The 2021-22 NBA season is through another week. Unfortunately for Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard, little has changed since the end of Week 2.

The Golden State Warriors send the greatest shooter in NBA history onto the court each night giving them every chance of piling up points on the offensive end. Another all-time great shooter is sitting in the stands and not too far away from returning.

However, it’s on the defensive side of the ball that they are impressing most. Golden State’s 96.4 defensive rating is not only the best in the NBA right now, but one of the best defences in recent history.

Draymond Green is one of the best defensive players in the league and is currently equal with Rudy Gobert, Jimmy Butler and Paul George with an NBA-high 0.7 defensive win shares. Somewhat surprisingly, Steph Curry is only just behind at 0.6 defensive win shares.

The Warriors will be able to score points so long as Curry is healthy. If Klay Thompson returns to anything close to 100% before the playoffs, the Warriors will be in the championship conversation in which they’re currently on the fourth line of betting at $11.

Lakers Lost To Thunder Again

The Los Angeles Lakers are starting to put things together. An injury to LeBron James will slow down the process, but overall, they are making positive strides towards the top of the Western Conference. However, another loss to the lowly Oklahoma City Thunder is a cause for concern.

While they won’t win them all and played this one without James, the Lakers shouldn’t need James to win these matchups. Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook are more than enough to beat a team most expect to finish with the worst record in the NBA this season. These games are where Westbrook should be adding the most value.

It’s far from panic stations for the Lakers. From a championship contention perspective, we can’t read too much into James-less performances. Notably, the market has responded to another unconvincing week by pushing LA’s price to win the NBA championship out to $7.

Don’t Sleep On The Heat

The Miami Heat are only one season removed from an appearance in the NBA Finals and added Kyle Lowry – an exceptionally Heat-like player – to the roster for 2021-22. They’re 7-2 to start the season and just beat the Western Conference’s best Utah Jazz. Still, Lowry and the Heat are flying under the radar when talking about championship contenders.

So much of the talk is about the Brooklyn Nets ($3.60), Los Angeles Lakers ($7) and Milwaukee Bucks ($8), but the Heat are 4th in offensive AND defensive rating right now. They’re excellent on both sides of the ball and proven performers at the pointy end of the season. They play out some strange games – giving the Pacers their first win of the season and being thrashed by the Celtics are head-scratching results. Still, the Heat have a tendency to play up to their opposition and are worth exploring as potential NBA champions at $13. We already know they’re going to be “the team nobody wants to play in a seven-game series” when the playoffs roll around.

Dame’s Struggles

It’s ten games now though, Dame…

18.5 PPG
8.5 APG
3.8 RPG
35.1% FG
24.7% 3P

He finished up the Portland Trail Blazers’ win over the Indiana Pacers with four points on 2 for 13 shooting. That’s just unheard of for a player of Lillard’s calibre. A candidate for the Most Valuable Player award last season, something isn’t right. The Blazers don’t have the time to spend months figuring things out either. They’re a low Western Conference playoff team at best and are at an appealing $2.71 to miss the playoffs.

NBA Against The Spread Standings

The Miami Heat top the list to be 7-2 against the spread to start the season. Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers are just behind at 7-3 after performing well as underdogs.

After Week 3

Top 10
Bottom 10
Miami (7-2)Milwaukee (4-5)
Philadelphia (7-3)New Orleans (4-6)
Cleveland (7-3)Portland (4-6)
Utah (6-3)Denver (3-6)
Memphis (6-3)Detroit (3-6)
San Antonio (6-3)Atlanta (3-7)
Chicago (6-3)Orlando (3-7)
Sacramento (6-3)Minnesota (2-6)
Washington (6-3)Dallas (2-7)
Golden State (5-3)LA Lakers (2-8)

 

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