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Stocks up or down? Capture the temperature of trends around the NBA


We’re over a month into the 2021-22 NBA season and the small sample size isn’t small anymore.

Hot starts are either still burning or failing, while tough starts get worse or back to reality.

Which teams and players are trending in the right direction and which are going the wrong way?

Members of The Sporting News staff take a look at some of the latest NBA trends.

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Reserve: Jayson Tatum

Tatum’s struggles were well-documented alongside Boston’s roller coaster start to the season. Through the first 10 games, the All-Star striker has shot 39.5% from the field and 32.1% from 3-point range, needing 22.6 goals per game to average 23.6 points.

Even with some big scoring nights, Tatum managed to tackle missed shots and scrambled jumpers, not dropping much.

During the Celtics’ recent success, Tatum looked like a 23-year-old we know very well. With an impressive showing against the Lakers, Tatum picked up 37 points and 11 rebounds in the team’s biggest win of the season. He has scored at least 30 points in each of his last four games, effectively shooting 50.0% from the field and 38.1% from 3.

This one… is much more like.

Is Tatum turning the tide, leaving him with a rough start to the rest of the season? It appears like that.

Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_)

Sale: Los Angeles Lakers

(NBA Getty Images)

Before the start of the season, the three of us had a conversation in which we separated pretenders from the candidates in the Western Conference.

About that…

At Tier 1 we have the Suns, who are winning in their sleep right now, and… the Lakers.

Safe to safe, the Lakers didn’t get off to the start many expected. They continue to hover around .500, their offensive and defensive stats in the bottom half of the league, LeBron James barely playing through injury, Russell Westbrook fit was very awkward and Anthony Davis look nothing like the same player he was at the Orlando Bubble.

Fortunately for the Lakers, the season is still in its infancy and there’s plenty of time to turn things around. Also, few teams have to deal with so many injuries like they have.

It’s likely they’ll look completely different when they’re fit and it’s only a matter of time until LeBron and Davis become the most dominant duo of the league again, but there’s clearly a lot more work to be done. between now and then.

– Scott Rafferty (@crabdribbles)

Reserve: DeMar DeRozan

If you haven’t heard, DeRozan has had a scorching start to the season.

Over 18 games, DeRozan is averaging 26.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists with 49.0 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from the 3-point range. Each of them are either the heights in his career or around the highest marks of his career.

More importantly, it translates to victory.

The Bulls are losing to the Pacers rather tediously as of the time of this writing, but their 12-6 record is just behind the Nets (13-5) for best record in the Eastern Conference. At the Western Conference, only the Warriors (15-2) and Suns (14-3) outperformed Chicago.

The numbers points out the Bulls are a completely different team from DeRozan on the field.

Advanced Chicago stats with and without DeRozan
OFF RTG DEF RTG NET RTG
On the field 109.5 99.6 9.9
Outside the court 96.7 112.4 -15.7

Obviously this number is 25.6 points per 100 possessions.

At the rate he’s been hitting, not only is DeRozan an All-Star and All-NBA contender this season, but he’s going to be part of the MVP conversation. There aren’t many players whose stock has risen as much as he has since the start of the season.

– Rafferty

Sale: Denver Nuggets

It’s been a continuous start to the year for Nuggets for short.

They won the first two games, then lost two. Then they won two more, then lost two more. In the end, they got angry and won 5 consecutive victories, only to receive 4 consecutive losses after that.

Nuggets really please stand up?

It’s been known that star guard Jamal Murray will be out for much of the season as he recovers from a torn ACL, but the Nuggets have been more traumatized. Nikola Jokic has once again looked like an MVP contender, averaging 26.4 points, 13.6 rebounds and 6.4 assists for the year, but he is facing a neck injury His persistent arm has caused him to miss the last few matches.

There are reports out there Rising star Michael Porter Jr could miss the rest of the season with a nerve problem in his back – an injury linked to a player who missed all but three games in a single college season of him and his entire five rookies in the NBA with a bad game on the back.

It’s unrealistic to expect Jokic to carry this team without the other two best players, but he’s the reigning MVP for a reason. Can he single-handedly turn the tide in Denver?

Irving

Reserve: LaMelo Ball

(Beautiful pictures)

Tell it to me: LaMelo Ball is an All-Star.

That was one of my pre-season plans this year and it has come true so far. After last season’s Rookie of the Year campaign, Ball took another leap to stardom in Year 2.

With an average of 19.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists, Ball is one of only three players – along with Luka Doncic and Russell Westbrook – to score a benchmark of 19 points, eight goals and seven assists. create each game. Add his 2.1 steals per game and no other player in the NBA is doing what Ball is doing nightly.

To build on his exclusivity at the start of his season, Ball has one of four players in NBA history (!) has 400 points, 150 assists, 150 rebounds and 40 steals in the first 20 games of a season, joining Magic Johnson, Fat Lever and Westbrook.

He has the Hornets in the hunt for a spot in the top six playoffs and he looks like one of the most promising young players in the league.

Irving

Sale: Houston Rockets

The Rockets’ season started with a lot of optimism, first by picking Jalen Green with 2nd overall, followed by Alperen Sengun (16th), Usman Garuba (23) and Josh Christopher (24th). . But when they managed to embrace their youth, it came so many, so much of loss.

Through the first 17 games of the season, the Rockets are 2-15, having lost 14 games in a row before winning against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night. Their only win the previous season was against young players at the Oklahoma City Thunder, and now, they’re on pace to become the worst team in NBA history. Yes, worse than 7-59 Charlotte Bobcats (2012).

Sure, this is an opportunity for their young players to grow and play through their mistakes, but it’s hard to stomach when John Wall is healthy in streetwear, earning $44 million. . His presence on the pitch also merited a few wins, let alone passing on some of his winning habits to his younger teammates.

Benyam Kidane (@BenyamKidane)

Reserve: Phoenix Suns

Speaking of streaks, The Suns have won 14 games in a row!

The Suns are the hottest team in the league, but for some reason, seem to be flying under control even though they made a significant change after the start of the 1-3 season.

They needed to win four more games to set the franchise’s all-time record from 2006-07, where they won 15 and 17 in a row that season.

The Suns’ defense was their key card last season and after a slow start, they’ve moved up their defensive rating. 103.8, good for third place in the NBA. In this series of matches, they have held the opponent to 100 points or less in seven games.

It’s no coincidence that the return of Deandre Ayton was a key factor, not to mention his sub JaVale McGee, who added a new dimension to the second unit, bringing energy and hustle to the side. next to Cameron Payne.

With the taste of the 2021 Finals still in his mouth, the Suns’ revenge tour is off to a strong start. They have maintained a first team approach with six different players with double-digit averages and led by their BIg 3 of Devin Booker, Chris Paul and Ayton, the Suns have every right to feel like they are. original favorite to return to the Finals.

Kidane

Sale: Sacramento Kings

I will continue Benyam’s talk about the tracks.

Entering the 2021-22 season, the Kings did not attend the knockout stages for 15 seasons – the longest drought in the NBA. And given the way their 2021-22 campaign has begun, including the sacking of head coach Luke Walton after going 6-11 in their first 17 games, it doesn’t look like they’re close to hitting the record. that record at the end of this season.

Will firing Walton, who made former interim head coach Alvin Gentry the interim head coach, make any difference? Kings loyalists will certainly hope so, but judging by the franchise’s track record, there’s not much hope there.

In these 15 fewer playoff seasons, Walton was the team’s 10th head coach. Yes, 10th!

Regardless of the past success (specifically George Karl and Paul Westphal) or future potential (specifically Michael Malone and Dave Joerger) any of their coaches have had, it doesn’t matter. because the Kings seem to have a revolving door for that position.

At the end of the day, there needs to be stability at the management level. It may be too early to rate the current mode but unless things improve significantly, it is highly unlikely that the Kings will play any serious basketball despite their roster’s potential. how.

– Yash Matange (@ yashmatange2694)





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