Early Takeaways from the Opening Month of the NBA Season


Braylon Obleman

The NBA season has now been underway for two weeks. Some teams are showing early signs of a successful seasons, while other teams are failing to do so. Two teams that have impressed many fans this season are the Cleveland Cavaliers and Utah Jazz. Two teams who have not met expectations so far in the young season include the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers.

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been stellar to begin the season. After giving up three first round draft picks to acquire star guard Donavan Mitchell, the Cavs are clearly going all in with hopes of winning a championship in the near future. They have been able to earn a 5-1 record, despite an early injury to last seasons 21 point per game scorer Darius Garland. The Cavs have also gotten key defense from their big men, Jarret Allen and Evan Mobley. The Cavaliers, who came up just a game short of the playoffs last year, are looking like early contenders to come out of the Eastern Conference and compete for a championship!

The Brooklyn Nets have been absolutely abysmal to begin the season. Starting just 2-6 despite having 3 players who have recently made all star games is not something that should happen. The Nets first step in the right direction all season was firing head coach Steve Nash, 4 months after star forward Kevin Durant asked for this to happen. At last years trade deadline, the Nets sent star guard James Harden to the 76ers for Ben Simmons and other pieces. Now that he is back from injury, he has been no help to the team. The former all-star has not managed to average double digit points this season, sitting just under 7 a game. Compared to where they should be at, the Nets season has started awfully.

The Utah Jazz had an absolute fire sale this offseason. Trading multiple all stars in Donavan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. Despite this they are still off to a strong 6-2 start. They have impressed greatly with the depth and strong bench they pose. Former Cavalier who was traded for Donavan Mitchell, Lauri Markkanen, has been very solid this season. The Finnish star has averaged a career high 22 points per game to begin the season. He has been carrying the scoring load for the Jazz, although they have five ten point per game scorers to help. The Utah Jazz are a team nobody could have predicted to be a top three seed in the stacked Western Conference through two weeks, but here they are.

The Los Angles Lakers have had one of the worst shooting starts to a season in the history of basketball. Not only have they shot a league low under 30% from three on the season, but they also haven’t even been competent off the court. The media has been calling for former MVP Russel Westbrook to be traded for over a year now. The Lakers have all-time great forward Lebron James averaging a steady 26 point per game, but apart from him it has been rough. Center Anthony Davis has been more healthy than last year, but the media is skeptical if that will stand as he has been taking falls and long times to arise.

While it is early, many teams have been surprising this year. Besides the teams previously stated, who could have guessed the 2-4 start from the 76ers, or the Bucks to be 6-0 without all-star forward Khris Middleton? The NBA is an unpredictable league that could stay at this pace, or see everything change dramatically over the course of the season.