By J.T.

Western Conference:

With the first month of the NBA season just about finished the early playoff landscape is something that few expected and many did not. Starting first in the Western Conference, it seems like nobody can stop the Warriors who are now 15-0 to start the season under interim head coach Luke Walton. People are already talking about if this year’s Warriors team could tie or even break the regular season record of 72-10 set by the ’95-’96 Chicago Bulls. The Spurs sitting 4 games back, quietly have the 2nd best record in the NBA. One of the early surprises would definitely be the Mavs sporting a 9-5 record led behind a resurgent Deron Williams and the ageless Dirk Nowitzki. The Thunder are treading water nicely while Kevin Durant has been sidelined the past few games with injury. They’ll be one to keep an eye out for as they are currently 2 games over .500 at 8-6. After that there are 9 teams all within 2 games of each other; 7 of which are under .500. The biggest surprise this early would definitely be the poor start of the Houston Rockets who have already made a coaching change firing Hall of Famer Kevin McHale. The Clippers are still searching for themselves after some awful losses and the Jazz, looking good behind Hayward and Favors have only played 3 home games and are 6-6. As of right now the West has 7 teams in the bottom 10 of the power rankings and although its early this could be a telling sign that the West may not be as strong as it has been in the past. As of right now:

  1. Warriors
  2. Spurs
  3. Mavericks
  4. Thunder
  5. Suns
  6. Grizzlies
  7. Jazz
  8. Clippers

Eastern Conference

The Eastern Conference is finally looking like a conference with some competition outside the top 3. As a whole the East only has 4 teams under .500 compared to the West which has 8. To no surprise the Cavaliers are still the top dog with a 10-3 record and may just be on cruise control at the top all season. Right behind them are the Bulls who may have to face the fact that Jimmy Butler should be the face of their franchise as D-Rose just can’t seem to stay on the court for long stretches of games. Also there too are the Miami Heat behind some stellar all-around play by Hassan Whiteside. The Pacers, right in the middle of the pack are more than happy to have their star Paul George back who’s on pace to set a new franchise record in PER(Player Efficiency Rating). The Hawks after a hot start have fallen to 9-6 after being plagued by a few early injuries however look for them to bounce back into the top 4. Undoubtedly the biggest surprise to all around the league has been the play of the New York Knicks and their surprise rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis a.k.a Porzin-God. The Knicks are 8-6 currently 8th in the East and already have more wins on the season than they did 40 games in last season. The biggest disappointment so far has ben the Milwaukee Bucks who to many including myself were though to be one of the contenders this year. The Bucks are now 5-8 and find themselves in the cellar of the East next to the Nets and Sixers. Barring anything crazy this could be the turning point for the Eastern Conference as a whole. The standings as of right now:

  1. Cavaliers
  2. Heat
  3. Bulls
  4. Pacers
  5. Hawks
  6. Raptors
  7. Wizards
  8. Knicks

 

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