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HomeBasketBallNBAYes, even the Celtics have a flaw: The good (and bad) for...

Yes, even the Celtics have a flaw: The good (and bad) for every NBA team this season – USA TODAY

By this time of the NBA season, teams have established certain aspects of their identity.
The good and the bad have emerged with surprises tucked in as playoff races begin to take shape.
Even with good teams, there are negatives, and with bad teams, there are positives – even if you have to really search for it either way.
Boston Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla isn’t 100% satisfied despite Boston’s league-best 21-5 record, and Orlando Magic coach Jamahl Mosley can find something worthwhile on his team despite a league-worst 6-20 record.
Here is the good and the bad on every NBA team (records and stats through Thursday’s games):
Follow every game: Latest NBA Scores and Schedules
Good: The best team in the league with the best offense and best duo (Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown).
Bad: Nitpicking here but the Celtics are one of the worst offensive rebounding teams in the league, mainly because they make so many shots.
Good: The Bucks have the second-best record, led by star Giannis Antetokounmpo, and they’ve done it with Khris Middleton missing the first 22 games.
Bad: Milwaukee is 21st in field goal percentage.
Good: Healthy and playing like a star, Zion Williamson has helped the deep and talented Pelicans to the third-best record with a top-six offense and defense.
Bad: The Pelicans are 21st in 3-pointers made per game at 11.4.
Good: No Chris Paul for 14 games, and the Suns still have the fourth-best net rating, and Devin Booker is playing like an MVP.
Bad: The Celtics just crushed the Suns 125-98 in Phoenix.
Good: The Cavaliers have the No. 1 defense and the No. 3 net rating behind a strong core of Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen.
Bad: The Cavs are 21st in 3-point attempts per game, and the Lakers are the only championship team in the past decade who were not been a top-20 team in 3-point attempts.
Good: The Grizzlies are one of five teams in the top 10 in offensive and defensive rating, and star Ja Morant is on his way to his second All-NBA season.
Bad: Demond Bane, who had an All-Star start to the season, has missed 13 games and is expected to miss approximately another month with a right big toe sprain.
Good: The Nuggets are a scoring machine with Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. propelling Denver to the No. 4 offense.
Bad: The Nugget are 26th defensively, and the four teams below them have losing records and a combined winning percentage of 35.5%.
Good: First-year Kings coach Mike Brown has the team playing solid basketball, especially offensively (No. 5), as the Kings, led by De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, eye a playoff appearance for the first time since 2006 .
Bad: Like the Nuggets, the Kings struggle defensively, 22nd in points allowed per 100 possessions.
Good: Lauri Markkanen has been an eye-popping revelation as a potential All-Star for the surprising Jazz, who most expected to tank.
Bad: The Jazz have the worst defensive rebounding rate and allow the second-most offensive rebounds.
Good: Luka Doncic leads the NBA in scoring at 32.9 points per game and averages 8.7 assists, 8.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals and is shooting 50.3% from the field and 34.8% on 3s.
Bad: With Doncic’s high usage rate, the Mavs are 26th in assist percentage and 27th in assists per game.
Good: After a 2-5 start and the dismissal of Steve Nash as coach, the Nets have won 12 of 19 games and are in fourth place in the East as Kevin Durant shows off his offensive brilliance just about every game.
Bad: Kyrie Irving is shooting a career-low 31.5% on 3-pointers.
Good: Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons are turning into one of the best backcourts in the league. Lillard (26.9 points per game), Simons (23.9) and Jerami Grant (22.8) give the Blazers the league’s highest scoring trio.
Bad: The Blazers have one of the lowest scoring benches (but compensate with decent defense).
Good: Dejounte Murray averages 20.8 points, 6.2 assists and 5.4 rebounds and shoots 45.2% from the field and 36.6% on 3-pointers in his first season with the Hawks.
Bad: Trae Young, who clashed with coach Nate McMillan, is shooting career lows from the field (40.9%) and 3-pointers (28.9%) while taking the most shots per game of his career.
Good: Acquiring Tyrese Haliburton in a trade with Sacramento and drafting Bennedict Mathurin with the No. 6 pick give the surprising Pacers a bright future.
Bad: The Pacers have a high turnover rate, averaging 15.8 – 24th in the league.
Good: Pascal Siakam is back at an All-Star level, averaging 24.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 7.1 assists and shooting 49.1% from the field and 35.1% on 3s.
Bad: The Raptors are 25th in 3-pointers made per game (10.7) and 3-point percentage (32.8%).
Good: Despite offensive problems, Clippers coach Ty Lue has the Clippers playing solid defense – No. 5 in points allowed per 100 possessions.
Bad: The offensive problems can be attributed to Kawhi Leonard playing just 170 minutes in seven games this season, and Paul George missing eight games.
Good: Steph Curry is holding it together for the Warriors with 30 points, 7.0 assists and 6.6 rebounds per game while flirting with 50/40/90 territory – 49.9% from the field, 43.2% on 3s and 90.6% on free throws.
Bad: Golden State started 6-9 and remains a work in progress as Steve Kerr tries to figure out playing time and rotations while maintaining championship aspirations.
Good: Joel Embiid averages 31.9 points and scored a career-high 59 points (with 11 rebounds, eight assists and seven blocks) against Utah on Nov. 13.
Bad: Injuries. Embiid has missed eight games, James Harden just returned to the lineup after missing 14 games and Tyrese Maxey has missed nine consecutive games.
Good: Anthony Edwards has shown more consistency and had a 26-point, eight-rebound, eight assist, six-steal performance in Wednesday’s victory against Indiana.
Bad: Karl-Anthony Towns has been sidelined indefinitely since Nov. 29 with a right calf strain. He remains at least a couple of weeks from a reassessment.
Good: Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson are delivering in scoring (both at least above 20 points per game), passing and rebounding.
Bad: The Knicks are 24th in field-goal percentage, 28th in 3-point percentage and 23rd in 3-pointers made per game.
Good: Three players (Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro) averaged at least 19.9 points, including a career high for Adebayo at 21.2 points per game.
Bad: The Heat are 22nd in 3-point percentage after leading the league last season.
Good: Kyle Kuzma averages career highs in points (20.6), field-goal percentage (45.9%) and assists (3.5) as he showcases his emerging game.
Bad: The Wizards are hovering near the bottom third in offensive and defensive efficiency.
Good: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has established himself as a star: 31.1 points, 6.0 assists, 4.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks per game while shooting 50% from the field.
Bad: Oklahoma City’s starting lineups have the worst offensive rating.
Good: At 33 years old, DeMar DeRozan is averaging 25.5 points, 4.6 assists and 4.5 rebounds and shooting 50.3% from the field.
Bad: With DeRozan, Zach LaVine and Nik Vucevic, the Bulls still have the 25th-ranked offense and seven of their losses are by five points or fewer.
Good: Anthony Davis is putting up numbers: 27.3 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.3 steals while shooting 59% from the field.
Bad: Depth and size, the Lakers pay when Davis isn’t on the court.
Good: The Hornets are the fourth-best offensive rebounding team, led by Mason Plumlee and Nick Richards.
Bad: The Hornets are one of the worst-shooting teams in the league: 28th in field goal percentage and 27th in 3-point percentage. It hasn’t helped that LaMelo Ball has appeared in just three games with a left ankle injury and Gordon Hayward just 11 games with a shoulder injury.
Good: Jalen Green (21.3 points per game) and Kevin Porter (18.8 points per game) are go-to guys offensively as they try to become more efficient scorers on a young, rebuilding team.
Bad: The Rockets are bottom-seven team offensively (24th), defensively (28th), turnovers (30th), assists (29th) and in net rating (28th).
Good: Wings Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell each average at least 20 points and can make 3s.
Bad: The Spurs own the worst defense in the league, allowing 118.2 points per 100 possessions.
Good: You can see the potential with Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey, Jaden Ivey, Isaiah Stewart and Jalen Duren but they’re all 23 or younger.
Bad: The Pistons can’t get stops (29th defensively) and aren’t good enough offensively (23rd) to overcome those defensive problems. However, the schedule lightens up for the Pistons.
Good: The play of rookie forward Paolo Banchero (21.8 points, 6.7 rebounds per game) and the emergence of Bol Bol (12.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 60.4% shooting) as a legit NBA contributor are promising.
Bad: The Magic are 27th in offensive and defensive rating and net rating (minus-6.1).
Follow NBA reporter Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt

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