Happy Friday everyone! Things are starting to heat up in the NBA now that teams have had about a month’s worth of games under their belt. If you missed it, there were some incredible plays that went down this past week. For some Friday fun, here is a quick recap of my top selections around the league.
#5 Houston Rockets
The Rockets hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers last night taking the win by just 4 points. James Harden went in for an easy lay in that bounced off the rim sending the ball all across the court, and players scrambling to catch it. Eventually Harden regained possession and threw up a beautiful alley-oop to Clint Capela to seal the deal on the play.
The Rockets are looking a little more scrappy this season, and the Chris Paul/Harden duo looks to be panning out nicely. The Rockets rank #1 in the Western Conference adding this 4th game to their winning streak. They sit just barely in front of the Golden State Warriors tied with a 9-3 record. Harden ranks 3rd in the league for both points and assists per game, while Capela leads the pack in field goal percentage at 69.4%.
I’m not a huge fan of Harden’s game, but I sure would love to see the Warriors get a run for their money this season so I hope to see more plays like this as the season progresses.
#4 Denver Nuggets
Denver defeated the Brooklyn Nets at Pepsi Center this week, and while defeating the team who had the worst record in the league last season may not seem all that exciting, but a win is a win. Denver’s offense has struggled a little out of the gate, but Nikola Jokic’s steal and score play below makes fans hopeful that things are looking up.
The Nuggets are starting to look a little more cohesive as of late, and for the first time in a long time they sit at over .500. Paul Millsap carries the hopes and dreams of Nuggets fans on his shoulders as the resident superstar, and while he’s still finding his way offensively, he’s been a staple on defense which has allowed the Nuggets to maintain control of recent games.
Will Barton has also been playing his heart out, and his efforts off the bench have combined nicely with Kenneth Faried for a boost of energy when the starting unit needs a break. The Nuggets hope to make a run for the playoffs this season, and with plays like this they may just make it past the first round.
#3 Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers are in rebuilding mode, and they’ve been making some interesting moves while they work their way back to relevance. The acquisition of Lonzo Ball as their new future star has everyone fairly excited, and even though he’s off to a rookie kind of start the team is looking much better than they were just one year ago.
The Lakers hosted the Memphis Grizzlies this week capturing the win 107-102. Veteran Brook Lopez is fitting in nicely averaging 27.3 points per game in the last 3 games, and his facilitation skills aren’t too shabby either.
His behind the back pass to Kyle Kuzma captured everyone’s attention, and while everyone waits for Ball to get up to speed, Kuzma could just be the one to steal the spotlight and be the next Lakers star.
#2 Detroit Pistons
The Pistons have snuck up on me this year quietly capturing the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference behind the Boston Celtics while the Cleveland Cavaliers have dropped all the way down to #11. Looking at the ECF standings I feel a little bit like I’m in the Upside Down, but alas this is our reality.
The Pistons blew out the Indiana Pacers who are nothing particularly special this season after losing Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder, but capturing wins you’re supposed to capture is the name of the game to stay on track.
Check out this monster dunk from Andre Drummond of the between the legs pass from Reggie Jackson. The Celtics better watch out for Detroit this year because they look to be in prime condition to be another contender in the East.
#1 Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia is long overdue for an uptick for the sake of their die hard and loyal fans. It’s been a long winter in the city of Brotherly Love, but the 76ers are finally healthy after a long and brutal battle with injury over the last couple of seasons.
Prized 2016-20107 rookie Ben Simmons is back with a vengeance, and he’s looking to be everything his draft prospects touted him to be. So far this season he’s averaging 17.8 points, 7.8 assists, and 9.4 rebounds per game shooting 50% from the field. At approximately 34 minutes per game it’s safe to say that Philadelphia is putting him to good use, and he’s helped take this struggling organization to 7th place in the Eastern Conference.
His aggressive attack each game has truly impressed me, and his confidence level betrays his rookie status. Simmons combined with Joel Embiid should prove to be a formidable duo so we may be able to see a playoff appearance from Philly this season–barring any other serious injuries.
Thanks for enjoying my short Friday post. Hope your weekend is as fun as these plays!