Two weeks into the regular season, the Golden State Warriors are 7-0, first place in the West, and the Cleveland Cavaliers are first place in the East by crushing their competition. Hold up, wait, what? That’s, not right? You’re telling me that the Warriors and Cavs are not dominating their conferences? I know it is only 7 games into the regular season, but the teams that many thought were going to flat out dominate early on (GSW, CLE, MIN, OKC) are not having the best start to their respective seasons. Ultimately, the NBA’s regular season is not a sprint it is a marathon. I’m sure a LeBron James led team or a Kevin Durant led team will get their teams to the top. It is fun seeing changes in the league, whether these 3 teams are contenders for the playoffs or just a pretender that will end up in the lottery, the excitement and competitiveness always make for an interesting season.
*contender or pretender for the playoffs
Here are the 3 teams that are shocking the league right now…
- Detroit Pistons-
After handing out a loss to the Golden State Warriors at Oracle by scoring 115 points on the vaunted Dubs’ Defense, the Pistons are standing at 5-2 and are first place in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons starting lineup of Reggie Jackson, Avery Bradley, Stanley Johnson, Tobias Harris, and Andre Drummond disrupted the Curry and Co. causing the Warriors to commit a season-high of 24 turnovers. Detroit is currently on a 3-game winning streak that includes the likes of Golden State, Minnesota, and the Los Angeles Clippers. A Very Impressive start for Motor City, four of five starters are averaging double digit points per game, balance on both ends is the name of the game.
CONTENDER OR PRETENDER: Contender
Now, Detroit likely will not finish first in the East, but securing a playoff spot is very likely to happen considering how well their team meshes together and plays hard on both ends of the floor.
- Memphis Grizzlies-
In my Western Conference Preview, I rode off the Memphis Grizzlies, I did not think they would come close to clinching a playoff spot. But boy, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley Jr. are proving the doubters and the haters wrong. Memphis is off to a 5-1 start to their season and are first place in the Western Conference. The Grizz are doing it in typical Memphis fashion, defense and unselfish basketball. Rumors all off season were swirling on Marc Gasol and how happy he was playing for the Grizzlies, seems ecstatic if you ask any viewer, player, coach, and staff member. Gasol is looking and playing like an absolute beast, averaging 21.8 ppg and 10.2 rpg. The Grizzlies have already beaten the Rockets and the Warriors, “Grit and Grind” never fails in Memphis.
CONTENDER OR PRETENDER: Contender
The Grizzlies are back in the playoff contention mix (Sorry Marc), if Gasol and Conley stay healthy and continue lock down teams, The Grizz will finish anywhere from 6th-8th in the West.
- Orlando Magic-
Do you believe in Magic? Yes? No? Well the youthful Orlando Magic are off to a 4-2 start that includes victories over the Cavaliers and the Spurs. The Magic have been putting up points as well, in their first 6 games Orlando has scored over 114 points and have been beating teams by an average of over 14 points. Aaron Gordon, Evan Fournier, and Nikola Vucevic have been the big three for Orlando, each averaging over 20 ppg. Newly acquired and former Spur, Jonathan Simmons has also been sensational for the Magic as well, making highlight reel plays on a nightly basis.
CONTENDER OR PRETENDER: Pretender
This team has talent and is really on the rise, but they truly are a season out from making a real splash, sorry Orlando fans, the Magic will soon disappear. But the team will put up a fight each game. I see Orlando finishing around 10th-11th in the East.
Written by Daniel Malakismail