Contenders Start the NBA Season Hot

The NBA season is heating up. And with several teams showing promise, it’s looking like anyone could be holding the championship trophy in June.  The tops of the two conferences had some impressive wins this week.  The Philadelphia 76ers have started off strong and are currently ranked first in the Eastern Conference. Over the past week, they won three games, a 105-103 victory against the Atlanta Hawks, a physical 117-95 win over the Timberwolves, where both Embiid and Timberwolves center Towns were ejected and suspended three games for fighting, and a 129-128 win over the Portland Trailblazers prior to their first loss.  The 76ers are followed closely in the standings by a surprisingly potent Miami Heat team, which has been powered thus far by Jimmy Butler and the undrafted rookie Kendrick Nunn, who has leapt onto the scene by averaging 19.5 PPG on 48.4% shooting.

In the West, the Lakers are back on top. Despite losing their highly anticipated season opener to the LA Clippers, the Lakers have won every game since, beating the Memphis Grizzlies 120-91, the Dallas Mavericks 119-110 and the San Antonio Spurs 103-96 over the past week.

 So far this season, the duo of Lebron and Anthony Davis has been a dream come true for Lakers fans.  Against Dallas, the duo combined for 70 points in an overtime game that saw triple doubles by Lebron as well as by Dallas’ second-year phenom Luka Doncic.  The role players have also stepped up in a big way.  In the game against Dallas, Danny Green hit a clutch three at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. And in the next game against the Spurs, Dwight Howard had a 14-point, 13-rebound night to help the Lakers beat the Spurs.

After the Lakers, the Suns are next in the Western conference. With a great offensive performance by Devin Booker, the Suns handed the 76ers their first loss of the season. Although the strong offense that has been displayed may not remain consistent throughout the rest of the season, Phoenix’s impressive defense just might make them a possible contender for the playoffs. However, in this new basketball world, only time will separate the contenders from the pretenders.