We’ve reached the middle stage of the NBA season and have already seen some breathtaking talent, controversy and more. Good. Let’s take a look at the big buzz of action so far.
1) Jack Vaughan changing the net
Brooklyn Nets head coach Jack Vaughan deserves all the credit for reviving this team from the depths of controversy and frustration early in the season. With Nash’s dismissal, the heat about bringing in rusty Ben Simmons, and the turmoil that followed Kyrie Irving, this really seemed like a doomed franchise.
41 Fast forward after the game, 18 out of last 20 winsthe Nets look like real contenders and are the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Vaughan has instilled in this Nets side something it hasn’t had in the last 18 months: rooting. Under Nash, the team was divided and a lack of confidence and cohesion was evident. Net now appears to be on the side that can not only achieve glory, but give power out of sheer will.
His greatest test is yet to come. The Nets are building momentum for their next fixture slate without Durant recovering from a sprained MCL.
2) No rest for Luka Doncic
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how Luka Doncic can impress more than ever, but he did it and that’s the story of his season.
From joining Wilt Chamberlain with over 30 points in his first eight games, to several 50- and 60-point triple-doubles in recent months, the 23-year-old has been dizzying. It seems insane to be able to reach heights of .
He averages 34 points per game, achieving 75% at the rim and 55% at the floater range. – ridiculous. The Doncic-led Mavs are trailing the league-leading offense with him scoring 118.7 points per 100 possessions.
At some point, you would think that this kind of form would be unsustainable. And you’ve probably caught a glimpse of his “off days” (see clash with the Boston Celtics). But most of the time the Slovenians go on to score with very little pause, which is scary.
Sometimes Spencer Dinwiddie is the only support structure, but Doncic firmly holds his place at the top of our list. all star And MVP prediction.
3) Cavaliers solid defense
Unexpected, right? That Cleveland is the best defense-leading team, perhaps not even the Celtics with Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, or even Draymond Green’s contributions to the Golden State Warriors.
But 6’1” Donovan Mitchell (Yes, 70 points Donovan Mitchell) in the lead, and more seemed possible.
While Mitchell had it on fire on one side of the court, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen have been sniffing out counterattacks on the other side.
Impressively, Allen holds shooters 8.7% in points earned near the rim, while Mobley has the same stat at 6.5%. As pairs combine, it becomes increasingly difficult for players like Doncic to dance or jump into the paint.
No team earns as many points per 100 possessions as the Cavaliers. If this defensive hustle continues, he’ll be a playoff frontrunner.
4) Three-peat and Jokic?
We’ve been saying that all season long Nikola Jokic won’t win 3rd straight MVP titleThis is a rare stat achieved only by Chamberlain, Bill Russell and Larry Bird. Most likely, the vote will go in favor of the best basketball players of all time, including Doncic, Jayson Tatum and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Jokic currently has a career-best efficiency on the field and is looking to average a triple-double in each game he plays. The fact that he’s already done it 11 times this season doesn’t make it any easier.
While several of his title contenders, including Stephen Curry, Durant and Zion Williamson, were injured and sat on the sidelines, the “Joker” has quietly done all of this.
An interesting element of his form this season is that Jokic has actually taken a step back in his strength and scoring thanks to the return of Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. to the point of view.
5) LeBron James and the Story of Time
Let’s be frank – this may be the last season we’ll see LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers star has extended his contract with the franchise, but he may be ruining it at this particular moment. His team must give him enough time to accomplish this. I doubt they’ll ever make it to the play-in spot.
Throughout the season, James has tried to instill a winning mindset in his team, but he actually said it himself before the season even started. Around him, and as a result, it cost them the game.
If he’s really going to hit that point – and he’s currently 422 points behind – In that case, perhaps trading options remain plausiblewhere is he going? Which team would want him in the fold? Will he be able to spend the rest of his days with the Lakers and make history, or will LeBron’s fate take a cruel twist?