After four months of waiting, NBA fans all around the world were enthused at the start of the 2016-2017 season on October 25. Two weeks in, there have already been many surprises and predictions.
Several players started off the season with a bang, quickly becoming early MVP candidates. Some of these players include Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. Davis, a power forward for the Pelicans, dropped 50 points in his first game of the season and he is averaging over 30 points per game through eight games. Westbrook is carrying a Durant-less Thunder team on his back, also averaging just over 30 points per game. Teams are finding it extremely difficult to deal with his raw explosiveness. Harden is also lighting it up on offense, averaging over 31 points per game and almost 13 assists per game (the most in the league).
Two weeks into the season, the top teams in the league are the Cleveland Cavaliers, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Los Angeles Clippers. All three teams have records of 6-1. The Cavs are starting up right where they left off. They stole the Championship from the Warriors in June, and they continue to tear up the Eastern Conference, with Lebron James and Kyrie Irving leading the way. The Thunder are making a somewhat surprising strong start to the season, given that they just lost their top player, Kevin Durant, to the Warriors during the offseason. Russell Westbrook is truly carrying the team, motivating them with his energy on the court. The Clippers are also making a strong case as contenders this year. Shiven Rawal (10) made a bold prediction for the NBA Finals: “Clippers-Cavs. Clips in 6.” Their big three of Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Deandre Jordan are working together perfectly to put points on the board.
However, the team that is under the most scrutiny during the start of the season is the Golden State Warriors. With the addition of superstar Kevin Durant to an already stacked team, they looked like they might be unbeatable this season. However, the start of this season has already told a different story. The Warriors have lost two of their first seven games, once to the Spurs and once to the Lakers. In comparison, they only lost nine games all of last regular season without Durant. Maybe they just need to work on team chemistry, maybe they are overrated, but all anybody knows is that they do not look as good as the team they are supposed to be this year.
This year’s season will undoubtedly be an exciting one, and the competition is already kicking into gear.