Toronto Raptors: Around the NBA, including Giannis Antetokounmpo drops 50

Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Pascal Siakam (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images) /

Every week we take you beyond the Toronto Raptors to look at the rest of the NBA. This week’s highlights include the Wizards elite offense, the competitive East, and Giannis Antetokounmpo dropping 50.

The Toronto Raptors are currently 12-4 and in second place in the Eastern Conference. But what’s been happening around the rest of the NBA? We take a look in our NBA update.

Washington Wizards top offense

For the most part, the teams at the top of the NBA offensive rankings are who you’d expect. The Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Los Angeles Lakers were supposed to feature some of the league’s best units.

But of the top five, there is one surprise team. The Washington Wizards have the second-best offensive rating among all NBA teams. Their placement among the league’s best a surprise is beyond an understatement. No one expected the Wizards to feature an above-average unit. They’re a Luka Doncic cold shooting streak away from being the best group in the NBA.

The lions share of the credit should be laid at the feet of Bradley Beal. He’s the only real driving force, and he’s currently out dueling units led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, James Harden, and LeBron James. Even if they regress over the course of the season, to rank second a month into the year is an incredible accomplishment.

Eastern Conference logjam

The Eastern Conference was expected to have the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers at the top, with a bunch of question marks below. While most would agree they had solid upside, no one was quite sure of what to expect from the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, and Toronto Raptors tier.

Just over 15 games into the season, it appears we can expect quite a lot. All three teams are 12-4, currently tied for second in the Eastern Conference and fifth in the NBA. They’re also ahead of the early favorite 76ers, albeit by just a few games.

The top of the Eastern Conference is loaded. The race for the three seed and homecourt advantage should be a thriller.

Giannis Antetokounmpo drops 50

After LeBron James’ long reign as the top player in the NBA, for the first time in a while, it’s not entirely clear who’s the best basketball player in the world. However, if I had to cast my vote, it would be for Giannis Antetokounmpo. The man known as the “Greek Freak” won the MVP last season and somehow is even better this year.

Nothing encapsulates Antetokounmpo’s dominance better than his performance against the Utah Jazz on Monday night. With Khris Middleton out, Antetokounmpo scored 50 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, dished six assists, and recorded ZERO turnovers. It was a masterful game from a player who looks like the odds-on favorite to claim a second MVP trophy.

Next. Fred VanVleet is Raptors point guard of the future. dark

Make sure to check out what is happening around the NBA every Wednesday at Raptors Rapture.