2017-18 NBA Regular Season: 10 pleasant surprises
- Here, we list down an unranked list of 10 such surprising things from this NBA season.
The 2017-18 NBA regular season campaign is drawing to a halt, and this 6-month spell of NBA basketball has been as captivating as any in recent memory.
LeBron James continues to demonstrate basketball excellence at a different elevation than the rest of the field, which continues to persevere to reach the levels set by The King in today's day and age of basketball.
This season, much of the NBA landscape changed due to a plethora of game-changing offseason moves.
Chris Paul's trade to Houston Rockets, Kyrie Irving's trade to the Boston Celtics, Jimmy Butler's move to Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder's acquisition of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony were some of the blockbuster moves responsible for this.
There are a number of storylines that got fans all excited and pleasantly surprised - there were many more phenomena to get excited about than despair about. Here, we list down an unranked list of 10 such surprising things from this NBA season.
#10 Houston Rockets' dominance
The Houston Rockets made what is probably the best trade deal of the summer of 2017 right at the start of the free agency window.
Way back in June, Daryl Morey traded Patrick Beverley, Lou Williams, Montrezl Harrell, Sam Dekker, Darrun Hillard, DeAndre Liggins, Kyle Wiltjer and a protected 2018 first-round pick for Chris Paul - making it an 8 players-for-1 trade that beat the previous record held by the Kevin Garnett trade to the Celtics (which was 7-for-1).
The skeptics rose their heads and began questioning how well two ball-hungry guards would fit in alongside each other, but Mike D'Antoni (who could probably become the first head coach to win Coach of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons) made light of the situation.
Plugging Chris Paul into the lineup required a couple of cosmetic adjustments from both the players, but with the talent level involved, the Rockets took virtually no time off for growing pains and have held on to the best record in the league for over 50 games, and are currently 64-16 with a whopping win percentage of 80%.
Many people may have foreseen such a seamless transition for Paul, but they surely didn't anticipate the manner in which the Rockets have dominated the league for the whole duration.
They have embarked on 2 separate winning streaks of 14 games or more, and 3 streaks of 11 wins or more, and own a 2-1 regular season record against the Warriors (2-0 with both teams having their full complement of starters).
At this point in the season, it is difficult to look beyond the Rockets as secondary favorites after the Golden State Warriors.