Table of Contents

    It’s hard to believe that tipoff was already a month ago. With the holiday season coming up, time begins to fly and teams have their identities figured out. The window for making a complete 180 degree change to the season is quickly closing, and with that let us take a look at the top five teams in the league after today. 

    1. Milwaukee Bucks (10-2)

    Trend: – , previously 1

    Another week has gone by and the Bucks are still hanging on to the top spot. The biggest news out of Milwaukee was the fact that the Bucks finally lost a basketball game, two at that, with losses to the Hawks and Spurs. It’s fair to say that Milwaukee only has one true loss as they rested many of their starters against San Antonio, however a loss is a loss and it is still reflected on the end of the year standings. Giannis Antetokounmpo has continued his incredible play, and Brook Lopez looks like a front-runner for Defensive Player of the year. The Bucks still boast the best defense in the NBA, and sit atop the title odds with the second ranked team this week.

    2. Boston Celtics (10-3)

    Trend: + 3, previously 5

    The Celtics start to this season has been nothing short of remarkable, and I would argue that they don’t mind being overshadowed by the Bucks’ early success out of the East. Boston currently has the best offense in basketball this season, as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown continue to dominate while the newly added Malcom Brogdon settles into a new scheme. An above average defense has been making the right stops at the right time, and this combination should keep the Celtics as a top seed in the East when playoffs come around.

    AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

    3. Utah Jazz (10-4)

    Trend: + 1, previously 4

    Before the season started nobody had foreseen any success for Utah. Vegas gave the Jazz a lowly win total of 24.5, and now they’re on pace to double that. Lauri Markkanen has continued his early season success and is beginning to make a serious case to be an All-Star selection this year. Utah’s opponents have not been lackluster either, as they have the fifth most difficult net rating in the league so far. Now I am not saying that the Jazz will finish as the top seed in the West where they sit currently, however this unit has far exceeded anybody’s expectations through this point in the season.

    4. Cleveland Cavaliers (8-4)

    Trend: – 3, previously 2

    The Cavaliers have lost three straight games after getting off to an 8-1 start. I do not find this as a cause for concern though, as Cleveland has been wildly competitive in each of these losses, as well as them all taking place on the road. The Cavs still lead the league in point differential even after the losses, and this is a very positive sign. I would be hesitant to write off Cleveland’s early success as a fluke and believe they will be in the race for a top three seed in the East by the time this season nears its end.

    AP Photo/Ron Schwane

    5. Phoenix Suns (8-4)

    Trend: – 2, previously 3

    Cam Johnson’s significant absence due to meniscus surgery is starting to identify some holes in this Phoenix team. It looks as though Chris Paul is finally beginning to be chased down by father time, and this previously 6-1 team with wins against strong opponents has gone 2-3 since that point. Devin Booker has been underwhelming in his play, and Mikal Bridges is attempting to expand his offensive repertoire, but it’s possible the Suns continue to fall over the coming weeks until they settle into a new starting five.


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    About Author

    Matt K

    Matt is the Social Media Manager at RYP and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts. He has experience managing social media accounts with agencies, small brands, and large companies. He’s a diehard New England sports fanatic, and if he’s not watching the Celtics, he can be found roaming around Boston discovering all that the city has to offer.




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