NBA: The 1st Quarter
Believe it or not, we have passed the 25 games of the season. The 1st quarter of the season has not been pretty good. The league has its share of surprise teams, and its share of disappointing teams. You also have the contenders and the pretenders. Plus, fans and analysts alike are already having their debates about the MVP race. They are also debating which teams from the East and the West will represent in this year's NBA Finals and win it all. The NBA so far this season has been fun to watch and greatly competitive. Some feel it's finally getting back to the days when the league had a competitive balance. Here is a breakdown of the league from the 1st quarter so far.
The Eastern Conference is no longer “The Leastern Conference.” The Top 10 teams in the East have records of .500 or better. The Cleveland Cavaliers are still the top dogs of the East. They sit at atop of the conference with a 19-8 record. And, they getting back to full strength with the recent return of All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. But, this season there have been teams who have seemingly came out of nowhere. With All-Star Paul George back healthy, the Indiana Pacers have been one of the surprise teams in the NBA. They currently are 7th in the East with a 16-12 record. George is trying to make a strong case for himself to be the MVP. The Detroit Pistons have also turned heads around the league. With the help of guard Reggie Jackson and center Andre Drummond, they are 8th in the East at 17-13. The 2-8 spots in the East seem to shuffle around every day, and it may be that way until the end of the regular season.
The Western Conference is slowly starting to lose its status as the dominant conference, it's been mediocre at best so far this season. Western Conference teams have over .500 and below .500 records. This season, there have been some disappointing teams in the West. The New Orleans Pelicans after making the playoffs last have one of the worst records in the league. Also, the Houston Rockets have a mediocre 16-15 record after appearing in last year's Western Conference Finals. The Memphis Grizzles also have a 16-15 record, and they have been average at best. The Golden State Warriors have gotten off the a fast 28-1 start. They are still an offensive juggernaut, but they seemingly aren't as good defensively as they were a year ago. The San Antonio Spurs are heavily flying under the radar. They have a 25-6 record, and the offseason additions of LaMarcus Alridge and David West are paying huge dividends. The Spurs also lead the NBA in defensive efficiency. Plus, you can never count out Pop in any game situation. Oklahoma City Thunder have been solid as Kevin Durant wants to reclaim his MVP status. Plus, Russell Westbrook is ready to fire it up from anywhere.
The remaining quarters of this NBA season will be very interesting.