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The Jazz is legit, the Warriors are in trouble, and Doc Rivers and others have to go in the 2022-23 NBA season

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One of the basic rules of the NBA is that it takes about 25 games for a front office or coaching staff to properly rate a team.

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This is enough of a sample size to know your do’s and don’ts and what that means going forward.

But in the run-up to that, as we wrap up the first four weeks of the 2022-23 season, there are signs. Some of them may be statistical anomalies, but others can turn out to be clear indicators of what is to come. For example, you may not have remembered that the the Warriors Last season started 11-1…but you probably knew that LakersAh did.

However, early returns can also be deceiving. The Boston Celtics They made the NBA Finals last season, but didn’t find their rhythm or form until January. The Washington Wizardsfirst, and Chicago BullsFor longer periods, he sat atop the eastern standings at one point. not discussed.

So to get an understanding of this season, before we hit the 25-game mark, here are several early reviews — and an NBA scout takes each one with a percentage representing how well it matches my observations.

The thinking went that Danny Aing’s plan was to build a team that was fully capable of breaking. Roll up your Ls, collect some ping-pong balls, and pray to basketball heaven that Victor Wimpanyama is the next 7-foot-tall Frenchman to end up in Salt Lake City.

Instead, Utah jumped out to a 10-6 record with wins over Denver, Memphis, and both Los Angeles clubs. The Jazz has an offensive and defensive rating in the top 10, which is a semi-statistical requirement to make a tournament. And while Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert have shipped a bunch of future draft picks, Utah’s roster is full of experienced and rising NBA pros.

Laurie Markkanen was fantastic, and Jordan Clarkson, Mike Conley, Kelly Olynyk and Colin Sexton provide real depth.

In a Western Conference with a lackluster Lakers team, A.J clippers The team is still waiting for Kawhi Leonard, the Warriors are unable to win on the road, they are all dreading the Jazz.

Scout take: 65 percent

At this point, they are very deep into winning matches. I think they will sell some pieces, but we’re far enough away that they’re there.

Victor Wimpanyama will dominate the NBA

Sure, this isn’t technically an early opinion in the NBA, since the 18-year-old is in the LNB Pro A, but there’s a reason the NBA has been live-streaming its games.

The 7-foot-4 super Unicorn is a walking video game of shot-making, ball-handling, and blocking – all of it. He’s so good it’s sometimes hard to believe what he’s doing for real.

So calling him the next LeBron James isn’t too much praise. It’s not an exaggeration. Wimpanyama’s arrival in the NBA would change the game, and with it the fortunes of any team lucky enough to land him.

Scout take: 72 percent

I think there is a great opportunity for that. He moves well, is agile and has more ocean game than Chet Holmgren. But I always worry about guys of this size having problems with their lower body, especially their feet. Guys over 7 feet don’t have to move that way. My 72% depends purely on health. If he was healthy, he would be a monster.

Lakers are washed

They’re done. This is it. This is the evaluation.

Never mind that Anthony Davis is quietly playing great basketball again. Or that Russell Westbrook has looked promising off the bench. Or that LeBron James, back from injury, is still a LeBron. Or that their next few matches will be largely against bad teams as they are.

This is not a good basketball team. Their 3-10 record reflects who they are. They don’t make the playoffs. They don’t turn it around. Lakers season is cooked before the Thanksgiving turkey hits the oven, before the stuffing is done and before the pumpkin pie is baked. (I apologize to Chick Hearn.)

Scout take: 95 percent

Let’s compare that to Jazz. Lakers behind the Jazz six games. This is built on two people being superheroes every night, and neither of them can be superheroes every night. rus [Westbrook] He was fine. Fine. But there is nothing else there. All of this speaks to what lineup they should have? with who? They don’t have one.

The conduct of judgment is the scourge of honesty to goodness

And not just for Sacramento Kings, which should be 8-4 now instead of 7-6. Just ask Kevin Huerter.

This is the worst referee we’ve seen in the NBA in memory. Pushing the league and hoping for par is a good idea, and a product of the recent collective bargaining agreement, but none of it matters if teams without stars or outside major markets have to overcome their opponent – and referee bias.

Scout take: 0 percent

It was nasty, but not a real problem. They’ve been pretty bad this year, but what are the fans going to do, boycott? … Will Daryl Morey send some data back to the league? No…it’s not a real problem.

The Golden State Warriors are in trouble

They haven’t won on the road yet in seven attempts. (This team went 2-1 in Boston During the NBA Finals.) This season, Golden State’s defense is among the worst in the league, after having the best finish in the league last season. Outside of Stephen Curry, the offense isn’t much better.

Klay Thompson looks like a shell to himself, the little guns that were supposed to enter the void are pretty much bogged down and the fallout from Draymond Green’s punch to Jordan Poole still lingers.

They have a curry, so they can tell. But this is the biggest lift all-time greats should attempt, and if his teammates don’t improve soon, he may not be up to the task.

Scout take: 40 percent

I don’t think we’ve seen enough to say they’re in real trouble yet, but what we’ve seen isn’t particularly encouraging. Clay was bad. His defense never comes back. These formations have always been built on elite defense. Currently [Andrew] Wiggins can do some of that. And Clay can’t kick the ball either, but I expect him to start making more players. Do they have enough around men while they wait for young men to develop? Now the answer is no. But I’m more convinced that the starting five is so good that they can take some of that and then make it to the playoffs where it matters less.

It’s time for Philadelphia to move on from Doc Rivers

They have Joel Embiid, talking about his historic game. They had James Harden running back before he was injured. Therese Maxi continues to impress him. President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey added PJ Tucker and Danuel House Jr. and Trevelin Queen in the offseason.

However, the Sixers are sitting at 7-7 – and were 4-5 before Harden was injured.

Embiid is a generational talent, and Maxey and Harden, when healthy, should form an offensive core capable of helping this team sit atop the Eastern Conference. The pieces are there. Consistency was not.

Relying on Embiid to carry this team isn’t a plan, and on too many nights – especially during the team’s final playoff runs – the Sixers look a lot like a team Should be Something special on the contrary It was Special.

Murry never hired Rivers, and Rivers, other than one tournament in Boston, was always underpaid. This is the same coach who failed to succeed in the postseason with previous Sixers teams. And before that, with former Clippers teams. and so on.

time to move on.

Scout take: 100 percent

It just doesn’t work. It does not work. It’s different now because James Harden is out, but at the beginning of the year it was James Harden’s ball without a James Harden peak. Sometimes the votes fail. this happens. And outside of Minnesota they look like the most miserable team in the league. The feelings are not good. And Doc isn’t very good.

The hawk It will make another deep playoff run

Two years ago, the Atlanta Hawks’ run to the Eastron Conference Finals seemed to point an awkward path for Trae Young and his teammates. they sent Nixknocked out the Sixers and fought the eventual champion dollarsAnd she seemed poised for the stellar years ahead.

Then came the 2021-22 season – a disappointing campaign marked by inconsistent play and effort, and a slump on defense.

But the Falcons rediscovered their groove, consistency, and defense ranked sixth in the league’s defensive rankings. Dejounte Murray has been a huge addition, and a team flirting at the top of the Eastern Conference has all the chops, depth, and — in youth — star power to be a legitimate playoff team.

Scout take: 30 percent

I was impressed with them the year they made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, and watched them up close, but I don’t buy it. Trae is a great offensive player, but there are ways in which some defenses – especially when teams have time to plan for him, like in the playoffs – can make life very difficult for him. He doesn’t have the handle or skill power around the edge that Steve has, so if you have some of those long wings that can bother him, they’ll have the advantage.

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