Juancho Hernangómez is proceeding very satisfactorily. The Spanish striker is living his best moment since he arrived at the Denver Nuggets in 2016. He has established himself as a starter and his team remains the surprising leader of the Western Conference after passing the challenging test of his visit at the court of the East's leader, Toronto Center of Toronto (103-106).
Juancho, at 23 and his third season in the NBA, has 11 departures, almost as many as the previous two years. Their averages have multiplied. In front of the Raptors he got three triples, 15 points, five rebounds and two steals. His average in the 22 games played this season is just over nine points, 5.4 rebounds and 25 minutes.
The reference of the Nuggets is its Serbian center, also aged 23, Nikola Jokic. Against the Raptors he obtained a triple double: 23 points, 11 rebounds and 15 assists. Jamal Murray, with 21 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, and Malik Beasley, with 15 points, were also important pieces in the sixth consecutive win of the Nuggets, winners despite the discreet performance of another of his key men, Paul Millsap.
The Raptors strengthened at the end but could not avoid their first loss after eight consecutive victories. Kawhi Leonard was a reference, with 27 points. Serge Ibaka contributed 15 points and 5 rebounds, Pascal Siakam, 14 points, six rebounds and seven assists. But Lowry was below his average, with five points and 11 assists. He lost six of the seven triples he tried and the Raptors' mistake from that distance was huge, with 11 3 points from the 41 they launched.
The Clippers, who many consider the revelation of the team so far this season, remain paired with the Nuggets at the top of the Western Conference rankings, having won in New Orleans (126-129). The Los Angeles team strengthened the contribution of players like Tobias Harris (27 points), Gallinari (24 points), Lou Williams (20 points) and Avery Bradley (15 points). The pelicans have noticed the absence of Nikola Mirotic, ill. He did not reach them with 37 points from Julius Randle, 23 points and 13 rebounds, five assists, three balls and three blocks from Anthony Davis, and 32 points and 14 assists from Jrue Holliday.
Oklahoma City wins in Detroit (83-110). They did not need very high numbers from their stellar trio: 18 points from Russell Westbrook, 21 from Steven Adams and 17 from Paul George. Álex Abrines played 18 minutes and added two points, a rebound and an assist. Blake Griffin was the only one to excel in the Pistons, with 20 points. Andre Drummond remained with 13 points and six rebounds. José Manuel Calderón played nine minutes and gave three assists.
Golden State Warriors won with authority in Atlanta (111-128). Stephen Curry in his second game after recovering from his last injury added six points and 30 points in just 29 minutes. Klay Thompson scored 27 points and eight rebounds and Paul George, 28 points and eight assists. In the Hawks, John Collins highlighted, with 24 points and 11 rebounds, and the rookie Trae Young, with 20 points.
Minnesota surprised Houston (103-91), although the Rockets season is very erratic. The cities, with 24 points and 11 rebounds, Wiggins, with 16 points, and Gibson, with 15 points and 11 rebounds, were the main performers of the Rockets. He draws attention to the poor performance of Chris Paul with points, and has not served much of the 29 points and eight assists of James Harden and the 24 points and eight rebounds of Clint Capela.
The Bulls reject Hoiberg
The Bulls fired their coach Fred Hoiberg. The team was penultimate in the Eastern Conference with five wins and 19 losses. Jim Boylen, until now assistant coach, becomes the best technical manager of the team. Arriving at the Bulls in 2015 after leading the Iowa State in the NCAA for five years, Hoiberg qualified the Bulls only once for the "plyaoffs". It was 2017, with Butler, Wade, Robin Lopez, Nikola and Rondo, among others, and fell in the first round against the Cetlics. Last season, the Bulls finished 13th in the East with 27 wins and 55 defeats and lost the Nikola Mirotic contest that mediated the season and moved to New Orleans.