The NBA season is almost a month old, so time to take stock at what surprises the League has cooked up in the early going.
The Brooklyn Nets Are 9-4
It’s not the Nets record that is a surprise – it’s the fact that they are winning despite so many underperforming players. Stars Deron Williams and Joe Johnson are both shooting 39% from the field. Brook Lopez remains one of the worst rebounding centers in the league (although he’s been exemplary in other facets of the game this year). Gerald Wallace is having his worst season in almost a decade. That’s four starters and over $50 million in salary underperforming. Yet the Nets keep winning. Luck, or is it something more?
The Bucks Are In First Place
Milwaukee is off to a 7-5 start and sit atop the Central Division. This despite the backcourt of Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis gunning away at a 41% success rate and Ersan Ilyasova stinking up the joint.
Roy Hibbert‘s Regression
Who saw this coming? Roy Hibbert became a breakout star last season, but this year, when Indiana needs him the most with Danny Granger on the shelf, he’s been absolutely horrible. When your center is shooting 38% from the floor (and only 25% on jump shots), you are in serious trouble.
Break Out The Bobcats
13 games into the season and Charlotte has already matched last year’s win total and are currently the 8th seed in the East. Mike Dunlap for Coach of the Year.
Somehow, despite how impossible it would seem, Lamar Odom is actually worse this season than last. Apparently $9 million in stolen salary from Dallas last season wasn’t enough – now Lamar is going to stick up the Clippers for another cool $8 million.
Tim Duncan: 30.9 mpg, 18.7 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 2.7 apg, 2.3 bpg, 36 years old. ’Nuff said.
Dirk Nowitzki hasn’t seen the court yet this year, yet the Mavericks are playing .500 ball. That is remarkable.