We are now a quarter way through the 2018-19 NBA season and things are just starting to get a bit more exciting.
The last time we spoke, I shared with you a little about the Jimmy Butler and how that might impact the 76ers. Well, the Philadelphia 76ers aren’t done making moves yet, as they are planning on shopping one of their young stars. I’ll get into that a little bit later in the ‘Hot team’ section. There have been other rumors of players from other teams who may be on the move too. That could change over the next two weeks. Until then, let’s see how things have changed from the last time we did a season review.
1. Raptors (18-4) 1. Clippers (13-6)
2. Bucks (14-6) 2. Warriors (15-7)
3. 76ers (14-8) 3. Nuggets (14-7)
4. Pacers (13-8) 4. Thunder (12-7)
5. Pistons (11-7) 5. Grizzlies (12-8)
6. Celtics (11-10) 6. Trail Blazers (12-8)
7. Hornets (10-10) 7. Lakers (11-9)
8. Magics (10-11) 8. Kings (10-10)
As you noticed in the last article, the standings have once again changed. Some new teams have made the jump into a playoff spot over the last two weeks. Those teams are the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers. Other teams, like the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Clippers, have continued to win games and be the hottest teams in leagues.
Where does your favorite team fit? Are they one of the colder teams, like the Portland Trail Blazers or San Antonio Spurs? Let’s find out!
I wouldn’t necessarily say the Hornets are a super cold team, because they’ve been able to win and lose games at the same rate. They are currently 10-10 and 7th in the East standings. Last time, they were 7-7 and still in the playoffs. Of course, the Hornets are expected to be one of the teams in the mix for one of those final two or three playoff spots. We should likely see them stay at this pace and finish with 40 wins, clinching a playoff spot. There has to be some stretches of games they win and carry on a hot streak! Let’s see where they’ll be in two more weeks.
Last time we saw the standings, the Nets were actually the 8th seed. Since then, they have lost five of the last seven games. Now that’s the Nets team we’re use to seeing! I mean, I’m glad they got off to a hot start, but it wasn’t going to last that long. It would be nice to see them back in the playoffs though, so maybe they can manage to put a nice run together again and sneak into a playoff spot.
Portland Trail Blazers:
The Blazers were one of the top two teams in West two weeks ago, but they have now lost five of their last eight games and are currently 6th. The good thing for them, is they’re only 1.5 games out of the top spot in the West. At this point in the season, it’s still open wide until somebody like the Golden State Warriors starts to separate themselves from the rest of the teams. I still think the Blazers will make playoffs. The real question is, how far in the playoffs can they go? Let’s continue to watch as Damian Lillard leads his team.
San Antonio Spurs:
The Spurs had a strong start to season, but their recent slump has knocked them out of the playoff picture (for now). Don’t expect the Spurs to miss the playoffs, but it is kind of surprising how they are playing as of late. Losers of five of their last eight, the Spurs need to figure out a way to win consecutive games. However, there is no need for a panic attack just yet. The Spurs have made the playoffs for 21 straight seasons under coach Gregg Popovich. They will likely continue that streak this year.
Los Angeles Clippers:
Are you surprised the Clippers are the top team in the West standings? I’ll be honest, I am too, but they have found a way to play together and win five of their last six games. Can they continue to stay hot? Yes! Finishing the season with the best record in the West, not going to happen! It’s still interesting to see how this team has bounced back from all the star talent they have lost over the past two seasons. Maybe they can do better now than they did before.
These Raptors are for real! Kawhi Leonard is proving why he deserves to be one of the best players in the world. This team has only lost four games thus far this season and have the best record in NBA. With their 122-117 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, the Raptors have won six games in a row after losing three in a row. They have some tough games against the Warriors and Nuggets coming up later this week, so let’s see how well they can play against those teams.
Los Angeles Lakers:
Are you surprised to see the Lakers in the playoff picture this early in the season? Let’s be real, we are talking about a team led by the best player in the world, LeBron James. James and the Lakers have won five of their last eight games to get them to where they are now. They have lost twice to the Orlando Magic within that time and took a huge loss to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night, but we already know it’s going to be a long season for the Lakers. They are still looking for more help for James.
They brought on Tyson Chandler after he completed his buyout with the Suns, but now there are reports of Washington’s Bradley Beal likely coming to the Lakers. That will be an interesting pairing if that were to happen. What would they give up to get him. How will it impact the moral of the team?
So far Jimmy Butler has been able to help the Sixers win games, as they maintain their top three spot in the East. The Sixers aren’t happy with one of their young players and are looking to trade him for the right price. That player is 2017 No. 1 overall pick, Markelle Fultz, who hasn’t lived up to the hype. Fultz has been injured most of his time with the Sixers, which hasn’t allowed him to develop into what the Sixers wanted from him. Despite all the trade rumors on Fultz, the Sixers have continued to play well.
Teams to Watch
With all the teams around them either rising or falling in the standings, the Kings have been right where they want to be, for now. They have actually been playing very well, but most of their opponents were teams with losing records. They have taken advantage of that, as they should. The real question is, how long they can keep it up? Can they go on a hot streak and make it into the playoffs by the time the season ends? They are definitely holding their own right now, as some of the better teams continue to struggle early on in the season. What do they have to do to keep it up?
The Mavericks aren’t yet in the playoff picture, but all the teams from six to 14 are within three games of each other. That means the Mavericks have a chance to get in the playoff picture early in the season. With DeAndre Jordan and Harrison Barnes continuing to play well with the young guys, they could quietly make some noise in the West. Don’t forget about the best Mavericks player of all time, Dirk Nowitzki.
Orlando is one of the surprising teams this year. How many of us thought they would already have 10 wins on the season after playing 21 games? I thought they would’ve lost four of the 10 they won, but they were able to pull together some good wins. If they can continue to do so, they might actually stay in the playoff picture.
The Pistons are one of those teams many expect to actually make the playoffs this year. With the way Blake Griffin and Reggie Jackson have been playing lately, they could very well be a top team in the playoffs. They are one of the teams that make you fear them when your favorite team is going up against them. They could either destroy your team or be destroyed. That’s what this Pistons team is all about. Can we see them do some damage through the length of the season? Let’s keep watching as Griffin leads them this season.
Don’t forget to let us know how you feel about your favorite team! Visit us again in two weeks for an update on the season!