The Biggest Surprises So Far in the 2012-13 NBA Season
With the 2012-13 NBA season now heading into its sixth day of action I have been surprised by a few of the developments and storylines that have taken place throughout the Association within that time frame and felt the need to put them in writing to share with my audience.
For starters let’s begin with the poster child for this piece Glen Davis and the surprising play from not only himself but his Orlando Magic as well. Not only are the Magic an astonishing 2-0 following the departure of Dwight Howard but they are doing so very convincingly with Davis leading the way as the face of the franchise. Thus far Davis is averaging 25.5 points and nine rebounds per contest for the Magic who are ranked first in the NBA in points per game (108.5), fourth in assists per game (25) and fifth in both rebounds per game (46) as well as points allowed per game (91.5). Anyone who says that they expected this is not only lying to you but also to their self in the process.
How about the bearded one James Harden‘s amazing start with the Houston Rockets which has led them to a 2-1 record and plenty of hope for the Harden era in Houston. I like many knew that Harden was one of the top maybe 20 or 25 players within the Association however no one could have expected him to be averaging 35.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.7 steals per contest through his first three games sans Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook leading the way for him. In game one Harden went off for 37 points and 12 assists for an encore in game two he scored a career high 45 points and grabbed seven boards for good measure. It’ll be intriguing to see how Harden does for the duration of the season, where he stacks amongst the NBA’s elite at the end of the year and also what record the Rockets end up with.
The Los Angeles Lakers have began the season in a very disappointing manner going 1-3 in their first four games and having to deal with an injury already to newly acquired point guard, Steve Nash. The Lakers have lost all three games which they played versus teams with a winning record thus far a defeated a team that has yet to win a game this year (Detroit Pistons). Kobe Bryant is averaging about the normal for him 26.8 points per game and the offense has scored over 100 points in all but one of their four games this season (scored 91 in their opening night loss to the Dallas Mavericks) it’s the defense that has been missing in action so far. If head coach Mike Brown doesn’t figure out a way to continue to implement the Princeton offense while also getting his team to focus on playing defense then it could be a long season for the Lakers and their fans. Another shock from L.A. is the fact that Pau Gasol is out rebounding Dwight Howard thus far 41-39.
The Portland Trailblazers are definitely raising eyebrows across the Association with their solid start to the year, going 2-1 and looking like a team that could contend for a playoff spot towards the end of the season. The Blazers upset the Lakers in their home opener and then went on to defeat the Rockets on their home court in over time 95-85 and held Harden to just 24 points. Rookie point guard Damian Lillard is not only one of the biggest surprises of the young season (unless you paid any attention to the summer league this off-season) but he has also been the Blazers best player on the court averaging 21.3 points, nine assists and four rebounds per game. If Lillard can continue his high-level of play throughout the season not only will he wrestle the Rookie of the Year Award away from Anthony Davis but he will also keep Portland relevant in the Western Conference.
My final surprise early on are the Denver Nuggets and the fact that they are 0-3 despite having one of the deepest teams in the Association. So far the Nuggets have lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in Philly by a score of 84-75, to the Magic 102-89 in Orlando and 119-116 to the Miami Heat in South Beach. Denver currently ranks 23rd in the NBA in points scored per game at 93.3 which is a huge contrast to what they averaged last season when they led the league in points score per game with 104.1. If Denver wants to live up to the expectations placed upon them they have to get things rolling fast.
There is still five months of action yet to take place which means there will be plenty more surprises in store for all during the 2012-13 season and we should all stay tuned and continued to be entertained and amazed.