1) Gordon Hayward’s leg looked set to ruin the Celtics season before it started. They’ve gone on a 10 – 0 run to silence any of those thoughts.
2) Ben Simmons is the real deal. (You already knew this). As impressive as his first month has been, and as exciting as it is to draw King James comparisons, I prefer to think of him as a Lanard Copeland, Phil “The General” Smyth” and Andrew Gaze’ hybrid.
3) The Lakers have come out the other side. Lonzo Ball is exponentially more likeable than his Dad. I’d argue the same about myself (hi Dad).
4) The Cavs are missing Kyrie more than he’s missing them. Isaiah Thomas will help in the new year, but the Cavs need to find a way to stay above 500 until then. It’s still early, and the King is still the best in the world, but the Cavs look to be lacking invention.
5) Kristaps Porzingas is enjoying life after Melo (as most franchises do)… The big Latvian is averaging 30ppg, 7 boards, 2 blocks, as well as shooting over 50% from downtown (in the last 5 games). A big man who can shoot the three ball with the best of them and defend the paint - he might be the unicorn Kevin Durant (and others have) labelled him.
6) The Denver Nuggets are no frills, but get the job done. A bit like this...
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7) Mills, Ingles, Baynes, Maker and Dellavedova have all seen good minutes so far this season, in sides who look set to figure in the playoffs no less. It remains to be seen what Eric Bledsoe joining the Bucks does for Delly’s game time, but if there’s one thing we know about Delly, he’s an MVP locker-room guy.
8) The Clippers are missing CP3 more than he’s missing them. Pat Beverley and Austin Rivers combine to be about half of a Chris Paul with respect to points and assists, and after flourishing early in the month, Blake Griffin and the Clips have been on a skid that looks more like the true LAC we can expect this season.
9) Andrew Bogut’s body still won’t cooperate. It’s a shame. Although more time on the sidelines means more time for twitter... (Silver lining).
10) OKC aren’t any better with Melo and PG. Their “big three” are all averaging between 19.5 and 20.5ppg, shooting above 40% from the field, but it isn’t turning into W’s. While it is surely still Westbrook’s team, the reigning MVP’s not owning it like he did last season. It’s still early days, but they’re healthy and have few excuses for the next month.