We’re roughly halfway through this NBA season, and as many people expected, the Warriors are at top spot in the West, and with the addition of Kyrie Irving, a lot of people expected the Celtics to be near – if not at the top of the Eastern conference.
However, there are a few things that are happening this season that not many people may have expected. Here is a selection of the things, in my own opinion, that I did not expect to happen.
The Timberwolves – How’d they get there?!
The Timberwolves are currently (At the time of writing) sitting in fourth of the Western conference. With the addition of Jimmy ‘Buckets’ Butler during the summer, I expected them to do slightly better than last season. I did not expect them to be a top four seed halfway through the season. Eighth seed, sitting on .500? Yes. Fourth seed, eleven games above.500? Nope.
I looked at the NBA standings for the first time in a while (The reason for that is in the next part) the other day, and what a shock I had. I think the last time I looked was when the Wolves were in the eighth seed. For me, this is the biggest shock of this season so far (Hence the photo used for the article!)
The Grizzlies – what should they do?
I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a Grizzlies fan. I don’t really know what the front office are doing though. The next draft is probably the best draft in recent NBA history, they’re twelve games below .500 thanks to an eleven game losing streak earlier in the season and they’re not tanking for it.
The big question is, do the Grizz trade Marc Gasol for a couple of young players and a draft pick and go full tank, or do they make a huge (And it will need to be huge) push to try and slip into the eighth seed, bearing in mind that Mike Conley is a couple of weeks away from a possible return. Rookie Dillon Brooks is currently putting in a lot of effort and the whole team have been doing good lately.
The process has been trusted, and it’s working.
The Sixers currently sit at eighth seed in the East, and right now they would be getting ready for a playoff matchup against the Celtics.
Joel Embiid is off to LA for the All Star game soon, which most NBA fans expected as he has been averaging 23.9 points per game this season, along with eleven rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
Rookie Ben Simmons has also been putting in hard work, averaging 16.6 points per game so far this season.
I don’t think that the process is complete yet by any means. However, what I do think is that if the Sixers can carry on doing what they’re doing, then they can be a real contender. They’ve improved massively over the past two seasons, and can only continue to do that.
Note: All figures are correct at the time of writing this article.