The NBA’s Unpredictability: This year’s surprises and letdowns

Vishnu Nair

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For the past few seasons, the NBA has been dominated by the same teams. It is fun to see, however, due to a handful of trades, a change has arisen. Here are the NBA surprises and letdowns of this season.
Surprise: Detroit Pistons The Detroit Pistons at best are sub-par NBA basketball team. This is a team in Detroit that didn’t even make the playoffs last year. But things for the Pistons seem to be turning around. This year, the Pistons find themselves third in the eastern conference behind the Cavaliers and Celtics, with a 14-9 record. When looking at the play of individuals in their roster, there scoring load is split pretty evenly among them.

Letdown: Oklahoma City Thunder In order to be a proper letdown, there needs to be a team which shows promise. This season, with most likely the most dangerous big-three in the league, OKC turned many heads in the offseason and preseason. Somehow, the Thunder have managed to have Westbrook, George, and Melo on the same team. Yet, how are they 11-12, out of the playoffs, and below .500? Well, many believe it is the jelling issue, but the three have already shown they can mesh well together. I think that this downfall is a result of the play of Russell Westbrook, who seems to be out of sync with his mvp season. He needs to remember who he is; defending NBA MVP.

Suprise: Philadelphia 76er’s The 76er’s this season are looking like a rising star. The team may be 14-16, but have already shown flashes of greatness. Certainly the team’s young star power starts with Center, Joel Embiid, averaging 24 points and 11 rebounds a game, along with Ben Simmons, averaging 17 pts and close to 8 assists a game. When the team’s best 2 players are 23 and 21 respectively, it’s no secret that this is a young team. Which is why no one expected the start that Philadelphia has had this season. More than everything else, fans have to be excited. The 76er’s may not go all the way this year, but that sure is a possibility in the near future.

Letdown: Charlotte Hornets The Hornets have never been a big-time team in the history of their franchise existence. It is for this very reason that many may argue that this year is actually not a so-called “letdown year” for the Hornets, because they have always been a below average team. The reason, however, why this year is a letdown is the play of one individual. Dwight Howard, acquired from the Atlanta Hawks, is playing exceptionally well. He is averaging 16 points and 13 rebounds per game so far this season, which is what makes this a letdown. The play of Dwight Howard might just go overlooked solely due to the other liabilities on the Hornet’s roster.

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