The NBA season is 20 games in and some teams are emerging as possible title contenders.
By Euan Sangster
The season has also thrown us some surprises with some teams struggling to find their form early on in the season as well as others emerging as dark horses for the title.
1). Brooklyn Nets
Many people were unsure on how the Nets would cope with the extended absence of Kyrie Irving, but they do not seem to be missing the point guard as they currently sit top of the Eastern Conference. Kevin Durant has played a large part in their early season success and is an early frontrunner for MVP with an average of 28.5pts, 7.5 rebounds and 5 assists.
The Nets have been proven a tough team to beat as they have only suffered defeat 6 times so far this season and currently have the best offensive rating in the NBA with 119 points per 100 possessions. Brooklyn will prove a very tough team to beat down the stretch with the likes of Kevin Durant, James Harden, Blake Griffin, LeMarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills and Joe Harris.
There is also a slight possibility that Kyrie Irving may be added to the rotation again at some point during the season, which would only add to their quality.
2). Golden State Warriors
There were also question marks surrounding the Warriors this season, with people unsure how Steph Curry would get on without his splash brother Klay Thompson for another season. Yet these question marks have all but disappeared as they have proved to be one of the best if not the best teams in the league so far this season with the best record in the league of 18-3.
With Steph Curry playing at an MVP level with an average of 28 points a game as well as 7 assists, Andrew Wiggins averaging just under 20 points and Jordan Poole also having a breakout season with 18 points, the team from San Francisco have to be taken seriously right now, let alone when Klay Thompson makes his full return in the very near future.
If Klay can return to the lineup and hit the ground running, this Warriors team will be a very tricky team to beat come Playoff season due to their ability from behind the arc.
3). Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have somewhat gone under the radar so far this season with an impressive record of 13-8, seeing them sit 5th in the East, with the same records of the Heat and Wizards in 3rd and 4th. The team from Wisconsin will be looking to retain their NBA title after a dominant performance from their star man Giannis Antetekoumpo in the finals just 6 months ago.
Giannis has once again hit the ground running this season, being an early favourite for Defensive Player of the Year and some would argue even in the running for yet another MVP. The Greek Freak is averaging 27 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists as well as a steal and 2 blocks per game.
These averages are what every team in the NBA fears as Giannis is arguably the most dominant player in the NBA right now and is all but impossible to stop, meaning the Bucks cannot be overlooked to go back to back.