the Indiana surprise, the Suns shine!


Like every week, Westport takes stock of the past week in the NBA, with the satisfactions and disappointments. This week, if the Celtics and the Bucks continue to dominate in the East, the surprise comes from Indiana, where the Pacers chain successes to enter the top 4. In the West, the Suns dominate despite the physical glitches while behind, consistency means that a victory or a defeat makes you climb or retreat at full speed! Back to the 6th week of competition in the NBA.

NBA: A return to normal in the West, the Pacers in overdrive in the East?

A brief overview of the Eastern Conference where two teams seem to be breaking away over the weeks, and unsurprisingly, these are the 2 favorites, namely the Boston Celtics (16-4), and the Milwaukee Bucks (14-5). The common point between these 2 teams, the collective. Affected by injuries (M.Smart and R.Williams among the C’s, K.Middleton and J.Holiday among the 2021 champions), the 2 franchises nevertheless continue to prance in the lead in the East in the wake of their respective leaders, Jayson Tatum in Boston (30.5 pts, 8 rebounds and 4.6 assists) and Giannis Antetokounmpo for the Bucks (30.9 pts, 11.4 rebounds and 5.4 assists). But behind, a team is coming back well, and we didn’t expect it at this level, the Indiana Pacers (11-8). Promised for the last places, the team coached by Rick Carlisle running at full speed, or perhaps overreacting, with 6 wins in the last 8 meetings. Well guided by their leader Tyrese Haliburton (19.6 pts and 11.1 assists) and also the surprising rookie Bennedict Mathurin (18.8 pts), the collective chemistry has so far made it possible to thwart the predictions of the start of the season and to be ahead of teams like the 76ers, the Heat or the Nets! Something is building in Indiana…

In the West, on the other hand, it is difficult to see clearly! Only one team has remained constant since the start of the season, the Phoenix Suns. Although deprived of Chris Paul and Cameron Johnson, the Suns collective compensate for the absences and the leaders do not shirk their responsibilities, like Devin Booker still just as fair (27.1 pts, 5 rebounds and 6 assists on average) and DeAndre Ayton which is gaining momentum (16 pts and 9 rebounds). Behind, on the other hand, many teams stand in a pocket handkerchief. Indeed, only 2 victories separate the Denver Nuggets (12-7) of Nikola Jokic2n/a Minnesota Timberwolves (10-10), 10th. Teams like the Portland Blazers (11-9) and Utah Jazz (12-10) fall into line while others like the Golden State Warriors (11-10) head out of the water. But for the moment, it is still difficult to see a hierarchy taking shape.

Nets on AC, will Rudy Gobert transplant take over at Wolves?

Winners in Portland, then beaten at the 76ers (without their 3 best players), then convincing in Toronto, before suffering the wrath of the Pacers, the Brooklyn Nets (10-11) fail to take off. Even with the return to business after his suspension from Kyrie Irving and one Ben Simmons more aggressive, the team of Kevin Durant does not progress and does not see the light at the end of the tunnel. Questions continue to arise around this workforce, and there is nothing to say that the workforce will not move between now and the February trade deadline.

Another team also asks questions, the Minnesota Timberwolves (10-10). While we expected Wolves high in the Western Conference after a successful and promising last season, the results are not yet there. The impact of our Rudy Gobert national (13.5 pts and 12.8 rebounds) is slow to be done in a collective which is looking for itself in attack as in defense. We arrive at the quarter of the regular season and many things can still happen in the NBA and the truth of today will not necessarily be that after the all-star game!

Another team is struggling at the moment, the Dallas Mavericks of Luka Doncic (9-10). If the Slovenian is irreproachable (best scorer in the NBA with 33 pts, 8.7 rebounds and 8.4 assists), the second knives are struggling to be regular in attack (26th of the whole league). Christian Wood and Spencer Dinwiddie in particular need to raise their level of play and relieve the Mavs point guard…unless the Slovenian lets the game come to him rather than the other way around.

NBA Player of the Week: Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics)

Best record in the NBA with 16 wins in 20 games, the Boston Celtics owe it in particular to a player who is probably playing his best basketball in his career, Jayson Tatum. Still author of a big week 31.6 pts, 10.6 rebounds and 5.3 assists, the Franchise Player has become a complete leader capable of carrying an entire franchise, and an entire city on his shoulders. Always well assisted by his lieutenant Jaylen Brown, he is perhaps the best outside player in the NBA at the moment.





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