This NBA season has been a very strange one to say the least. While everyone could’ve predicted that the Lakers would be where there are now, few would have expected the Warriors to be the absolute worst in the league, for instance. We’ve also seen teams emerge from nowhere and turn into contenders overnight. But one thing we can say is that fans are getting their money’s worth this year with all the high-flying action and emerging stars. Here are some of the biggest surprises and disappointments in the NBA so far.
Surprise: The Miami Heat
When Jimmy Butler decided not to sign with the promising Sixers and decided to go to the Heat of all places, a lot of people didn’t understand the decision. But he probably saw a lot more in the team’s young core than most in the league.
No one expected the Heat to be in the top three this season, let alone in the playoffs. But the team has done some great work in the off season, drafting young college sensation Tyler Herro, and pulling one of the biggest heists by signing undrafted Kendrick Dunn who has been nothing short of sensational this year. Combine this with a stone-cold assassin like Jimmy Butler, and you have a team that could turn a lot of heads in the eastern conference this postseason.
Disappointment: The Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks have done a lot to revamp their image over the last few years, with a futuristic jersey and basketball court design. And while all of this is great, it is not distracting from the disaster that is happening on the court.
While it’s nice to see ROY runner up Tray Young live up to expectations, we need to stop calling the Hawks a rebuilding team. The Hawks are stagnating, and the fact that Cam Reddish, their supposedly blue-chip prospect, is one of the worst players in the league is not helping.
Surprise: The Raptors
Every year, it seems that the Raptors are neglected and dismissed by sports fans. Most expected the Raptors to be out of the top 5 this season with no Kawhi Leonard and no major signings during the off season. But nobody expected Siakam to turn into an MVP candidate either. While we saw some glimpses of greatness during last season’s playoffs, he’s now turned into a bonafide all-star. Not to mention Kyle Lowry’s sensational play and Nick Nurse’s coaching.
Disappointment: No Zion
There is perhaps no bigger disappointment than not being able to see who could possibly be the heir to Lebron’s throne, Zion Williamson, not playing this year. This is even worse when considering how dominant he was in the pre-season. And the worst is that there is now no set date for the return, which makes matters more concerning.
This NBA season has been one of the most exciting in years with still plenty of surprises to come. And with the way things are shaping up, we can expect the playoffs to be every bit as epic as well.