NBA

Pre Christmas NBA breakdown

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Who have been the stars of the season so far? (©GettyImages)
Who have been the stars of the season so far? (©GettyImages).

How is the NBA season shaping up? Well, the two best teams in their respective conferences are the Indiana Pacers and the Portland Trailblazers.

Portland have surpassed all expectations this year from not only being a good team but looking more and more like a contender. Indiana didn’t have too far to go in terms of improvement as they were one win away from being in the NBA Finals last year; but the team has added some new pieces, namely Luis Scola, and Paul George has been absolutely fantastic.

Moving down the ladder, the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder are next up, the Thunder have been pretty much what we expect as Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have been playing great. The Spurs being the model of consistency that they are have been just that…consistent.

The tandem of Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, and Manu Ginobili still play well while reeking of synergy developed over the years. Last year’s champs, the Miami Heat and also the Los Angeles Clippers are next on this rundown. The Heat, while they haven’t blown us away as they have in years past, have been playing as champions.

The team has realized and acknowledged that the NBA’s 82 game season is a marathon, not a sprint. Toss in some help from the best player in the league, Lebron James, and you can see why they have done well. On the other hand, the Clippers have been good but also inconsistent as Chris Paul has played great but his supporting cast is hit and miss it seems, every other night. Coach Doc Rivers has obviously pushed his message and style of play on this team but it will take time until we see what this team can do.

And finally, the teams that we expected to be good and aren’t; tied for first on this list are the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Both of the New York teams were expected to make significant strides and make deep runs in the playoffs, but all they’ve really done is flirt with the bottom of an already weak Eastern Conference.

Two Honorable Mentions: The Houston Rockets and the Phoenix Suns. The Rockets have gone under the radar even with signing Dwight Howard last offseason. The team has played well but seems to only win in spurts of two to three games at a time before losing one or two games.

If the Rockets have been under the radar, the Suns have been completely off the radar! When you talk about “Cinderella Stories”, this is what you mean. Coming into this season, this team looked so weak that they only appeared to be better than the horrific Utah Jazz, but the pairing of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic seems to have the team headed in the right direction under Coach Jeff Hornacek.

From one basketball fan to another, I would recommend that you don’t take your eyes off the 2013 season as it continues. Both conferences are fluctuating all the time, and while the east is clearly weaker than the west it is still worth while seeing all the basketball you can and who might receive that number one pick.

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