The Good, Bad and Ugly for November 16-23.
The Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies and Toronto Raptors all have at least 10 wins. The Raptors and Grizzlies are off to their best starts in franchise history.
Houston was on a two game losing streak but bounced back with a good win against the red hot Mavericks, holding them to only 92 points. The Rockets and Grizzlies are second and third in opponent points per game. Memphis is 8-0 at home. The Raptors are fifth on that list and got quality wins against the Grizzlies and Cavaliers.
Despite losing on Saturday night at Houston, the Dallas Mavericks have won 6 of 7 and are putting up 109.9 points per game which is good enough for first in the league. They have scored over 110 points in five games already this season including a season high 140 points against the Lakers on Friday.
The Blazers and Spurs started 3-3 but both teams have found a good groove. The Blazers have won seven in a row and the Spurs have won four in a row and they have the number one defense in the league.
From an individual perspective Anthony Davis continues to be amazing. He’s averaging 26.3 ppg, 11.4 rpg, 3.6 blkpg and has a PER of 35.91. He has led the Pelicans to a 7-5 record. After a below average outing of 18 points and 9 rebounds in a lost against the Nuggets he bounced back with a career high 43 points against the Jazz. He only needed 23 shots and he added 14 rebounds.
DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 23 ppg, a lead leading 12.3 rpg and has a PER of 27.74. The points and rebounds are career highs. He’s also shooting career highs from the field and free throw line. The Kings are on a two game winning streak and sitting at 8-5.
The Lakers are struggling but Kobe Bryant did pass the 32,000 point plateau. He is only the fourth player to score 32,000 points. He will eventually pass Michael Jordan this season for third on the all-time scoring list.
The Cleveland Cavaliers as LeBron said are “very fragile”. Just last week the Cavs had their best game of the season against the Hawks and were on a four game winning streak. Fast forward a week and the Cavs have lost four in a row.
The Cavs look bad on both ends, they turn the ball over and their bench is terrible. In their last two games the bench has scored a combined 28 points. Louis Williams dropped 36 points off the bench on the Cavs as the Raptors blew them out by 17.
The Cavs offense was looking good but they have failed to score over 100 points in all four games. They are 0-6 when they fail to score 100 points.
Dwight Howard has missed the Rockets past two games with a knee injury. He is out indefinitely after undergoing PRP (platelet-rich plasma) therapy. That is the same treatment Kobe Bryant used in 2013.
Dwyane Wade is still day-to-day with a hamstring injury. He has missed six straight games for the Heat. Wade has looked good this season but his health is very important to the Heat’s success.
The Chicago Bulls are dealing with some injuries. Derrick Rose has missed four games in a row with a strained left hamstring. He strained it in the win at the Raptors on November 13th. Pau Gasol is dealing with a strained left calf and Kirk Hinrich has bruised ribs. The Bulls lost Taj Gibson on Friday to a sprained left ankle. The Bulls are currently 1-2 on their seven game road trip.
The Oklahoma City Thunder got Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb and Anthony Morrow back but they are still can’t piece together a winning streak. They have lost six in a row. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook participated in non-contact practice on Saturday and the Thunder are hopeful for early returns for both players.
The Philadelphia 76ers are 0-13. They are dead last in scoring at 88.8 points per game. Michael Carter-Williams has returned but he hasn’t made much of a difference. The Sixers have had some close games, losing at the buzzer to the Magic and losing to the Rockets at one on the road.
On the other side the Sixers lost by 53 to the Mavericks, 32 to the Raptors, 26 and 25 to the Spurs and Suns. They have a four game home stand starting on Monday but three of those opponents are Western Conference teams; Portland, Dallas and San Antonio.
The record for worst start in league history is 0-18 which is held by the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets.