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NBA Season Overview

by Christopher Suarez - Campus Talk Editor
Wed, Nov 14th 2018 02:00 pm
By Michael Tipton via Flickr.com
By Michael Tipton via Flickr.com

   The NBA season is now in full swing and surpassing expectations. The summer was action-packed with several big names switching jerseys. One of the biggest moves of the offseason was the Raptors trading Demar Derozan for Kawhi Leonard. Kawhi had wanted out of San Antonio for quite a while and finally got the trade he wanted, even if it wasn’t the team that he preferred. Then it was Demarcus Cousins signing with the league powerhouse; the Golden State Warriors. Signing a one year deal, it appears that Cousins wants to get that one ring without having to do too much work.

   But the biggest move of the offseason was LeBron James signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron’s time in Cleveland is finally over and he is now switching to the West coast to pair up with the young trio of Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Kyle Kuzma. Other notable moves include: Julius Randle to the Pelicans, Tyreke Evans to the Pacers, Carmelo Anthony to the Rockets and Deandre Jordan to the Mavericks.

  NBA teams did not only make a splash through trades and free agency, but through the draft as well. The Phoenix Suns picked up its cornerstone big man in Deandre Ayton, the Hawks got “Stephen Curry 2.0” in Trae Young and the Dallas Mavericks drafted their cornerstone prospect, Luka Doncic. Other notable rookies to look at is New York Knicks forward, Kevin Knox, who lit up the summer league and Orlando Magic internet sensation, Mo Bamba.

   All these big moves in the offseason is only a part of the reason why the beginning of the 2018-2019 season has been so exciting to watch.

   Starting in the Western Conference, the Golden State Warriors are dominating the league as usual and the underdog Denver Nuggets are surprising everyone with a 9—3 start to the season. However, the biggest surprise so far coming out of the western conference is the Houston Rockets dropping back to 12th place.

   The Rockets arguably have a top five point guard in Chris Paul, a solid shooter in Eric Gordon, and a 2017-2018 Most Valuable Player in James Harden. With the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony, who at his age can still be a valuable contributor, there should be no reason the team is 4—6. Sadly, the biggest highlight for the Rockets this season has been the fight between Chris Paul and Los Angeles Lakers point guard, Rajon Rondo.

   The Rockets are not the only team in the West that has been a disappointment. It’s a common assumption and pattern that no matter what team LeBron goes to, it will become a title contender. But the current Los Angeles Lakers do not look the part of a championship caliber team. LeBron is looking like a one-man militia out there leading the team in points per game, rebounds per game and assists per game. Forward Kyle Kuzma is second on the team with 19.2 points per game while Brandon Ingram sits third with 16.1 points per game.

   In the Eastern Conference, it looks like the trade for Kawhi Leonard has been working out in the Raptors’ favor. The team is 11—1 and is leading the entire conference. Averaging 26 points, 8 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game, Leonard is leading the team in all three categories. The biggest surprise in the east so far has been the downfall of the Washington Wizards. Coming into the season, analysts and experts thought they were to be a top five team in the East. The team now has a 2—9 record and is 14th in the Eastern Conference. As always, point guard John Wall and shooting guard Bradley Beal are carrying the team but this time with no help.

    There are a couple of players who seem to be in mid-season form already. Golden State Warrior point guard, Stephen Curry is lighting up the league with his offensive production. Leading the league with 29.5 points per game and three-point shooting percentage, Curry is shooting for his third league MVP. However, the biggest surprise of the NBA season thus far has been the emergence of Zach Lavine. On the Timberwolves, Lavine showed some potential but was more known for his athleticism and his ability to tear down the rim. Now, Lavine is looking like a polished number one option. He is fourth in the league in points per game with 27.4 and had dropped a career high 41-points against the New York Knick already this season.

  Other highlights of the season so far are Klay Thompson hitting a record 14 threes’ in one game, Stephen Curry’s 51-point game against the Phoenix Suns and Derrick Rose dropping an emotional 50 points against the Utah Jazz. Recently, Jimmy Butler was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. The 2018-2019 season has already shocked the NBA community several times and it’s only a matter of time until the next surprise arises.