There have been a number of pleasant surprises at the start of this season such as the Los Angeles Clippers topping the Western Conference without Chris Paul and the Orlando Magic owning the best record in east.
Another huge surprise has been the shocking start the Cleveland Cavaliers have made. The reigning Eastern Conference champions are currently in the midst of a four-game losing streak and look old and lethargic.
The franchise made an overhaul to its roster in the offseason adding eight new faces to a team that made three straight finals and offloading Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics.
It was always going to take time to integrate those players and they were expected to have their fair share of ups and downs in the process but certainly not in this manner.
They sit 10th in their conference with a 3-5 record and look far from an elite team after the opening eight games. In their last outing, they were beaten by 17 points by the Indiana Pacers, but it's just the latest of many thumpings they've received.
Their defence has been abysmal, with the Cavs giving up 111.9 points a game which ranks 25th in the NBA.
While Cleveland wasn’t a great defensive team a year ago, they are 29th in defensive efficiency. Four of their five losses this season came against teams with a losing record last year, including the 20-win Brooklyn Nets, 29-win Magic and 31-win New York Knicks.
Per ESPN Stats and Info, the Cavaliers aren’t just losing against teams they should be crushing, they’re losing by a wide margin.
Entering the campaign, LeBron's teams had been double-digit favourites 252 times and they never lost by 15 or more points. That's happened three times already this year.
They conducted a clear-the-air team meeting prior to the Indiana loss in an effort to galvanise each other and overcome the slump, but it didn't have the desired effect instantly as they suffered from the same old problems in the defeat.
James pointed to the team's lack of effort for 48 minutes as a big reason for their downfall and after Tristan Thompson was ruled out for a month with a calf strain, he called the Cavs "depleted".
Having lost to five teams they were expected to beat, the Wine and Gold face arguably their toughest test of the season tonight as they travel to the nation's capital to face the Washington Wizards.
A win there could be just what they need to get their season up and running.