The NBA season is well underway but there’s still plenty of action on the horizon before the playoffs get underway in April. The Denver Nuggets are the current champions but following a summer of trades and a blockbuster start to the campaign throughout the divisions, they face stiff competition to defend their crown.
After claiming their first NBA Championship last year, the Denver Nuggets have carried on that momentum into the new season. Led by Finals MVP Nikola Jokic, the Colorado-based side triumphed over Miami Heat in game five back in June.
The defending champions have arguably the best starting five in the whole of the NBA and they have won nine matches so far. They started the season strongly with four consecutive wins, including victory over the LA Lakers on the opening day.
They’re currently on a two-game losing streak but find themselves third in the Western Conference. Two-time NBA MVP Jokic has continued his dominance with a 28.8 PPG average. The Serbian scored a high of 36 points but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Houston Rockets as his side ultimately lost 107-104.
In the Western Conference, the Minnesota Timberwolves lead the way in the standings following a narrow 121-120 win over the New Orleans Pelicans at the weekend. They’ve lost just three times so far and are targeting their first ever finals win this season.
Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder sit just below them in the standings. They’ve recorded 10 wins, including an emphatic 134-91 triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers at the weekend. Key man Shai Gilgeous-Alexander netted 28 points in that victory to follow up his 40-point game the week before.
That defeat heaped further misery on the Trail Blazers, who lost Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks over the summer. The Oregon side find themselves second bottom with just three wins and 10 defeats.
In the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics are rolling back the years. Despite winning a joint-highest 17 championships, only one of those has come this century. Yet they’re flying at the top of the standings with 11 wins and just two defeats. They’ve won their last six games in a row with talisman Jayson Tatum leading the charge.
Elsewhere, the Philadelphia 76ers are also riding high despite losing James Harden to the LA Clippers in the summer. They’ve won 10 games so far and have scored over 100 points in every match, including a huge 146 against the Washington Wizards.
Down the bottom of the table, the Chicago Bulls are struggling and long for the days of Michael Jordan and co. pulling the strings. The Bulls didn’t make the playoffs last year, losing to eventual Eastern Conference champions the Miami Heat. They’ve lost nine games and desperately need to turn things around quickly.
Despite turning 39 next month, LeBron James is still firing for the LA Lakers and while he’s very much in the twilight of his career, he has his sights set firmly on a fifth NBA title this season.
The four-time NBA champion became the all-time leading points scorer in history earlier this year and he’s continued in that vein this term, averaging 26.4 so far and netting 37 last time out against the Houston Rockets.
James considered retirement over the summer but he’ll want to go out with a bang and will see it as the ultimate goodbye if he can secure the Lakers their first championship since 2020.
But his side will need to up for it if that dream is to become a reality. The Lakers have won five of their last six games but that form papers over the cracks of a disappointing start that has seen them lose six times so far.
If you fancy taking in some NBA action, don’t worry – there’s no need to travel all the way to the States. That’s because the world’s greatest basketball league is on its way back to Paris in the new year.
The Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday 11th January, with both sides looking to repeat last season’s efforts and make the playoffs. They’ve both endured mixed starts to the campaign and currently find themselves 8th and 10th respectively in the Eastern Conference.
Both sides will fancy their chances at climbing further up the standings and the showpiece event in Paris could be the place to see them turn their fortunes around.
We’ve got a range of hospitality options on offer for the game, giving you the chance to enjoy the match in style, as well as enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour, a meet and greet with an NBA legend and exclusive food and drinks packages.
A breathtaking 2023 Formula One season came to an end over the weekend and it finished just like it started - with a Max Verstappen win.In the least surprising news of the year, Verstappen was finally crowned champion as he raced to victory in...