Five enthralling narratives unfolding one month into the NBA season

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Clippers are an actual threat

While we would all be happy to see Cleveland v Golden State III in the 2017 NBA finals, it appears we may actually get what fans craved; a competitive run to the big series. 

The Clippers currently sit top of the Western Conference and have to be considered a legitimate threat following their franchise-best 14-2 start. 

We all know that the Clips are a strong team, but this campaign has been better than ever with their added depth. Barring any catastrophic injuries, they can go toe-to-toe with the Golden State superteam in the postseason.

Baby Lakers 

It couldn't get any worse for L.A. following their 17-win season in Kobe Bryant's farewell, but not many expected them to be sitting above .500 after a month.

The young core is coming along well. D'Angelo Russell's injury is a setback, but they are really buying into Luke Walton's style of play. 

Julius Randle has improved beyond recognition, their bench is extremely powerful - with Lou Williams and Jordan Clarkson leading the charge - and the Lakeshow is on its way back. The NBA has missed the famous Purple and Gold.

A partner in crime for Davis

Having gone 2-10 to start the season, it looked like 2016/17 was going to be a tough slog for the New Orleans Pelicans and their superstar Anthony Davis.

However, since the return of Jrue Holiday from his personal issues, the Pelicans are 4-0 and have an average points differential of 14.

Tougher challenges are to come, but their win in Atlanta was a real statement of intent. With a serious pick and roll threat to work alongside a transcendent talent like Davis, squeezing into the playoffs is a real possibility. 

Cleveland is finally a big three

Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James have been considered a big three since the off, but the first month of their title defence has seen the power forward really step up to the mark. 

Love's 34-point first quarter was simply incredible, and with playoff LeBron a real thing - although he still has two triple doubles - the former Minnesota man has really upped his output. 

The former UCLA man is averaging a 21.8 point, 10.8 rebound double-double, and that scoring average is the highest, by a long way, in his career at the Q Arena. 

He may never be the same force from his T-Wolves days, but performing the way he is has really given the Cavs another string to their bow. 

The Process

It's been two years in the making, but the Joel Embiid hype train is in full flow. 

Still on a minutes limit, the Philadelphia 76ers star is the outright favourite to be named Rookie of the Year after a fine string of performances. 

Averaging 17.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 22.6 minutes of action, the center has led Philly to a 4-11 start - not great, but their best since 2013. 

With Ben Simmons still to return, Dario Saric, Jahlil Okafor, whatever they get in a trade for Nerlens Noel - we're jumping the gun somewhat - and a future lottery pick, Sam Hinkie's legacy lives on. 

L.A. Clippers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
New Orleans Pelicans
Southwest Division
Kevin Love
Philadelphia 76ers
Atlantic Division
Joel Embiid
L.A. Lakers

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