With two weeks of NBA basketball behind us, let’s take a look at the biggest surprises and disappointments of the season.
Most Surprising Team This Season
Portland Trail Blazers. Led by should-be All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, the Blazers have been able to pick up right where they left off last season despite the early retirement of star guard Brandon Roy. It seems the addition of Gerald Wallace was just the boost they needed to carry on with business as usual. In their first seven games this season, the Blazers have been able to knock off the Los Angeles Lakers and hand the Oklahoma City Thunder their second loss of the season. If they can manage to keep up this level of play, they might be able to make some noise in the playoffs and maybe even make a run to the Conference finals.
Most Disappointing Team This SeasonNew York Knicks. Last season’s run into the postseason ended in a disappointing sweep at the hands of Boston Celtics. With a year under their belt and added depth to the backcourt and front line, the Knicks were expected to make a statement early in the season and compete for Eastern Conference supremacy. Instead they’ve struggled to stay at .500 with an overall record of 4-4 after a 23-point blowout of the struggling Detroit Pistons. The biggest surprise of their eight-game start has been the losses to Toronto and Charlotte and a narrow escape from the 0-7 Washington Wizards on Friday. Hopefully a change will come soon for the Knickerbockers but personally I’d start with the coach.
Under the Radar
San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have been able to go on about their business fairly quietly this season. Coach Gregg Popovich is once again handling the minutes of his aged veterans very carefully with Tim Duncan averaging 24.1 minutes per game and Manu Ginobili right behind him with 23.2. As always, the Spurs have been able to stay consistent by getting off to a 6-2 start leaving them 0.5 games behind the Thunder in the Western Conference. Not much media coverage is given to the Spurs but don’t let that fool you—they’ve been just as effective as ever this season.