We are about a dozen games into the brand new season, and I must say, things have not gone according to what most would have imagined. In fact, quite a few things have gone kind of upside down so far.I find the unpredictability refreshing in a league that has been a little predictable these past few years, where we all knew the same top the of for teams were really the only ones in the race.
In the West, Warriors have been better as of late but they haven’t been evisceration teams the way we imagined when Kevin Durant signed on. The Clippers are the team doing that! Building 40 plus points leads bib the third quarter and not needing their starters for multiple four quarters… They’ve resembled last year’s Warriors.
Houston’s one man gang approach with Harden has been surprisingly effective, with Harden leading the league in assists, while still doing his thing…but the more surprising team are the young, Kobe-less Lakers, who are now a free-flowing, ball-sharing, effective offensive team.
East side, Boston haven’t looked like a team that’s going to be a that to the Cavs in the East. Neither have Indiana. The Hornets have been the East team getting off to a hot start, with Kemba being an early season MVP dark horse, though he’ll never make it to the final ballot come season end.
Hey, look who’s leading the league in points per game? It’s Demar Derozan, who doesn’t shoot threes! Dude has also got to be in the conversation for Most Improved Player, even though he’s already a multiple time All Star. For a guy who came into the league just an athletic dunker, he’s now one of the best mid range shooters, a top five guy in attacking the rim and getting to the line, and has also shown tremendous improvement in his ball handling.
So those are some of the early surprises so far. But much like they often do, things will likely regress to the norm…by the end of the season, I expect things to look a little more like this:
Best Regular Season record: Warriors (67-15)
East champs: Cavs
West champs: Warriors
Finals champs: Warriors
All NBA 1st team: LeBron, Kawhi, Anthony Davis, Curry, Harden
All NBA 2nd team: Blake Griffin, KD, Cousins, Westbrook, Chris Paul
All NBA 3rd team: Antetonkoumpo, Paul George, Whiteside, Derozan, Lillard
Rookie of the year: Joel Embiid
Scoring leader: Russell Westbrook
Rebound leader: Andre Drummond
Assists leader: James Harden
Steals leader: Chris Paul
Blocks leader: Hassan Whiteside
Most threes: Steph Curry