapting with out the safety of Dejounte Murray. Moreover they misplaced Clint Capela for a minimum of per week with a calf strain he suffered late inside the loss to Orlando, doubtlessly hurting the safety far more. Offensively, Bogdan Bogdanovic has been an unlimited enhance, averaging 25.3 components per recreation this week on 52/50/100 capturing splits to help out Trae Youthful, who shot decrease than 40 p.c from the sector.
Shedding consecutive video video games in Orlando just isn’t good for morale, and the Raptors adopted that up by blowing a 16-point lead in a heartbreaking loss to the Kings. Fred VanVleet struggled from 3-point fluctuate nevertheless found totally different strategies to achieve, averaging 26 components for the week along with a 39-point outburst in the direction of Sacramento. Pascal Siakam added virtually 25 components per recreation, nevertheless the safety merely wasn’t sufficient, allowing 119.2 components per 100 possessions.
After throttling the Mavs on Saturday, the Bulls dropped consecutive extra time video video games to the Hawks and Knicks. The Atlanta loss was crushing, as what appeared like three game-winning free throws by DeMar DeRozan have been rendered irrelevant by AJ Griffin’s twisting, miracle layup with half a second left. The offense was utterly on stage this week, putting up 122.2 components per 100 possessions behind 31.3 components per recreation from DeRozan and 20.7 from Zach LaVine.
The Lakers misplaced extra time video video games to the 76ers and Celtics this week, with a win over the Pistons in between. The Boston loss was considerably painful, as a result of the Lakers erased a 20-point deficit and held a 13-point lead with 4 minutes remaining inside the fourth quarter. Anthony Davis may very well be inside the MVP dialogue if the Lakers have been performing increased, as he saved on rolling with averages of 34 components and 13 rebounds this week on 62 p.c capturing. LeBron James struggled from 3-point fluctuate, nevertheless nonetheless put up 30.3 components and 6.7 assists per recreation.
What per week for the Magic, who beat the Raptors in consecutive video video games sooner than dispatching the Hawks with a 135-point exhibiting on Wednesday to ship their profitable streak to 4. Paolo Banchero is settling in after getting back from injury just a few weeks prior to now, averaging 21 components, eight rebounds and 5 assists this week. Nevertheless the true story was Franz Wagner, who put up 27 components per recreation on 54/53/89 capturing splits. Markelle Fultz and Cole Anthony have moreover equipped a spark inside the backcourt, each averaging over 12 components and 5 assists per recreation on 57 p.c capturing this week.
OK Rockets, we see you. Houston started off the week with home wins over the Bucks and Suns, and adopted that up with a three-point loss to the Heat. Inside the last two weeks, the Rockets have now crushed the 76ers, the Bucks and the Suns twice — some signature wins for a very youthful group. Jalen Inexperienced averaged 26 components for the week, nevertheless most spectacular have been his 7.3 free throw makes an try per recreation, along with 12 in the direction of the Suns. Part of his evolution is to find out how one can get his components even when his shot just isn’t falling. Rookie Jabari Smith Jr. didn’t shoot along with he has been, nevertheless he nonetheless virtually averaged a double-double with 11.7 components and 9.7 rebounds per recreation.
After shedding 11 video video games in a row, the Spurs ran their profitable streak to some with victories over the Heat and Cavs to start the week, sooner than shedding to the Blazers on Wednesday. Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell led the way in which during which, as unusual. Johnson averaged 22.3 components and 6.3 rebounds, whereas Vassell added 15.7 components and three steals per recreation. Veteran Josh Richardson equipped some scoring and courtroom docket spacing as correctly, putting up 12.7 components per recreation on 41 p.c 3-point capturing.
OKC misplaced video video games to the Cavs, Mavs and Heat this week, as a result of the simply recently potent offense took slightly little bit of a dip. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander averaged over 30 components for the week, as unusual, nevertheless he made solely 29 p.c of his 3-point makes an try. Josh Giddey put up 16.7 components, 9.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists per recreation, whereas rookie Jalen Williams seems to be hitting his stride, averaging 14 components this week on 62 p.c capturing.
The Pistons salvaged what would have been a winless week with a 141-point effort in an extra time win over the Hornets. Sadly, as well as they found that prized second-year guard Cade Cunningham will miss the remainder of the season attributable to shin surgical process. Foremost bummer. With kids Killian Hayes, Saddiq Bey and Jaden Ivey struggling from the sector this week, Bojan Bogdanovic was the workforce’s fundamental scorer with 27 components per recreation on 41 p.c 3-point capturing. He lit up the Lakers for 38 components on 6 for 12 from deep.
4 further losses for the Wizards — three by double digits — brings the final skid to a painful eight video video games, as they’ve gone 0-for-December to this point. The safety has been powerful, most simply recently allowing 141 components to the Nuggets in Wednesday’s loss. Jordan Goodwin has been an superior story, averaging 14.8 components, 5.5 assists and three.3 steals this week whereas filling in as a starter for Monte Morris in two video video games. Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis carried the offense, each averaging larger than 26 components, whereas Will Barton has been good in two video video games since getting back from injury, putting up 22 components per recreation on 50 p.c 3-point capturing.
Charlotte misplaced three further video video games this week, bringing the final streak to six, and Steve Clifford has seen adequate. He blatantly often known as out his workforce’s lack of effort on the defensive end, evidenced by its 126.8 (!) defensive rating for the week. It’s not similar to the offense has been good each, nevertheless a minimum of they obtained LaMelo Ball once more inside the Detroit loss, when he put up 23 components and 11 assists with solely a single turnover in 34 minutes. He must take just a few of the scoring load off the shoulders of Terry Rozier and Kelly Oubre Jr., nevertheless it’ll be attention-grabbing to see how Ball impacts the safety.