After securing the number one playoff seed in the EasternConference of the NBA last season, the Boston Celtics have no offseason hangover at the outset of the 2017 – 2018 NBA season.
They have won 13 in a row following their most recent game against the Brooklyn Nets, which produced at 109 – 102 victory. The Celtics have not lost since they dropped their first two games at the outset of the season. A true test of the team will come when they play the world champion Golden State Warriors.
That is bad news for the Philadelphia 76ers, whom despite being much improved over the previous few seasons, play in the same Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference, where they are one game above .500 and trail Boston by five games.
Philadelphia beat the Los Angeles Clippers 109 – 105 in their most recent action, where Aussie rookie sensation Ben Simmons scored 22 points in a game that was close, with the Clippers holding a two-point advantage following the first three quarters. The 76ers outscored their opponents 32 – 26 in the final quarter to secure a win.
Other Aussies in the NBA had some good results.
Patty Mills notched a season-high 19 points as his San Antonio Spurs edged the Dallas Mavericks in a Texas Derby by the score of 97 – 91. It gave the Spurs their ninth win of the season as they chase the Houston Rockets, which is the premier squad of the Southwest Division of the NBA Western Conference.
As far as the overall picture of the NBA at this early juncture of the season goes, one surprise has been the slow start of the Cleveland Cavaliers, whose 7 – 7 record has them in third position behind the Eastern Conference Central Division leading Detroit Pistons and second-place Milwaukee Bucks.
Another unexpected result is that the Denver Nuggets, typically low men on the totem pole, seemingly forever, are having good outcomes in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference, where they trail the division leading Minnesota Timberwolves by just ½ game.