With the season just over a week old, a few teams have surprised me with their start. I understand the season is young and there is a lot of basketball yet to be played, however, I can not look past the start of some teams in this first handful of games.
NBA Teams That Are Off To a Surprising Start
The Detroit Pistons are off to a 3-0 start and last nights overtime thriller with the Philadelphia 76ers was amazing. I understand Philadelphia was without possibly there best player, Blake Griffin’s 50 point game was spectacular. Griffin has looked like a different player starting this summer season and could be a beast throughout the year for Dwayne Casey. Detroit also had close wins against the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets to start the season. If the Pistons keep winning these close games and Griffin looks like the beast from last night, Detroit should be a playoff team.
Obviously, the win over the Golden State Warriors sticks out the most. They also have blown out wins over the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, and Sacramento Kings. I thought the Denver Nuggets would be a playoff team and winning the first four games is a good start. Losing Will Barton is a huge blow to the Nuggets, but Denver has the depth to withstand the loss.
New Orleans Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans went into Houston opening night and put a whopping on the Rockets solidifying themselves as a team to be reckoned with. Anthony Davis if healthy will be an MVP candidate throughout the season. I still do not really care for the roster makeup, but trading for Nikola Mirotic last season and signing Julius Randle this season as given the Pelicans a solid big man rotation. Jrue Holiday has struggled to start this season, but if he returns to his form from last season, the Pelicans could be dangerous. But with three blowout victories to start the season, this could be a coming out party in New Orleans.
While every other team on this list is undefeated, the Orlando Magic have won two of their first four games. The reason that’s a surprise was cause I hate this roster and don’t like the depth on this team. But with a big win over the Boston Celtics and a mild upset over the Miami Heat, maybe Orlando is on to something. They also battled Philadelphia to a one-point loss. The forward combo of Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac has been effective while center Nikola Vucevic has looked good early on. If they can continue to get contributions from the being positions, Orlando may continue to surprise.
I think New Orleans and Denver are mere locks to be playoff teams. As for Detroit, they are going to be right there as a playoff team and in the East most likely a playoff. I think Orlando will come back down to earth and not make the playoffs.
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