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10 key takeaways from Week 3 of the 2020-21 NBA

Washington Wizards vs Boston Celtics
Washington Wizards vs Boston Celtics
ANALYST
Modified 13 Jan 2021
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After three weeks of action in the 2020-21 NBA season, fans are beginning to get a clear picture of how the standings may look like the end of the season.

As the league comes to grips with ongoing COVID-19 disruptions, several teams have emerged from Week 3 with vastly improved fortunes after the opening fortnight.

2020-21 NBA Week 3: Ten key talking points

The Dallas Mavericks, Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics have all had great weeks, but the Atlanta Hawks went backwards.

On that note, let us take a look back on an eventful seven days and the ten biggest takeaways from the week.


#1 Need to amend COVID-19 protocols

NBA suspends season after a player tests positive for COVID-19
NBA suspends season after a player tests positive for COVID-19

The NBA has fallen prey to the current COVID-19 pandemic as league officials discuss what future protocols should look like.

After the farcical nature in which a depleted Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, it was clear that the NBA needs to address its current ruling about player who contract the virus.

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At the time of writing, NBA officials are due to discuss how the health and safety protocols could be amended. While it is unlikely that the league will get postponed, the NBA will need to attempt to put in place stricter rules to protect the teams and staff, a task they completed well in the summer.


#2 Dallas Mavericks find their rhythm

Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Lakers
Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Lakers

One team who have been involved in NBA news regarding match postponements are the Dallas Mavericks, who will feel aggrieved to see their winning run getting delayed.

After starting the season with a 2-4 record, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle made tactical changes to his side which then went on a 3-game winning streak, knocking off the Houston Rockets and Denver Nuggets.

Embracing his benching, Tim Hardaway Jr. has been in inspired form, producing two 30+ games during week.

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Now that the Mavericks appear to have their season back up and running, fans will be excited by the prospect of Kristaps Porzingis returning to the floor this week alongside MVP candidate Luka Doncic.

#3 Boston Celtics display grittiness despite COVID-19 setbacks

Miami Heat v Boston Celtics
Miami Heat v Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics were one of the week's top performers in the NBA, as they stretched their winning run to four games this season.

Usually known for their steely defense, the Celtics have instead had to rely on their ability to close out games, winning four of seven games by five points or less.

Despite their good run, the Celtics have learnt that Kemba Walker has returned to training, but Jayson Tatum will have to isolate for 10-14 days, as has been the case with the majority of their lineup.

Nevertheless, the Boston Celtics could have a very positive season and should expect to reach the Conference Finals based on their current form.

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#4 Jayson Tatum and Luka Doncic win the 'NBA Conference Player of the Week' awards

Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Lakers
Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Lakers

Future faces of the NBA - Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum - have had stellar weeks while helping their sides climb up the Conference rankings.

Tatum has already hit a game-winner against the Milwaukee Bucks and has averaged 33 points off a 55.6 effective field-goal percentage last week. Both he and Jaylen Brown are having career-years and have been the driving forces in the Celtics' offense.

After initially struggling to find his offensive edge without his teammate and friend Kristaps Porzingis, Luka Doncic roared back to form, averaging a triple-double during the Mavs' successes this week.

The Slovenian has been widely tipped to win the MVP award this season, which given his all-round performances thus far, remain an accurate assumption.

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Published 12 Jan 2021, 07:17 IST
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