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NBA News: Who’s Tops at the Quarter Mark?

December 2016 NBA News
Raptors are really hot right now.

Here’s a look at the December 2016 NBA news, including a consideration of where the top teams and possible playoff teams are. The season is about one-quarter done, which means each team has played approximately 20 games. In addition to considering where teams are at, our December 2016 NBA news is going to look at what players are making a big impact.

Teams to Beat- NBA East

Milwaukee is looking good.
Milwaukee is looking good.

In the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Raptors (14-6) have won six straight and are 7-10. Their differential of -8.7 is the best in the East and third best in the league. They’re running hotter than any club in the league. You may be asking, “What about Cleveland?” The Cavaliers (13-5) are tied for first in the conference with Toronto, but they have lost three in a row, going 6-4. Their PF/PA is a healthy +5.3. Still, there’s some concern about them.

Also looking good are the Milwaukee Bucks (10-8). The fifth place Bucks have notched four straight wins. At 6-4 over their past 10, they are looking pretty good. Their defense is winning games, while their offense is lacking. By the way, the Boston Celtics (12-8) are looking pretty, as they sit just two games behind the Raptors and Cavs. Although they have posted a 7-3 mark, this is a worrisome team as their differential is tiny. They need more on both ends of the court.

Teams to Beat- NBA West

Chris Paul is tough to stop.
Chris Paul is tough to stop.

In the West, the Oklahoma City Thunder (13-8) are in fifth place. The Thunder, with five straight wins, are playing well. They’ve gone 7-3 over the past two weeks. The team’s +3.8 PF/PA is a bit disconcerting. The club that seems to have its duck in a row is the Golden State Warriors (17-3). Over their last ten games, they’ve made a 9-1 mark. You’ve got to love their +12.7 differential.

The LA Clippers (16-6) are a team looking for consistency. They are 6-4 and have a pretty good defense. But their offense can sputter at times. The Clippers’ have a PF/PA that stands at +9.6. Of course, the San Antonio Spurs (16-4) are in second place and one-game behind the Warriors. They are a low scoring team with a healthy and efficient defense.

NBA Impact Players

The Bucks are feeling the positive accomplishments on defense of Giannis Antetokounmpo who is fifth in blocks (2.22) and second in steals (2.17). The 6’ 11” small forward is averaging 22.4 PPG, 8.6 RPG, and 6.1 APG.

Both DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul are having fine seasons for the Clippers. At center, the 6’ 11” Jordan is averaging 12.9 RPG, which is third in the NBA, and he has a shooting percentage of .633, which is second. For LA, Chris Paul is averaging 9.1 APG (5th) and 2.55 SPG (1st). The point guard is hitting 90% FT, 41% 3PT, and 46% FG.

Final Word: December 2016 NBA News

Our last word on the December 2016 NBA news concerns the end of the season. We expect that the teams we mentioned in this article in the East, the Cavaliers, Raptors, Bucks, and Celtics, will be in the postseason. Also, those in the West we highlighted, the Spurs, Warriors, Clippers, and Thunder, look like playoff teams.

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pmroczka

Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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