The Jazz are legit, the Warriors are in trouble, Doc Rivers must go and other young takes on the 2022-23 NBA season

The Jazz are legit, the Warriors are in trouble, Doc Rivers must go and other young takes on the 2022-23 NBA season

A general rule of thumb in the NBA is that it takes about 25 games for a front office or coaching staff to properly evaluate their team.

That’s enough of a sample size to give you an idea of ​​what you have, what you don’t have, and what it means to move on.

But in the lead up to it, as we close out the first four weeks of the 2022-23 season, there are signs. Some of these may be statistical anomalies, but others may be clear indicators of what is to come. For example, you might not remember that Warrior’s started off last season 11-1…but you probably knew that the lakersUh, didn’t.

Yet early returns can be deceiving. Boston Celtics made nba Finalist last season, but didn’t find his rhythm or form until January. washington wizardsfirst, and Chicago Bulls, For a long time, at some point sat atop the Eastern Conference standings. Nor did he protest.

So to make sense of this season, before we reach that 25-game mark, here are several early assessments — and one NBA scout on each of them with a percentage indicating how much he agrees with my observation. .

Danny Ainge’s plan, it seemed, was to build a team fully capable of tanking. Stack up the LS, collect some ping pong balls, and pray to the basketball heavens that Victor Vembanayama is the next 7-foot Frenchman to end up in Salt Lake City.

Instead, Utah jumped to a 10–6 record with wins over Denver, Memphis, and both L.A. clubs. The Jazz have a top 10 offensive and defensive rating, a near-statistical requirement to make a championship run. and shipping regardless donovan mitchell And Rudy Gobert For a bunch of future draft picks, Utah’s roster is loaded with NBA pros with experience and upside.

Laurie Markkanen awesome, and jordan clarkson, mike connelly, Kelly Olynyk And Colin Sexton Provide real depth.

In a Western Conference with a fading Lakers team, a shear the squad is still waiting kawhi leonardAnd a Warriors team that is unable to win on the road, everyone is afraid of the Jazz.

Scout’s take: 65 percent

At this point, they are too deep in winning the game. I think they’ll sell some pieces, but we’re far enough along that they’re there.

Victor Vembanayama will continue to dominate the NBA

Sure, this isn’t technically early NBA opinion, since the 18-year-old LNB is in Pro A, but there’s a reason the NBA is live streaming its games.

The 7-foot-4 Super Unicorn is shot-making, ball-handling, shot-blocking — it’s all a walking video game. He’s so good that sometimes it’s hard to believe what he’s doing is real.

So calling him the next LeBron James isn’t much of a compliment. This is not an exaggeration. Vembanayama’s arrival in the NBA would change the game, and so would whichever team was lucky enough to land him.

Scout’s take: 72 percent

I think it has a lot of potential. He runs well, he’s fluid and has more than perimeter play Chet Holmgren, But I’ve always been concerned that guys that size have lower body problems, especially their legs. Boys over 7 feet are not made to move like that. My 72 percent is purely based on health. If he’s healthy, he’s going to be a monster.

the lakers are washed

They are over. That’s it. This is the assessment.

It does not matter Anthony Davis Quietly playing excellent basketball again. or that Russell Westbrook Has looked promising off the bench. or that lebron james, LeBron is still there once he comes back from injury. Or that their next handful of games are against teams substantially as bad as they are.

This is not a good basketball team. His 3-10 record reflects who he is. They are not making the playoffs. They’re not turning it around. The Lakers’ season was cooked before the Thanksgiving turkey was in the oven, before the stuffing was made, and before the pumpkin pie was baked. (Apologies to Chick Hearn.)

Scout’s take: 95 percent

Let’s compare it with jazz. The Lakers are six games behind the Jazz. It’s built around two people being superheroes every night, and neither of them being able to be superheroes every night. juice [Westbrook] It’s okay. Well. But there’s nothing else there. All this talk about what lineup they should have? With whom? He doesn’t have anyone.

Caretaker is an honest-to-goodness crisis

and not just for sacramento kings, who should be 8-4 instead of 7-6 now. just ask Kevin Huter,

This is the worst officiating we’ve seen in the NBA in memory. The league’s push and hope for equality is a fine idea, and a product of the eventual collective bargaining agreement, but none of it matters if teams without superstars or outside major markets are forced to compete with their rivals – and the referee’s bias. have to defeat.

Scout’s take: 0 percent

It’s been bad, but it’s not the real problem. They’ve been bad enough this year, but what are fans going to do, boycott? … Is Daryl Morey going to send the league some manifestos again? No… It’s not a real problem.

The Golden State Warriors Are In Trouble

They have yet to win on the road in seven attempts. (And this is a team that went 2-1 in boston During the NBA Finals.) This season, after being the league’s best last season, Golden State’s defense is one of the worst in the league. outside of Stephen CurryThe offense isn’t much better.

klay thompson Looks like a shell of himself, the young guns stepping into the void have faltered to a great extent and its effects Draymond Green punching Jordan Poole Definitely stopping by.

They have curry, so they can figure it out. But it’s the heaviest lift their greatest player of all-time has had to try, and he may not be up to the task if his teammates don’t improve soon.

Scout’s take: 40 percent

I don’t think we’ve seen enough to say they’re in real trouble yet, but what we’ve seen hasn’t been particularly encouraging. Kale has been bad. His rescue is never coming back. And those lineups have always been built on elite defense. now [Andrew] Wiggins can do some of that. And Klay can’t even shoot the ball, but I hope he starts making more jumpers. Have they had enough of the boys around while they wait for the young ones to develop? No answer yet. But I am more convinced that the starting five are good enough that they can withstand some of them and then make it to the playoffs where it matters less.

It’s Time for Philadelphia to Move Beyond Dock Rivers

they have joel embiedRefresh your historical game. they had a resurrection james harden before his injury. tyreese maxi continues to impress. And Daryl Morey, president of basketball operations, added pj tuckerDaniel House Jr., and travelin queen In off season.

Yet the Sixers sit at 7-7 — and they were 4-5 before Harden got injured.

Embiid is a generational talent, and Maxi and Harden, when healthy, should form an offensive core capable of helping this team sit atop the Eastern Conference. The pieces are there. There has been no continuity.

Relying on Embiid to carry this team is not the plan, and on many nights — especially during the team’s last few playoff runs — the Sixers are closer to a team that should be something special unlike one Used to be Specific.

Morey did not hire Rivers, and Rivers, other than one championship in Boston, has been a perennial underachiever. This is the same coach who has failed to find success season after season with previous Sixers teams. And, before that, with previous Clippers teams. And so on.

time to move on.

Scout’s take: 100 percent

It doesn’t work. It is not working. It’s different now because James Harden is out, but at the beginning of the year it was James Harden ball without James Harden’s peak. Sometimes voices fail. It happens. And outside of Minnesota, they look like the most pathetic team in the league. Vibes are not good. And the doctor just isn’t very nice.

hawks Will make another deep playoff run

Two years ago, the Atlanta Hawks’ run to the Eastern Conference Finals seemed to indicate a strange trajectory. trae young and his companions. he sent knicksDowned the Sixers and faced the eventual-champion boxAnd he looked set for stellar years to come.

Then came the 2021-22 season – a disappointing campaign marked by inconsistent play and a regression on effort and defence.

But the Hawks have rediscovered their groove, their consistency and their defense ranked sixth in the league defensive rating. Dejounte Murray There’s one big addition, and a team flirting with the top of the Eastern Conference has all the pieces, depth and — young — starpower to be a legitimate playoff team.

Scout’s take: 30 percent

I rooted for them the year they entered the Eastern Conference Finals, and watched them very closely, but I don’t believe it. Trae is a fantastic offensive player, but there are ways that certain defenses — especially when teams have time to game plan for him, such as in the playoffs — can make life very difficult for him. He doesn’t have the skill strength around the rim that Steph has, so if you have some of those long wings that can bother him, he’ll have the advantage.

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