NBA Season Catch Up – Who Has Shone And Who Has Disappointed?

By Ian John
December 15, 2022

It has been a good while since we caught up with the latest action in the NBA so now seems as good a time as any to take a look at the current standings and take a look at the teams and players that have shone bright over the course of the season so far, as well as those that have struggled to find any kind of form as yet.

Remember, bet365 Sport offers an extensive and detailed selection of NBA betting markets, both pre-match and outright markets are available on the season and on each game, plus you can enjoy a wealth of In Play betting when the matches are in progress.

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So what have been the major stories of the 2022-23 NBA Season so far? Let’s take a look and find out by firstly, taking a look at the individual standings in the Eastern and Western Conferences.

At this stage of the season, most teams have played between 27 and 29 games of their regular season of 82 matches.

Once the 82 games have been completed, the top six teams in each Conference qualify for the playoffs, while the teams finishing 7th to 10th take part in a relatively new addition to the post-season, The Play In.

The two teams that qualify from the Play In games in each Conference take the 7th and 8th seed spots in their Conference playoffs, which begin once the Play In games have been completed.

Let’s begin this review of the NBA Season so far by taking a look at how things have gone in the Eastern Conference first.

Eastern Conference Standings

  1. Boston Celtics – 22-7
  2. Milwaukee Bucks – 20-7
  3. Cleveland Cavaliers – 18-11
  4. Brooklyn Nets – 17-12
  5. Philadelphia 76ers – 15-12
  6. New York Knicks – 15-13
  7. Indiana Pacers – 15-14
  8. Miami Heat – 14-15
  9. Atlanta Hawks – 14-15
  10. Toronto Raptors – 13-15
  11. Chicago Bulls – 11-16
  12. Washington Wizards – 11-18
  13. Orlando Magic – 9-20
  14. Detroit Pistons – 8-22
  15. Charlotte Hornets – 7-21

It is fair to say that things have gone pretty much as expected for most teams in the Eastern Conference, with just one or two teams either performing better, or worse, than expected.

At the start of the year, most people would have had the Celtics, Bucks, Nets, 76ers and Knicks as being in the top six of this division and after just over a third of the season, so that has proved accurate.

However, it is fair to say that the Miami Heat, Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls have performed a little worse than expected, while the Charlotte Hornets performance this season has been dismal.

On the positive side of things, it is good to see the Cleveland Cavaliers getting back into contention after a tough few years, while the Indiana Pacers will be content enough with their start to the season.

Star Players In The Eastern Conference

Joel Embiid (76ers) – Embiid has been a MVP candidate the past few years and he is making a strong claim for that honour once again this season. The 76ers big man has an NBA leading average of 33.3 points per game and he is absolutely fundamental to the 76ers chances this season.

Giannis Antetokoumpo (Bucks) – Quite simply Antetokounmpo is the most complete player in the NBA at the present moment in time. The two-time MVP of the league averaged 31.1 points for his team, as well as 11.3 rebounds, ranking him 3rd and 5th in the entire NBA on both those lists.

Jayson Tatum (Celtics) – If there is a reason why the Celtics are top of this division, then it is likely that it is Jayson Tatum. He averages 30.2 points for his team and alongside the sharp three-point shooting of Malcolm Brogdon and Al Horford, he is the main point scorer for Boston. He has been Eastern Conference Player of the Month for both October and November and recently put up 44 points in an overtime win over the Lakers.

Our NBA Eastern Conference Predictions

Playoff Seeds – Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Cleveland Cavaliers, Brooklyn Nets, Atlanta Hawks

Play In Teams – Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, New York Knicks, Washington Wizards

Let’s now take a look at how things stand in the Western Conference.

Western Conference Standings

  1. New Orleans Pelicans – 18-9
  2. Memphis Grizzlies – 18-9
  3. Denver Nuggets – 17-10
  4. Portland Trail Blazers – 16-12
  5. Phoenix Suns – 16-12
  6. Los Angeles Clippers – 17-13
  7. Sacramento Kings – 15-12
  8. Utah Jazz – 16-14
  9. Dallas Mavericks – 14-14
  10. Golden State Warriors – 14-15
  11. Minnesota Timberwolves – 13-15
  12. Los Angeles Lakers – 11-16
  13. Oklahoma City Thunder – 11-17
  14. Houston Rockets – 9-18
  15. San Antonio Spurs – 9-19

If things have gone pretty much as expected in the Eastern Conference, then it has been a complete change in the Western Conference this season. Teams such as the Lakers, Warriors, Jazz and Mavericks, more used to challenging at the top of this division, have had poor seasons by their own lofty standards.

Instead, we have seen the likes of the New Orleans Pelicans, driven on by Zion Williamson, and the Memphis Grizzlies leading the pace at the top of the Western Confernce, with the Trail Blazer and Nuggets close behind them.

Probably none of that top four would have been obvious picks this season bt the Suns and Clippers in 5th and 6th would have been, while the Jazz and Mavericks in 8th and 9th are not out of things yet but need to improve on their poor start to the season.

A lot in this division could change over the coming months, depending on which individuals and teams start to find their true form.

Star Players In The Western Conference

Luka Doncic (Mavericks) – Dallas may be a 0.500 team at the moment, but Luka Doncic’s stellar play is the reason they are not in a worse position. The Dallas star averages 33 points a game so far his season and he’s teamed that with 8.7 assists per game to make him perhaps the best attacking threat in the Western Conference and whole NBA.

Nikola Jokic (Nuggets) – The two-time MVP of the NBA the past two years has once again been the key man in Denver, where he has amassed 9.0 assists  per game while still being their key man on offense and defense. He has recently recorded his 80th triple-double in their recent win over the Utah Jazz.

Zion Williamson (Pelicans) – After spending all of last season injured, Zion Williamson has come in and spearheaded the Pelicans rise up the table. They have won 14 of their last 16 games and Williamson is averaging 30.0 points in their last seven winning games. There is already talk of him being an MVP contender this season and it is easy to see why.

Our NBA Western Conference Predictions

Playoff Seeds – New Orleans Pelicans, Memphis Grizzlies, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors

Play In Teams – Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers

Remember, the NBA Season runs through to April, with plenty of great games to enjoy over the festive period if you fancy tuning in for a bet or just to watch the best in the NBA battle it out!

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