NBA Update: A Season Filled with Excitement

By Zion Williams, Contributing Writer

The NBA 2022-23 season has certainly delivered on the court so far. Injuries have plagued several teams, the Golden State Warriors have struggled on their journey to repeat as champions, and the Denver Nuggets have emerged as strong favorites to win the Western Conference.

Despite being troubled by injuries, Denver Nuggets players Nikola Jokić and Jamal Murray have pushed through for the season. Jokić has continued his form that won him the 2021-22 MVP award, placing him as a contender for this year’s award. Murray registered his first triple double against the Indiana Pacers on Monday, Jan. 21, and continues to be Denver’s second leading scorer.

With Jokić and Murray averaging similar numbers to their previous seasons while playing through injuries, Aaron Gordon has emerged as an important piece to the Nuggets’ title surge. Though tasked with defending many teams’ best scorers, he has been Denver’s third leading scorer. With a lot of basketball left to play and a difficult upcoming schedule, it remains to be seen whether the Nuggets can maintain their current winning form.

Early in the season, the Warriors were affected by controversy after footage was released of Draymond Green punching teammate Jordan Poole, and the reigning champions’ struggles have continued on the court. After a recent loss to the Brooklyn Nets, the Warriors dropped to tenth in the West, which is well below expectations coming into the season.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson have also struggled with injuries this season, helping to explain the team’s woes. In their absence, Jordan Poole has provided a hopeful spark for Golden State fans, averaging 21.3 points, 4.4 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game. Poole scored 32 points against both the Washington Wizards and Cleveland Cavaliers.  

The strength of the Eastern Conference has quickly become apparent, with the Boston Celtics and Milwaukee Bucks each becoming strong contenders for the title. The Celtics have the highest scoring duo in the NBA this season, with Jayson Tatum averaging 31.2 points per game and Jaylen Brown averaging 26.9. The Bucks are third in the East despite three-point specialist Kris Middleton missing 39 games this season and former MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo also falling victim to injury.

The Brooklyn Nets recently snapped a four-game losing streak against Utah Jazz and are currently fourth in the East. Kyrie Irving has been forced to become the number one option in the absence of the injured Kevin Durant. Irving had 48 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists against the Jazz, and 30 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists against the Suns this past week. However, many have questioned Irving’s ability to lead a team due to his questionable commitment and lack of success without players like LeBron James and Durant. 

This season has also seen some promising young cores. The New Orleans Pelicans, fourth in the West, have shown that they could compete in the playoffs despite a recent fourth game losing streak. Once Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram return from injury, the Pelicans will have the pieces they need to keep their record up. The Oklahoma City Thunder also have a young core led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who has averaged 30.6 points per game. Josh Giddy, Jalen Williams, and Lu Dort provide a solid supporting cast that can challenge for a spot in the postseason. The Thunder also snapped the first place Nuggets’ nine-game win streak.

The Washington Wizards, however, have not impressed. Bradley Beal has missed 20 games after signing a five-year maximum contract. After recently trading the talented young Rui Hachimura for Kendrick Nunn, the Wizards are trying to build around a big three of Beal, Kristaps Porzingis, and Kyle Kuzma. However, poor drafting, injuries, and the inconsistency of young role players have led them to a twelfth place spot in the Eastern Conference halfway through the season.

 New title contenders have emerged, with the Denver Nuggets and the Memphis Grizzlies rising. Former champions have struggled, with the Warriors resting at tenth in the West. However, there is still a lot of basketball left to play, and a lot of time for the conference tables to take different shapes before the playoffs begin on April 15.

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Author: Gettysburgian Staff

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  1. Insightful coverage Mr. Williams. Keep up the great journalism!

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