This week in the NBA: Who’s made a splash in the first quarter?
Charlie Dear | 3 December 2018
Odds and review of the NBA action
It’s been a frantic start to the 2018-19 NBA campaign.
We’ve seen the Golden State Warriors not looking so invincible after all. LA Lakers still striving for consistency and some real throwback moments from Vince Carter and Derrick Rose.
As the first quarter came and went last week we break down some of the standout performers from the first few months…
LeBron James may have the whole of L.A taking note of what’s happening in the city. But there is another team that plays at Staples Centre.
LA Clippers have gone about their business with real efficiency this season.
Coach Doc Rivers has no stand out MVP candidate or star man but has built an effective attack. The modern stretch fours in Danilo Gallinari and Mike Scott provide the power.
This allows Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to run at the heart of defences.
As of November 30th the Clippers had won 9 of their last ten. This is even more impressive after ranking 28th in three-point rate.
Point Guard Lou Williams put their tight-knit unity into perspective saying; “we just hoop, bro”.
If they keep this momentum going, LeBron and the Lakers might not be the hottest ticket in town.
The Toronto Raptors sit at the top of the Eastern Conference with a 20–4 win record.
They’ve been an impressive outfit for a number of years now, finishing top in the regular season in four out of the last five seasons.
But Cleveland Cavaliers’ post-season dominance has meant they haven’t made it past the conference finals in that time.
This season could be different. The Cavs are struggling, Boston Celtics are floundering and they signed MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard.
He’s hit 37 and 34 points in his last two games and has been instrumental to the Raptors 20 wins this season.
The Celtics have been a dominant force for a large part of the last decade. But they’re 13-10 win record has them slap bang in mid-table so far this campaign.
They can only watch on as Milwaukee Bucks and the Raptors lead the way.
Coach Brad Stevens has the ingredients but can’t find the recipe – even with NBA champ Kyrie Irving in their ranks.
Gordon Hayward needs to build on his match-winning 30 points against Minnesota Timberwolves.
Al Horford and Jayson Tatum are part of a star-studded roster at the Celtics.
There’s still a long way to go but Celtics need to put ego aside for the good of the franchise.
The Rockets are certainly not firing this season. The opening two months have seen Houston regress to a team relying once again on James Harden.
Chris Paul’s absence has been a major blow and the Carmelo Anthony gamble hasn’t, yet, paid off.
They’ve struggled to defend as a unit, relying on one-v-one duels too much. Letting the experienced shooting-guard Trevor Ariza leave to Phoenix Suns looks an oversight.
Paul has been the floor general – getting him fit and healthy is crucial.
Coach Daryl Morey needs to find the personnel that will get the best out of his star men.
Big Talking Point
Who’s going hardest in the paint?
There’s been some stand out performers from top to bottom this season.
The likes of James, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard aside, we take a look at the odds of some early season candidates for regular season MVP.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks) – 11/4
Anthony Davis (New Orleans Pelicans) – 4/1
Kemba Walker (Charlotte Hornets) – 33/1
Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) – 15/2
Golden State Warriors @ Atlanta Hawks – GSW to win money line 1/7
Denver Nuggets @ Toronto Raptors – Raptors to win 4/9
LA Clippers @ New Orleans Pelicans – Clippers +2.0 spread 10/11
Houston Rockets @ Minnesota Timberwolves – Rockets to win money line 4/5
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Detroit Pistons – Pistons 13/10 to win
Click here for more NBA odds
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing