NBA: First Half Surprises & Disappointments

The untraditional 2020-2021 NBA Season is halfway done and here are some surprises and disappointments.

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Three months in and a little over 1,000 total games played, the NBA season has been an eventful one.

There is no doubt that the Western Conference has been the most surprising with the Utah Jazz (27-9) standing at number one and the Phoenix Suns (24-11) at the second place spot. Both with outstanding records, it’s odd to see these two teams at the top of the West, the stronger of the two conferences. On the other side with the Eastern Conference, the New York Knicks (19-18), who have known to be a horrible team in the 2000s, have had a crazy season standing at the 5th seed in the East. 

Utah Jazz React To Mike Conley's First All-Star Selection
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The Jazz have had an odd amount of success. After finishing at the 5th seed in the West in the 2019 season, the Jazz have been building spots in their roster to fit around their two stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. They also have a veteran guard with a lot of experience in Mike Conley as well as more pieces with Bojan Bogdonavic, Joe Ingles, and Jordan Clarkson. It’s hard to tell whether they will be able to keep it up, but it will definitely be an exciting season for the Jazz. 

The Suns have also had a very odd amount of success, especially after just missing the playoffs in the 2019 season. The Suns have an amazing young core and adding a veteran in Chris Paul over the off-season. Chris Paul has been a perfect fit with Devin Booker. This piece has really boosted them to being a top level team in the Western Conference.

Phoenix Suns Playoff Race: Controlling their own destiny - Bright Side Of The Sun
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Sophomore Kyler Evans is a Suns fan. Evans said “I expected this, and we are winning the championship in a sweep.” 

Whenever one asks another about the Knicks, people often talk about how bad they are, but this season is a different story. Standing over a  .500 record, which means they have won more than 50% of their games.  The Knicks have had an insane amount of success. Having All-Star Julius Randle has helped as well as rising star RJ Barrett. Coach Tom Thiboudeau has been playing both Barrett and Randle well over 35 minutes a game. The Knicks also acquired Derrick Rose in a trade where they gave away Dennis Smith Jr. 

“I’m really surprised because I do not remember them ever being good in my lifetime,” junior Luke Tillman said.

New York Knicks: 3 blockbuster trades involving Julius Randle
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Disappointments: Despite there being surprises, there also has to be a handful of disappointments in the NBA because no everyone can be a winner. The Miami Heat (18-18) for one have not really been pulling their own weight especially being in the finals last season standing at the 5th seed. A team who also has been having chemistry issues is the Boston Celtics. (19-17)

HEAT To Unveil Vice Uniforms | Miami Heat
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The Heat have a veteran in Jimmy Butler and a young core with Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo. These three helped bring the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals last season falling short to LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Although they haven’t had the worst season, it is definitely weird seeing a title contender be the 5th seed in the East. 

Jayson Tatum Made Arguably the Most Questionable Move of His Career Before Losing To the Heat
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The Celtics also have been having some issues teammate chemistry wise. Videos surfaced the internet of Jayson Tatum being interviewed and objects being thrown around in the background in the Celtics locker room. The Celtics have not really been affected by it as they are staying strong at the 4th spot.

Sophomore Alec Franksmann, a Celtic fan, said, “We have some roster issues, we need to get rid of Kemba (Walker) and get a better player. Definitely some management issues as well.”

With the NBA season just half way over, we are for sure in for another fun season. It’s only begun and it’s just starting to get exciting.