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The 5: The whole lot to know coming into Week 3

Russell Westbrook completed with 18 factors, eight rebounds and eight assists in a sixth man function in Sunday’s win over the Nuggets.

Each Monday we’ll inform you what it’s good to know heading into a brand new week of NBA motion.


1. The Warmth Verify: The most popular groups and gamers coming into the week

Luka Doncic, Dallas

Doncic placed on a present Sunday in Dallas, scoring 30 factors within the first half alone, and ending with 44 factors on 17-of-26 (65.4%) capturing to go along with 5 assists within the Maverick’s 114-105 win over the Magic.

Not solely does Doncic lead the NBA in scoring coming into Week 3 at 36.4 factors per sport, however he has additionally scored a minimum of 30 factors in every of his first six video games. Who was the final participant to open a season on such a sizzling streak? Michael Jordan in 1986.

One of many keys to Doncic’s torrid begin is the truth that he is in one of the best situation to start the season that we have seen in his first 5 seasons within the NBA. Reasonably than enjoying himself into form over the course of the primary half of the season, Doncic has been able to go since day one after enjoying for Slovenia in EuroBasket for the primary half of September proper earlier than coaching camp opened.

Check out Luka’s month-by-month splits from final season after which evaluate his numbers from October 2021 to October 2022. His scoring is up 14.2 factors per sport, his rebounds and assists are up one per sport, and his efficient subject purpose proportion is up 7.4 proportion factors.

2021-22 SEASON
MONTH GP PTS REB AST GFE% USG%
october 6 22.5 8.5 7.5 46.8 33.9
November 10 27.3 8.0 8.7 52.7 35.9
December 5 26.0 7.4 9.2 53.0 37.5
January 15 25.6 10.1 9.5 49.0 34.4
February 10 34.7 10.3 8.8 53.5 41.8
March 14 29.9 9.2 7.8 58.0 35.8
april 5 31.8 8.4 10.2 54.8 41.2
2022-23 SEASON
MONTH GP PTS REB AST GFE% USG%
october 6 36.7 9.5 8.7 54.2 39.4

And within the spirit of Halloween, this is one thing scary for the remainder of the NBA: Luka nonetheless has room for enchancment on his 3-point shot. He is solely capturing 22.6% from deep to date this season; he is shot 35% from 3-point vary in every of the previous two seasons and is 33.4% for his profession.

Can Luka preserve his 30-point sport streak alive this week because the Mavericks play the third and fourth video games of an early season five-game homestand? The Mavericks open the week in opposition to one of many shock groups of the younger season, the 5-2 Utah Jazz, on Wednesday, earlier than closing out the week in opposition to the Raptors on Friday.

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Donovan Mitchell, Cleveland

The Cleveland Cavaliers knew they have been getting a three-time All-Star once they traded for Donovan Mitchell this offseason, however what Mitchell has carried out by his first six video games has exceeded all expectations for the opening weeks with a brand new squad.

Mitchell has slot in seamlessly with the Cavs, who’re off to a 5-1 begin, and is averaging 32.2 factors, 7.3 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.7 steals per sport whereas capturing 49.6% from the sphere and 45.5% from 3-point vary one over 9 makes an attempt per sport. All of those numbers would symbolize career-bests for the sixth-year guard, as would his 38.9 minutes per sport.

The query is whether or not this degree of play is sustainable for Mitchell individually and the Cavaliers as a complete. They open Week 3 with a nationally televised matchup with defending Jap Convention champion Celtics on Wednesday earlier than hitting the street to tackle Detroit and each Los Angeles groups.

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Milwaukee Bucks

There is just one unbeaten group within the NBA coming into Week 3 and it’s the 5-0 Milwaukee Bucks.

The Bucks boast the league’s top-ranked protection, permitting solely 102.6 factors per 100 possessions. And after being held to 90 factors of their season-opening win over the Sixers, the Bucks have scored a minimum of 110 factors in every of their previous 4 video games.

Take into account that they’re doing this with out Khris Middleton, who continues to be sidelined following offseason wrist surgical procedure. Middleton and Pat Connaughton are nearing their return to the court docket, which can solely make the Bucks stronger.

After enjoying simply 5 video games within the first two weeks of the season, they’ve 4 video games within the span of six days this week. This week, they host Detroit on Monday and Wednesday earlier than visiting Minnesota on Friday (ESPN) earlier than coming house to shut the week in opposition to the Thunder on Saturday.


2. Can sixth man Russ save the Lakers?

After opening the season with 5 straight losses, the Los Angeles Lakers grew to become the ultimate group to get their first win of the season on Sunday evening with a 121-110 win over the Denver Nuggets.

The Lakers obtained two issues on Sunday that had eluded them for a lot of the opening two weeks of play: good capturing and an important sport from Russell Westbrook off the bench.

Los Angeles shot 13-of-30 (43.3%) from 3-point vary on Sunday evening, after capturing 25%, 20%, 18%, 27% and 31% over their first 5 video games of the season (a mixed 42- of-177, 23.7%). As LeBron James stated after opening evening, the Lakers haven’t got a roster stuffed with laser shooters, so capturing over 40% from deep frequently will not be probably. Nonetheless, if the Lakers can collectively shoot within the 30s, that might go an extended method to serving to their last-place offense climb up the rankings.

As nice because the 3-point capturing was on Sunday, Westbrook’s efficiency off the bench was a good higher signal of positivity for the Lakers. Westbrook posted the very best plus/minus of any participant on Sunday (+18) as he completed with 18 factors on 6-of-12 capturing, eight rebounds and eight assists in 32 minutes.

Westbrook has accepted the function of sixth man and Sunday’s sport was an instance of how he can thrive in that function. “Like I’ve talked about since day one, no matter is required from me to assist the group win, that is what I will do,” Westbrook stated after the sport.

Can the Lakers construct on Sunday’s win and start to climb out of the Western Convention cellar? This week they shut out a four-game homestand with matchups in opposition to New Orleans on Wednesday, Utah on Friday and Cleveland on Sunday. These three groups enter Week 3 with a mixed 14-5 report.


3. Nationwide TV highlight: Should-see matches

Monday: Indiana at Brooklyn, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV

How will the Nets reply to their loss to the Pacers on Saturday that Brooklyn head coach Steve Nash might solely describe as a “catastrophe” once they meet 48 hours later? Can the Pacers repeat their sizzling capturing (23-of-46 from 3) and get one other good efficiency from rookie Bennedict Mathurin, who scored a career-best 32 factors in Saturday’s win?

Tuesday: Minnesota at Phoenix, 10 ET, TNT

When the Timberwolves made the commerce to accumulate Rudy Gobert this offseason, it was to raise them to compete in opposition to the highest groups within the Western Convention. This sport in opposition to the Suns is a superb take a look at for the Timberwolves, who’ve performed just one group that made final 12 months’s playoffs of their first seven video games of the season. Phoenix enters Week 3 driving a four-game profitable streak and is tied for one of the best report within the West at 5-1.

Wednesday: Memphis at Portland, 10 ET, ESPN

Ja Morant leads the NBA in “did you simply see that moments” that you do not need to miss any evening he is in your tv. And whereas Portland can be with out Damian Lillard resulting from a calf pressure, they’ve Anfernee Simons, who set NBA Twitter on fireplace final week when he caught fireplace within the third quarter of Portland’s win over Denver. Simons scored 22 factors and made six 3-pointers within the third quarter alone.

Saturday: Boston at New York, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBA TV

The defending Jap Convention champion Celtics make their first journey of the season to Madison Sq. Backyard, a spot they haven’t received since December 2019. The Knicks, together with key offseason acquisition Jalen Brunson, will look to maintain that streak intact. After beginning the season 3-1, New York has misplaced back-to-back video games to Milwaukee and Cleveland – the highest two groups within the East. Now they will face Boston, the No. 3 group within the East at 4-2 coming into Week 3.


4. League Move video games to look at: Begin your free trial as we speak

Wednesday, Nov. 2: Utah at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. ET

Luka Doncic will look to increase his streak of scoring a minimum of 30 factors to seven video games when the Mavericks host the Jazz on Wednesday evening. The Jazz have been among the finest tales of the early season as they open Week 3 in fourth place within the Western Convention at 5-2, whereas the Mavericks are tenth at 3-3.

Friday, Nov. 4: Golden State at New Orleans, 8:30 p.m. ET

Does this sport really want extra of a promote than these two names: Stephen Curry and Zion Williamson? The Warriors enter Week 3 having misplaced two in a row and wish to get again on monitor. In the meantime, the Pelicans obtained Zion again on Sunday after lacking the earlier two video games with a decrease again contusion after a tough fall final week. Hopefully by Friday, the Pelicans may also see the returns of Herb Jones (proper knee hyperextension) and Brandon Ingram (concussion protocols), who’ve each missed the final three video games for the 4-2 Pelicans.

Sunday, Nov. 6: Cleveland at Los Angeles, 3:30 p.m. ET

Anytime LeBron James performs in opposition to his former group from Cleveland, it’s a must-watch matchup. In 18 profession video games in opposition to the Cavaliers, LeBron has averaged 29.6 factors per sport, which is his highest scoring common in opposition to any opponent in his profession. Since becoming a member of the Lakers in 2018 after his second run in Cleveland, LeBron is 5-0 in opposition to the Cavaliers with averages of 34.6 factors, 7.4 rebounds and eight.2 assists.


5. This week in NBA historical past: Key anniversaries and milestones to have fun

October 31, 1950

Monday marks the 72nd anniversary of the NBA breaking the colour barrier as Earl Lloyd grew to become the primary black participant to compete within the NBA, enjoying for the Washington Capitols in a 78-70 street loss to the Rochester Royals.

November 1, 1946

Tuesday marks the 76th anniversary of the NBA’s first sport when the New York Knicks defeated the Toronto Huskies 68-66 in Toronto. Any fan taller than Toronto’s 6-foot-8 heart George Nostrand obtained in free that evening; a promotion that might result in a great deal of free tickets in as we speak’s league.

November 2, 1990

Wednesday marks the thirty second anniversary of the highest-scoring non-overtime sport in league historical past when the Golden State Warriors registered a 162-158 win over the Denver Nuggets. The 320 mixed factors set the report that also stands as we speak. The truth is, solely three video games have produced extra factors when together with additional time.

November 3, 1996

Thursday marks the twenty sixth anniversary of the NBA debut of the legendary Kobe Bryant, who performed six minutes off the bench within the Lakers’ 91-85 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

November 4, 1961

Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors started a streak of 65 consecutive video games of scoring 30 or extra factors. Luka Doncic wants simply 59 extra 30+ level video games in a row to catch the Huge Dipper.

November 4, 2016

Stephen Curry’s then-record streak of video games with a minimum of one 3-pointer made ended at 157 video games. Curry has since surpassed that report as he has made a minimum of one 3-pointer in 196 consecutive video games and counting, a streak that dates again to Dec. 1, 2018. Curry is 4 video games away from reaching 200 straight video games, which might come subsequent Monday at house in opposition to the Kings.

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