We are three weeks into the NBA season, and here is what has caught my eye so far:
The Golden State Warriors are successfully defending its title, doing so at a historic rate. The team has started out at a sizzling 11-0, beating the Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets and New Orleans Pelicans by 15 or more and stomping the Memphis Grizzlies by 50.
Remember, Memphis had Golden State on the ropes of last years Western Conference Semifinals when they were winning the series 2-1. The team is averaging a league-leading 114 per game.
After winning his first MVP last year, Stephen Curry has been the NBA’s best player, and it has not even been close. Curry is averaging an absurd 33.4 points per game, which leads the next closest player by 5 points. He has had four 20-point quarters this year. The rest of the NBA has two. Curry is at the peak of his powers right now.
The New Orleans Pelicans have been very surprising. After shocking many last year and sneaking into the eighth seed, the team has bumbled out of the gate, starting a lowly 1-8. The schedule has been tough so far, facing the Warriors twice as well as the reigning Eastern Conference regular season winning Atlanta Hawks twice.
What propelled them to last year playoffs was Anthony Davis’ otherworldly play. This year he has just been incredible. He is averaging a mere 24 points and nine rebounds. Suprisingly, his field goal percentage, rebounds, steals, blocks and points are all down from last year.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are off to a soaring 8-2 start. After dropping their opening game against the Chicago Bulls, the Cavs ripped off eight in a row on the back of Jedi-master LeBron James. James is leading the time in scoring (27 ppg), assists (6.4) and steals (2). The Cavs have yet to see dynamic point guard Kyrie Irving or skillful wing Iman Shumpert. Irving is suffering from a fractured left knee cap from game 1 of last year NBA Finals. He should be back within the next two months. Shumpert had wrist surgery and was expected to miss the first month of the year.
The No. 1 overall pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves Karl-Anthony Towns has dominated Rookie of the Year talk. He is second in scoring only to the second pick, Jahlil Okafor,with 15.7 a game. He is first in rebounding at 10.3 a game. That also ranks sixth among all players.
He leads all rookies with 2.3 blocks per game, which is eighth among all players. He leads all rookies in double doubles with six. That is tied for third in the NBA. He has done all this on a dazzling efficiency for a rookie. He has shot 49 percent from the field and 89 percent from the free throw line.