The last week of action in the NBA included a ‘main event’ between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. In a Christmas Day matchup that was played in Oakland, GS improved their league-best record as Cleveland suffered a setback. That setback spilled over into a loss at Portland on Saturday night for the Cavs, causing Lebron James to state that his club was in search of offensive “rhythm” at the moment. Both Golden State and Cleveland remain the front-runners in their divisions as we look around the Association at the other leaders.
In the Atlantic Division, the Toronto Raptors are slightly ahead of the surging Boston Celtics. Boston are winners of four straight in the NBA following victories this weekend over both the New York Knicks and the Detroit Pistons. Danny Ainge could be just a trade away from giving head coach Brad Stevens a very good lineup to manage. At present, the Celtics are 18-13 and a game back in the tight Atlantic Division race.
Ainge recently suggested in an interview with Boston radio 98.5 that he might get involved in roster changes at some point. He noted that a reliable scorer was what the Celtics needed.
“I think the one thing that we could really use is a go-to scorer. We have some guys that have carried us…but it would be nice to find another player that’s a reliable scorer at the end of games, night in and night out.”
If Boston do improve their team and Toronto do not counteract then the Celtics would likely become the new favorite in the Atlantic Division.
The Southeast Division currently features a very tight race. Only four games seperate all five teams with the Washington Wizards, winners of four straight, in last place while the Atlanta Hawks are in first. Any team that is able to play consistent .700 basketball seems as though they will pull away, with the Hawks having won six straight.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are starting to pound away on the weak Northwest Division. Winners of eight of their last ten, OKC now hold a 7.5-game lead in their division at 21-10 on the year. Their most recent win came on Sunday as Oklahoma City beat Denver by 10 in a game that saw the Thunder score 122.
The San Antonio Spurs, the leaders in the Southwest, also have a huge lead for this point in the season. San Antonio are 26-6, they are still undefeated at home, and they’ve built an 8-game lead over Dallas. But with Golden State, OKC, and the Spurs all holding huge leads, at present, it seems like all of the best divisional races, when judged in terms of competitiveness, are in the east.