NBA Mid-Season Shockers

The NBA, like all other sports leagues, changes drastically from year to year. Teams with a previously mediocre record now find themselves at the top of their conference, while notable championship teams from years prior fade into obscurity. These are a few things I personally find notable or surprising from this season, as we approach the halfway mark. 

The Nets

Oh boy, there has been a lot going on down in Brooklyn. They’ve built a super team in the matter of a year with a starting five consisting of Kyrie, James Harden, KD, Blake Griffin, and Deandre Jordan. (Obviously that could change due to injuries, etc.) They’re currently second in the East and in favorable contention to make a deep playoff run. The only thing that can stop this team from winning it all is injuries, which has prevented super teams like the 2019 Warriors from being able to finish what they started.

The Jazz/Suns

If you told me these would be the top two teams in the West a few months ago, I would’ve laughed in your face. But look, here we are: the team whose players first contracted COVID and shut the whole league down are now reaping the benefits of a top-tier record. With the young dynamic duo of Gobert and Mitchell out there on the floor, there’s no telling what this team could do in the postseason. The Suns are also a dominant force right now, as the previously underrated Devin Booker has put together an impressive season. I think veteran leadership is what this team has been missing in years past, and the addition of Chris Paul has done everything and more to fill that void. 

Lamelo Ball

I really liked the Hornets decision to draft Lamelo this past year. The NBA is a numbers game, and the Hornets were previously suffering in many statistical categories, spending years on battling numbers like games won, points scored, minimal game attendance, and low team revenue. However, the drafting of Lamelo somehow fixed a lot of these problems, and almost overnight. Lamelo’s promising campaign for Rookie of the Year makes it almost safe to say that not every Ball brother is an NBA bust. (Sorry, Lonzo.) 

The Heat

The Heat have been a bit underwhelming this season. Yes, they are still a #4 seed and are currently on a winning streak, but they do not strike me as the complete team they were last year. Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro, also known as “the GOAT,” can only carry this team so far. Nor are distractions like Meyers Leonard doing the Heat’s team chemistry any favors. The question is: Will this team take the next step in becoming a historic icon, or will they fall short like in years past? With over 40 games still left to be played, there are numerous questions to be answered by not just the Heat, but by all of the other franchises. Each team decides their own fate: it doesn’t take a super team to win championships, after all.