One of the most notable storylines in the early part of this NBA season is that offenses have not been in sync.
As a result, several teams have gotten out to great starts defensively. Two of them were on display Monday Night.
The Chicago Bulls and Philadelphia 76ers set a new standard for defending their homecourt with their victories over the Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers.
It’s a bit of an obscure record, but a notable mark nonetheless, one provided by the Elias Sports Bureau. In the NBA’s shot clock era (since 1954), this year’s Bulls (206) and 76ers (221) have allowed the fewest points in their first three home games.
The previous mark was set by the 2003-04 Spurs, who allowed 229 points in their first three home games.
After beating the Pistons 92-68, the Bulls have now held two of their three opponents at home to below 70 points. They held the Grizzlies to 64 points on New Year’s Day.
Also via Elias, the Bulls are now 13-0 against the Pistons over the last four calendar years, the best record for any NBA team against a particular opponent over that span.
The 76ers continue along in surprising fashion. Through eight games, they are holding opponents to just under 90 points per 100 possessions, which represents an early dramatic improvement from last season, in which they allowed 102.5 points per 100. Philadelphia’s +14.7 point differential is the best in the NBA.
Chandler getting into flow for Knicks
Chandler had a pair of alley-oops among his seven baskets. He’s had four alley-oops in his last two games after netting five in his first seven games.
Plus-Minus Note of the Night
The Minnesota Timberwolves got far better production from their bench than their starters. All five Timberwolves reserves finished with a positive plus-minus, but each of their starters had a -11 plus-minus or worse in a 97-87 loss to the Toronto Raptors.
Most impressive was J.J. Barea. The Timberwolves outscored the Raptors by 21 points when Barea played and they were outscored by 31 when he was off the floor.
Rookie Ricky Rubio finished a +1 in 30 minutes. He is now a +49 through the Timberwolves first nine games.