Wednesday, March 22 2023

The NBA always brings it’s fair share of surprises each season. This year is no different as there are a few surprising NBA teams who have shocked the media and fans. While the season is still young, it is still worth discussing these overachieving squads and how they have unlocked their potential. Without further adieu, let’s delve in and take an in-depth look into the three most surprising NBA teams of the season so far.

Three Most Surprising NBA Teams of the Season 

Utah Jazz

This is the most obvious one. Not only did the Jazz trade away their two stars in Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert in the offseason, they also replaced Quin Snyder with Will Hardy as their new head coach. With all this change, hardly anyone predicted this squad to be in the thick of the playoff picture. Especially the one seed. Lauri Markannen has been a revelation and the Jazz have the likes of All-Star, Mike Connelly, and former Sixth Man of the Year, Jordan Clarkson, on their team.

Utah is currently ranked second in points per game at 118.3 and fifth in assists per game at 28.1. Their high-powered offense has a lot to do with their 10-4 win-loss record. While Utah’s defense is currently middle of the pack, it is worth noting that we are still at the start of the season. Whether or not the Jazz can sustain this success remains to be seen, but their start has been impressive nonetheless.

Portland Trail Blazers

Shifting our focus to another Northwest division team, the Portland Trail Blazers were another team who few had high hopes in to start the new regular season. After trading away C.J. McCollum last season, many thought Portland was preparing for a rebuild process. However, Damian Lillard and company has had different ideas this year.

The Trail Blazers are currently third place in the Western Conference with a win-loss record of 9-4. Lillard is having a career-season with averages of 28.6 points, 5.1 assists, and a three-point shooting percentage of 40.8 percent. Not to mention, the supporting cast has also contributed to their success. Jerami Grant and Josh Hart both have game-winners this season and the team looks as cohesive as ever. Their head coach, Chauncey Billups, has one of the most brilliant basketball minds ever and has had a major role in becoming one of the surprising NBA teams so far.

Indiana Pacers 

The Indiana Pacers are one of the scrappiest teams in the league. Benedict Mathurin and Tyrese Haliburton have great drives and Buddy Hield is one of the best three-point shooters in the league. The team is led by a decorated coach in Rick Carlisle who can get the most out of his current core. As of right now, Indiana is ranked sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 6-6 win-loss record.

The Pacers have gotten impressive wins over teams such as the Miami Heat, Toronto Raptors, and the New Orleans Pelicans. Even in some of their losses, they have given teams a run for their money. Teams such as the Denver Nuggets and the Brooklyn Nets. The Pacers were thought to be one of the teams to be lost in NBA “no-man,” land this season (not good enough to make the postseason, not bad enough to get a high draft pick), but this squad has been one of the major surprising NBA teams thus far.

Source: Basketball Insider


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