Early NBA Standings: Historic Pace

11/08/2023 Early NBA Standings: Historic Pace

By: Jeff Yoder

Celtics, Sixers, Mavericks & Nuggets Off to Hottest NBA Starts, But the Pacers’ High-Powered Offense is Wild to Watch

The NBA took a night off on Tuesday to make room for elections across the country, and that left a void. We filled it by rewinding the first two-ish weeks of the season. Teams have played anywhere from six to eight games, and that’s a small sample size that won’t tell the story at season’s end. Regardless, there’s something to be said for hot starts.


East’s Elites → Celtics, 76ers, Bucks & Pacers

The Celtics and 76ers (both 5-1) are cruising in the East, but the Bucks (4-2) are still acclimating to their newest star player, Damian Lillard. The biggest surprise? It’s the fast-paced Pacers (4-3) who rank 1st in the NBA in points per game (124.9 ppg). Indiana has put 140-plus on the scoreboard three times in seven games, including two 150-point outings. Only two other teams are averaging more than 120 ppg. The problem is Indiana’s defensive scoring (121.7 points allowed) ranks 29th.


Eastern Conference

1. Celtics (5-1)

2. 76ers (5-1)

3. Bucks (4-2)

4. Pacers (4-3)

5. Hawks (4-3)

6. Magic (4-3)

7. Cavaliers (3-4)

8. Knicks (3-4)

9. Raptors (3-4)

10. Nets (3-4)


Other: Heat (3-4), Bulls (3-5), Hornets (2-4), Pistons (2-6), Wizards (1-5)


West’s Bests → Nuggets, Mavs, Dubs & Wolves

It’s no surprise the defending champs are off to a hot start. The Nuggets are 7-1 and look like they haven’t missed a beat since last year’s run. The Warriors and Timberwolves are also playing great out of the gate, but the sneaky Mavericks (6-1) may be a bigger threat in the West than we thought. Their only loss came against Denver, and Luka Doncic (31-10-9) is averaging an almost-nightly triple-double. Could it finally be the year for Luka to take the MVP?


Western Conference

1. Nuggets (7-1)

2. Mavericks (6-1)

3. Warriors (6-2)

4. Timberwolves (4-2)

5. Pelicans (4-3)

6. Thunder (4-3)

7. Clippers (3-3)

8. Rockets (3-3)

9. Suns (3-4)

10. Lakers (3-4)


Other: Spurs (3-4), Blazers (3-4), Kings (2-4), Jazz (2-6), Grizzlies (1-6)


Photo: Michael Hickey / Getty Images