NBA ACTION HEATS UP EARLY THIS YEAR
Four teams in the NBA Eastern Division stand at .750 or better 17 games into the season with the Milwaukee Bucks alone at the top of the heap at 14 and 3 with a .824 winning percentage scoring an average of almost 120 points per game while allowing only 110.6 point per game from their opponents.
The Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat and the Toronto Raptors are all close behind with 12 wins each to just 4 losses, so, their winning percentage is right on .7500. Points per game for all three teams are similar at around 111.
The Bucks are currently on an 8 game winning streak, so catching up to them in the near future may be more than most teams can handle. But, the season is still young and there is a lot of NBA Basketball yet to be played.
Correspondingly, Milwaukee is the current favorite in the NBA East at +400 at the big Las Vegas sports books. The Philadelphia 76ers are at +700 and the Boston Celtics are listed at +900. All other teams in the NBA East are +2500 and up beginning with last years’ NBA Finals winning Toronto Raptors.
Over in the NBA Western Division however, we have a completely different story. In fact a line picking the East or the West in the NBA this year would show the West as being heavily favored.
When LeBron James saw the opportunity to get New Orleans’ big man Anthony Davis to join the Lakers squad, he jumped at it right away. The perennial All Star was lacking a ‘soul partner’ on the court if he was to lead the Lakers back to their traditional greatness, and he had seen Anthony Davis play before.
The chemistry was almost instantaneous and now the Lakers are at 15-2 having only lost their first game to their neighboring LA Clippers and then dropping one to the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors in early November. Apart from those two losses, the Lakers have pretty much dominated every team they have come up against this season and look to be able to continue that run.
Behind the Lakers in the West are the Denver Nuggets at 12-3 and the LA Clippers at 12-5 followed by the Dallas Mavericks, the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz, all with 11 wins so far this season. Utah is currently listed at +900 with the Houston Rockets at +800 while the over achieving Dallas Mavericks are only getting +3000 at this point.
Leading the NBA West once again are the Los Angeles Lakers, bringing cheers and joy back to the Staples Center in downtown LA once again. Who knows, Jack Nicholson might even start showing up again at courtside.
The LA Clippers have even invaded the Lakers home quarters at the Staples Center while their new basketball palace is being built over in nearby Englewood on the site of the fabled Hollywood Park Horse Racing Track. Actually the deal is working out well for both NBA clubs and surely for the Staples Center which changes the floor decorations depending on which team is playing that night and there has been nothing but respect shown by both side so far.
Both the Lakers and the Clippers are leading the NBA at present with just a +150 posted by the oddsmakers. The Denver Nuggets follow at +800 and the Utah Jazz at +900.
The Lakers also lead in the current ‘Power Rankings’ in the news this week followed by the Bucks and the Clippers with Denver, Dallas, Philadelphia and defending NBA Finals Champions the Toronto Raptors in 7th place.
The early leaders have been established in the NBA season. Now we will see which teams have the staying power and which display the power to come from behind and give the big boys a run for their money.