NBA Top-10: October 27

Story posted October 28, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Daniel Mader

The NBA’s 75th season has tipped off, and the first week was jam-packed with standout performances and some early game-of-the-year candidates.

Let’s look at the top ten NBA teams after the first week.

1. Milwaukee Bucks (3-1)

The defending champs start the year in the top spot, after defeating Brooklyn, San Antonio and Indiana this week.

Milwaukee is even more dangerous than last year. Giannis Antetokounmpo has all the confidence in the world as he continues to knock down more jumpers, and the Bucks haven’t missed a beat since last year’s NBA Finals.

2. Utah Jazz (3-0)

The Jazz have started the year off well, and center Rudy Gobert has been a big part of it.

He collected at least 20 rebounds in both of their first two games and continues to be the league’s best interior defender.

This Jazz team looks similar to last year. They will be a top team in the Western Conference, but they need to hit the next level in the playoffs. 

3. Golden State Warriors (4-0)

Steph Curry is back to doing things only Steph Curry can do.

The two-time MVP erupted for 45 points in a close win over the Clippers this week, just a few nights after Golden State handed the Lakers a loss on opening night.

The Warriors are looking capable of returning to the playoffs this season, and when Klay Thompson returns, they will be even more dangerous. 

4. Brooklyn Nets (2-2)

With no Kyrie Irving, things are starting off slower than expected for a talented Brooklyn team.

James Harden doesn’t look like the guy who put up 36.1 points a night just three seasons ago, perhaps due to his injury last year.

Unless Irving returns, the Nets could need Kevin Durant to take most of the scoring load in order to stay at the top of the Eastern Conference (which he is certainly capable of).

5. Los Angeles Lakers (2-2)

This Lakers team is going to take time to mesh, with several new offseason additions.

Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis looked dominant in their win over the Spurs, as Westbrook nearly put up a triple-double while Lebron James sat out due to an ankle injury.

This team is too talented to not figure it out. It may take some time, but once they are clicking, the Lakers will be terrifying for the rest of the league.

6. Denver Nuggets (2-2)

With no Jamal Murray for most of the season as he recovers from injury, the Nuggets don’t have their complete team.

Averaging 26.8 points per game through the first four games, Nikola Jokic could once again be an MVP candidate if the Nuggets are in the thick of the Western Conference standings.

However, until Murray returns from injury, this team has a ceiling that is below a championship. 

7. Phoenix Suns (1-2)

The Suns are off to a slow start, but there is no reason to worry.

Devin Booker has had some cold shooting nights to start the year, but Chris Paul’s playmaking is as good as it has ever been, as he’s dishing out 11.7 assists per game.

Between those two stars, center Deandre Ayton, great role players and a smart head coach in Monty Williams, the Suns still have all the pieces to the puzzle for a return to the Finals.

8. New York Knicks (3-1)

Julius Randle and the Knicks are already proving that last season was no fluke.

The combination of Derrick Rose and Kemba Walker at point guard has worked perfectly, as both have been rejuvenated in New York.

Behind Tom Thibodeau, New York plays tough defense and works hard every possession, making for a great basketball team. 

9. Philadelphia 76ers (2-2)

Is there something in the Curry family’s genes to make them natural shooters?

Seth Curry is red-hot from three to start the year, shooting 61.9% from downtown. While he has been excellent, this Sixers team may miss Ben Simmons a bit.

The Sixers desperately need more scoring punch and defense outside of Joel Embiid, as they lost to both Brooklyn and New York this week.  

10. Chicago Bulls (4-0)

If you’re looking for the most entertaining team in basketball, you might want to head to Chicago.

Zach Lavine and DeMar DeRozan are both among the league’s best scoring wings, and Lonzo Ball is the perfect fit for Chicago.

The Bulls are off to their first 4-0 start since 1996-97. 
 

Daniel Mader is a second-year student majoring in digital/print journalism. To contact him, email dbm5725@psu.edu.