THE NBA STARTS SECOND QUARTER ACTION
While it seems like this year’s NBA season has just gotten underway, in reality they have just passed the quarter pole already. Some teams are right about where they were predicted to be while others have exceeded expectations so far this NBA season, while others have fans scratching their heads in wonder.
Take for example the Golden State Warriors. They have been a dominate force in professional basketball for the past several years now under the leadership of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, but Curry has been out with a broken hand since December the 6th and won’t be back on the court until the first week in March, if everything goes well with his rehab.
Concurrently Golden State is also without the services of their other star shooting guard Klay Thompson, who went down back in late October with a knee injury and is expected to miss the remainder of the season. Without their star point guard and their star shooting guard, the Warriors have fallen all the way down into the cellar of the NBA West with a miserable record of 20 losses and only 5 victories in the entire first quarter of the season.
Over in the NBA West, the competition is turning out to be the battle for Los Angeles as both the Lakers and the Clippers, who are both playing out of the Staples Center in downtown LA, just keep on winning. The Lakers, led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis are dominating the floor early in the season and look like the team to beat for anyone having postseason aspirations.
When the New Orleans Pelicans won the NBA lottery for the draft last year and ended up with Duke All American big man Zion Williamson, oddsmakers were giving them a pretty good chance to be in competition in the NBA West this season. Then Zion went down with a torn right lateral meniscus during preseason practices and has missed all of the Pelicans games to date. Despite the outstanding efforts of Jrue Holiday and young Brandon Ingram, New Orleans is only slightly better than Golden State so far with only 6 wins to 18 losses.
The Milwakee Bucks on the other hand are blowing everyone away on a 15 game win streak that shows no sign of slowing up at all. The Bucks now sit at 21 and 3 and are currently projected to win 61 games this season. Not surprisingly, the Boston Celtics follow close behind with 17 wins and 5 losses but are projected to win only 53 times this year.
The team that no one saw coming is the Miami Heat who are cruising right alongside the Celtics with 17 wins to 6 losses. The 76ers of Philadelphia also have 17 wins as opposed to 7 losses, but everyone expected them to be near the top of the heap with Ben Simmons and company. The defending NBA Champion Toronto Raptors are still struggling a bit with 16 wins and 7 losses.
Another surprise this season finds the New York Knicks and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the basement over in the NBA East. Both teams just cannot seem to get it going this season in spite of their strong rosters.
Leading the NBA’s front running Milwaukee Bucks is MVP candidate Giannis Antetokounmpo who is averaging 31 points a game and has his team in great shape at the start of the second quarter of play. Other contenders for the Most Valuable Player on the NBA courts so far this season are the amazing Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks who is averaging nearly a 30 point triple—double and perennial all stars James Harden of the Houston Rockets and LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.
The NBA rookie of the year was expected to be a close race between Zion Williamson of the Pelicans and Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies, however, with Williamson out of the action so far, Morant has little, if any, competition for the annual honor.
Obviously it is still very early in the NBA season and way too soon to make any predictions as to which team will be on top when April the 15th rolls around and it’s time once again for the annual NBA playoffs, known simply as ‘The Finals’, to begin in the spring time.