NBA Weekly: Mavericks Eager to Show its Earned Spot Near Top of West

14 November, 2023

There are many exciting NBA matchups this week, including one against a Dallas team that wants to prove it’s for real and New Orleans, which has struggled to get started.

NBA Weekly: Mavericks Eager to Show its Earned Spot Near Top of West

There are many exciting NBA matchups this week, including one against a Dallas team that wants to prove it’s for real and New Orleans, which has struggled to get started.

The Dallas Mavericks raised eyebrows last season when they acquired Kyrie Irving in a trade. There was a real concern about how Irving would mesh with Luka Dončić and the core of players the Mavericks had in place. Those worries seemed legitimate when Dallas didn’t make the playoffs last season.

However, the Mavericks have adjusted in year two with the duo together. Dallas is off to a 7-2 start and second place in the Western Conference. The Mavericks now have the sixth-best odds to win the Western Conference at +1400. Dallas is +3000 to win the NBA finals.

The Mavericks have been a team that has pushed the pace so far this season. Seven of Dallas’ nine games have gone over the total. The Mavericks have mixed results against the spread, going 5-4.

The Mavericks will travel to New Orleans Tuesday night to take on the Pelicans. New Orleans has been an up-and-coming team limited by injuries to its top players. Zion Williamson has been healthy this season but has missed some time due to the birth of a new baby. New Orleans has struggled to score this year and has the third-worst scoring offense in the league.

Clippers Look to Test the Defending Champions

Everything looked good for the Los Angeles Clippers after the season’s first week. The Clippers were 3-1 and got consistent scoring from Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. However, things have quickly soured for the veteran-laden team. 

Los Angeles has lost four straight road games to stumble below .500. A big part of the problem is that the Clippers’ offense fell apart. Los Angeles was held to fewer than 100 points twice during its four-game losing streak. Despite the Clippers’ struggles, they have the third-best odds of winning the Western Conference at +800.

The thought of Los Angeles turning things around has a lot to do with the veteran makeup of its roster. The Clippers will understand where they stand Tuesday night when they travel to take on defending champion Denver. The Nuggets are off to an 8-1 start and have the best odds to win the Western Conference at +225. Former two-time NBA MVP Nikola Jokić is once again the catalyst for the Nuggets’ success.

Jokić is averaging 29.1 points, 12.9 rebounds and 8.0 assists per game. The Nuggets are 3-6 against the spread this season. Denver has seen six of its nine games go under the total.

Celtics and 76ers Fighting for Eastern Conference

The Philadelphia 76ers want to establish themselves as one of the teams to beat in the Eastern Conference. It would make that early statement if the 76ers can protect home court again and hit the Celtics for the second time at home. Philadelphia lost its season opener to Milwaukee, then went on a seven-game winning streak.

One of those wins was a 106-103 win over Boston in Philadelphia. The 76ers aren’t nearly as highly regarded as Boston. The Celtics are the odds-on favourite to win the NBA title this season at +350. Philadelphia is +1800 to bring home the trophy.

The 76ers have been one of the best teams in the league against the spread at 7-1. Philadelphia has made life difficult on opposing offenses. The 76ers have the second-best field goal percentage defense in the league, only allowing teams to shoot 44.2 percent.

Boston is a team that will only be judged by what it does at the end of the season. The Celtics added several players in the offseason to put them over the top. Boston is off to a 6-2 start. Kristaps Porziņģis, one of the Celtics’ top free-agent acquisitions, averages 19.4 points per game. Jrue Holiday, who Boston acquired in a trade, has scored 13.4 points per game. The Celtics are 3-3-2 so far this season against the spread.

Phoenix Tries to Get Everything Into Place

The Suns are still waiting to get everyone in their “Big Three” healthy. Kevin Durant has been attempting to carry the load for Phoenix during the early part of the season. The Suns are also grateful to have gotten Bradley Beal back into the lineup. There are rumours that Devin Booker’s return to the lineup may not be far behind.

The Suns have some instability in the roster, leading some people to spout on the team’s roster construction. Phoenix is 4-5 overall and 4-4-1 against the spread. Despite the early struggles, Phoenix is still +700 to win the NBA Championship, the fourth-best odds among any team.

The Timberwolves are off to a strong start. Minnesota is 6-2 and is 5-3 against the spread. Anthony Edwards has progressed to a bona fide star for the Timberwolves. Edwards averages 27.9 points per game for Minnesota. Karl-Anthony Towns averages 19 points per game. Minnesota is a long shot to win the Western Conference at +2000, while the Timberwolves are +5000 to win the NBA Finals.

Rookie Helps Change Forecast of Franchise

San Antonio hoped that the Spurs had found someone to lead them back to glory when they drafted Victor Wembanyama with the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft. San Antonio has already looked much better this season. The Spurs are 3-6 overall and 4-5 against the spread.

San Antonio’s only real struggle has been on the defensive end. The Sacramento Kings, who will visit the Spurs on Friday, like to push the pace. Eight of the Spurs’ nine games have gone over the total. The Kings have had some misfortune already this season.

Guard De’Aaron Fox injured his leg early in the season, and he will have an extended absence. Sacramento has struggled to stop its opponents from getting a good look at the basket. The Kings allowed teams to shoot 48.6 percent from the field against them, which ranks 24th in the league.

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