NBA Update: What You Need To Know

Maybe you have a job that requires you to work all the damn time and haven’t been able to watch the NBA yet this season because you are still paying attention to your shitty fantasy football team that “..has a chance to get into the playoffs if a few guys just step up” or maybe you’re a drunk college student that hasn’t had time to watch the NBA due to midterms, tailgating, chasing women and other college shit. Maybe you just don’t watch the NBA until after the College Football National Championship and the Super Bowl.

If any of these reasons (or other reasons) apply to you, then this article is exactly what you need. I will briefly go over the landscape of the NBA so you can have a few talking points about the best professional sports league in the country while you are kicking it with the homies this weekend. Hopefully that shit job of yours gave you Veterans Day off and you are already enjoying a few beers.

There will be a few different categories below: Expected Good, Expected Bad, Surprise Good, Surprise Bad, and Average. These should be self-explanatory.

Expected Good (East)

Toronto Raptors (7-4)

Washington Wizards (6-5)

No one really cares about either of these teams, so all you need to know is they are both doing about as expected, but the Wizards have lost 3 games to teams expected to finish near the bottom. Bradley Beal is averaging 26 points a game and John Wall is averaging 21 points, 11 assists and some nasty dunks.

Expected Good (West)

Golden State Warriors (9-3)

Houston Rockets (9-3)

Minnesota Timberwolves (7-4)

San Antonio Spurs (7-4)

All of these teams are expected to be good, just as they were last year, except for the new look Timberwolves. They added Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague, Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford to join young stars Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins. The Wolves are winning, but have a -2.5 point differential, which is fine because it’s still early, but point differential can often times be a predictor of regression.

The Warriors are the Warriors and all of the main guys are playing as well as you’d expect and Swaggy P actually seems like a good fit with the Dubs.

The Rockets continue to shoot more 3’s than any other team in the league and it has been working, with their only losses coming to the Grizzlies (twice) and the 76ers. Chris Paul has only played a couple of games and the team looked uncomfortable in those, but he should return in a week or so and they will begin to figure things out. James Harden is still getting buckets and Eric Gordon is enjoying a hot start to the season and appears to be as healthy as he’s been in years.

Expected Bad (East)

Atlanta Hawks (2-9)

Chicago Bulls (2-7)

Brooklyn Nets (4-7)

These teams are ass. Bobby Portis of the Bulls did punch teammate Nikola Mitotic in the face just before the season started and broke some bones while also actually knocking him the fuck out. According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times, the team is siding with Portis and Mirotic is on his way out.

Expected Bad (West)

Dallas Mavericks (2-10)

Sacramento Kings (3-8)

Phoenix Suns (4-8)

Los Angeles Lakers (5-7)

The Lakers young group has won more games than I expected so far, including 3 wins over good teams. Kyle Kuzma has been the surprise of this young team, with Lonzo Ball and the other young fellas all showing glimpses of what they could become, but still leaving plenty of uncertainty in the air in Lakerland.

Devin Booker of the Suns became the 4th youngest player to score 3,000 career points trailing just Lebron, KD, and Melo. Phoenix and the others listed above are not good.

Surprise Good (East)

Boston Celtics (10-2)

Detroit Pistons (8-3)

Orlando Magic (7-4)

Philadelphia 76ers (6-5)

New York Knicks (6-5)

Everyone expected the Celtics to be good, but there is more to the story, which is why they are a surprise good team. After losing Gordon Hayward just 5 minutes into the season and starting out 0-2, the Celtics have won 10 straight led by Kyrie Irving and Al Horford. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have stepped into larger roles and look like they will be very good players in the League for a long time.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t watched the Pistons but Tobias Harris is averaging 20 points per game and Andre Drummond is averaging right around 15 points and rebounds per game. I’ll check them out this week and have more info in next week’s article.

The Orlando Magic have wins over the Cavs, Spurs, and Grizzlies behind the strong play of Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic all of whom are averaging around 20 points a night. Gordon has learned how to shoot from outside, which has opened up Frank Vogel’s offense quite a bit. It will be interesting to see if the Magic and Pistons can continue their strong play.

For the 76ers, Joel Embiid is a monster when he plays, averaging 20 and 10, Ben Simmons is just 2 assists per game shy of averaging a triple-double, but something fishy seems to be going on with Markelle Fultz and his shoulder injury, which you can read about here in a great article by Jake Pavorsky of

For the Knicks, it’s all about Kristaps Porzingis baby! He’s averaging 30 and 7, but I will be shocked if the Knicks continue to hold a winning record for too much longer.

Surprise Good (West)

Memphis Grizzlies (7-4)

Denver Nuggets (7-5)

Depending on who you ask, these teams may have been projected to make the Playoffs, but hey somebody had to go in this section for the Western Conference so here they are.

The Grizzlies have wins over Houston (twice), GSW, LAC, and the Trail Blazers and of course they wouldn’t be the Grizzlies without loses to the Mavs and Lakers. The seemingly new style of play is still predicated on defense, and Marc Gasol began the season on fire. Tyreke Evans is making his case for an early Sixth Man of the Year candidate, and the team gets projected starting shooting guard Ben McLemore back this Saturday when they play Houston once again. If Mike Conley can get into a groove, the Grizzlies may continue to surprise people throughout the year and challenge for a 4/5 seed instead of the 7/8/missed playoffs many were projecting early on.

The Nuggets are fun to watch, they play hard, and the game is always fast paced. This is probably due to their depth, and one of my personal favorite players, Will Barton, is also making an early case for Sixth Man of the Year. If you get a chance to watch them, tune in, you won’t be disappointed.

Surprise Bad (East)

Cleveland Cavaliers (5-7)

Milwaukee Bucks (4-6)

Two teams expected to be at the top of the Eastern Conference standings have gotten off to slow starts. Lebron is averaging career highs in almost every offensive statistical category in his fucking 15th season, which is just absurd, but the Cavs have a lot of work to do before the Playoffs. Maybe they are still getting used to each other, or maybe they are just waiting until Isaiah Thomas returns from injury to start actually playing hard. Either way, I’m not worried about the Cavs.

You may be surprised that Milwaukee is struggling, due to all the talk that’s been going on regarding Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is averaging 32 points per game, which leads the league, basically without shooting jumpers. The Greak Freak is the real deal, a walking highlight, and if he can ever learn to knock down a jumper he will be completely freaking awesome. Not worried about the Bucks either.

Surprise Bad (West)

Oklahoma City Thunder (4-7)

Utah Jazz (5-6)

OKC has yet to win a game against a Western Conference opponent, which is not good when you play in the Western Conference. They just haven’t figure out how to play in the final few minutes together yet. My Solution? Give the ball to Westbrook and get out of the way. I think OKC will be fine, actually I think they are going to be really good, it’s just going to take some time. Melo and Paul George have both had their moments and the chemistry should just continue to get better.

I’m not actually surprised that the Jazz are bad, since they lost their best player and got a new point guard in Ricky Rubio. They will probably hang around the .500 mark all season.

Average (East)

Miami Heat (5-6)

Charlotte Hornets (5-6)

Indiana Pacers (5-7)

Average (West)

Portland Trail Blazers (6-5)

New Orleans Pelicans (6-6)

LA Clippers (5-5)

Anthony Davis and Boogie Cousins are the only players in the league averaging 25 points and 10 boards and they play on the same team.

That’s about all I have on these teams, just average teams trying to sneak into the playoffs by not digging themselves too deep a hole early on.

There you go, what you need to get you through your weekend NBA conversations!

{Banner image belongs to NY Daily News}

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