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What I've Observed From the NBA Season so far

We're getting close to the quarter season mark of the NBA season, so I figured it's about time I write a little about what's happened so far.

Surprises:

1. Carmelo Anthony playing the way he did- At one point in time everyone thought that Carmelo Anthony would be back into the NBA. But, I doubt that anyone but a time traveler would know that Carmelo Anthony would be averaging 18 points and 6 rebounds a game at the age of 35. I hope that Melo keeps up his high numbers, as the rest of the Trail Blazers have been not so great (something I'll talk about later).

2. Miami's hot start- Look, I get it. The Eastern Conference is not as good as the Western Conference. But, that shouldn't hold people back from taking a deeper look at Miami, who now have a 14-5 record, despite the fact that they only have one player who has ever been to an All-Star Game. This mainly is due to rookies Kendrick Nunn and Tyler Herro proving themselves as quality starters in the NBA, while Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler continue to put up career numbers. Although I don't think the Heat will keep doing as well, they are definitely a playoff team.

3. The lack of sophomore slumps- If you're a true sports fan, then you've definitely heard of the infamous sophomore slump. If not, a sophomore slump is where in a player's second year, they fail to produce as much as they did in their rookie season. However, the sophomore slump is gone this season, as Trae Young and Luka Doncic have each put up close to 30 points a game. Besides these two, who receive nationwide attention every night, other sophomores are still putting up strong numbers. Jaren Jackson Jr. is putting up 16 points and 5 rebounds per game, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has put up 18 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists per game. So, either the sophomore slump took an off year, or the future of the NBA is extremely bright.

Disappointments:

1. The Chicago Bulls- Imagine having a top-10 shooting guard in the league, combined with a rookie point guard averaging 13 points per game, and a versatile big man. All while having a good bench to support it. Most teams built like this would have a winning record, or at least be competing for a playoff spot. But not the Bulls. This team has gotten off to a horrible 7-14 start in which it looks like the only good thing about the team is their City Jerseys. This doesn't even make sense. Zach LaVine is perfectly capable of leading a team, while Lauri Markkanen and Coby White have put up good numbers. "So what's the problem?" you may ask. The problem is inconsistency. This team lost to an awful Trail Blazers team, but then beat the Kings while they were on a hot streak. This team needs to get their act together soon.

2. Chris Paul- You would think that when Paul got traded to the Thunder, he would be able to put up 20+ points per game, and be the star player. Instead, he's only averaging 15 PPG, and is being overshadowed by players like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Steven Adams, and even Danilo Gallinari if we're being honest. Although the Thunder aren't talked about much, Paul's lack of performance is a cause of this, and is definitely still something that should be talked about. Is it time for him to call it a career? I don't think so yet. But, if he keeps regressing, his NBA career could be over sooner than most would think.

3. The Western Conference- Well, to be fair, I'll exclude the Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets, Rockets, and Mavericks. But besides them, the Western Conference has been really disappointing. I can't remember the last time a sub-500 record would buy you a ticket to the playoffs in the West. Teams are underperforming way more than I've ever seen. Although they don't have last year's number one overall pick Zion Williamson, the Pelicans should have a better record than 6-14, especially when Brandon Ingram is having a breakout year. But, guys like Josh Hart, Lonzo Ball, and Jahlil Okafor need to step it up. Another team that needs to step up is the San Antonio Spurs. They have two all-star caliber players, and a lot of decent supporting pieces. This team should be competing for a playoff spot, but instead they are seven games under .500, and may have to trade away one of their stars. I'll end on a light note by mentioning that at least the Timberwolves are starting to look like the team they were pictured to be, but the Western Conference has to be better top to bottom.

Playoff Prediction:

West:

1. Lakers over 8. Timberwolves

2. Clippers over 7. Suns

6. Jazz over 3. Nuggets

5. Mavericks over 4. Rockets


2. Clippers over 6. Jazz

5. Mavericks over 1. Lakers


2. Clippers over 5. Mavericks


East:

1. Bucks over 8. Pistons

2. Heat over 7. Nets

3. Celtics over 6. Pacers

4. Raptors over 5. 76ers


4. 76ers over 1. Bucks

3. Celtics over 2. Heat


4. 76ers over 3. Celtics


Finals:

Clippers over 76ers in five games


Have any questions, comments, or concerns? Reply back on the blog or send me an email: ryanterp1@gmail.com

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