As we approach the 15 games played mark more or less across the league, we’re probably going to start seeing the early winners slow down and the early losers catch back up. The Sixers looked like Loserville, USA, but have gradually righted the ship to reach a .500 record and are within striking distance of the top-half of the East. Cleveland has dropped four straight and while they’ll surely end the season a legitimate force in the East, the wear and tear of heavy early season minutes on the starters was bound to show at some point.
Chicago generically sucks.
Out West we’re seeing more of a holding pattern. Utah is starting to coast back down, but even then they’re comfy in a three-way tie for the first seed, and a total of three games separates the top-seeded Trail Blazers/Nuggets/Jazz from the 11th-seeded Spurs. Denver and Phoenix have had the strongest run of the last 10 games with 7-3 marks each over that stretch, while the Timberwolves, Lakers, and Warriors all sort of loaf around in the cellar. Presumably the Warriors will drag themselves out of the muck, and I’ll be the first to declare the Lakers season a loss with the Wolves right on their heels.
In terms of games to watch, Clippers-Mavs Tuesday night is interesting even if Kawhi Leonard will never play more than 10 games a year ever again. Boston-Atlanta on Wednesday is a fun early-season matchup, as are Raptors-Hawks and Jazz-Blazers on Friday.
What will you be keeping an eye on? Is Pistons-Lakers a loser-leaves-town throw down? Follow along with the league all week in the comments below.