Article Written By: Julian Beck
So with the first month of the NBA season about to wrap up we have had many surprises in players and many disappointments in teams. Many of the players that were traded in the off-season have lived up to the contracts they signed with their new teams. Now lets see who are the top 10 teams in the league after one month of the season in the books.
#10. Minnesota Timberwolves (8-9)
Yes, I am aware they aren’t playing .500 basketball like they should but it takes a little time for a talented team like this to gel together. They have all the pieces together to be a playoff contender for years to come. They have a pass first point guard in Ricky Rubio who also contributes on the boards and gets a good amount of steals. Their shooting guard is one of the best scorers in the NBA with Kevin Martin who is averaging 22.9 points a game this season. Their center in Nikola Pekovic can go off for 20+ points any night when he gets the ball in his hand. And their focal point is the superstar Kevin Love (my favorite player since his rookie season). Love is posting MVP type numbers for a the Wolves. He is scoring 24.3 points per game and leading the league in rebounds per game with 13.9. And their bench isn’t going to hurt them much either. So as the season progresses the wins will come and will make the playoffs this year.
#9 Golden State Warriors (9-8)
Many experts had the Warriors as a strong team that could win the division this year. But they lost pieces to the team that helped them out a lot last year. One of the biggest players they lost was Jarret Jack to the Cavs this off-season. He was one of the best back-up point guards in the league. They are playing average basketball at the moment but will turn things around soon. Their superstar Steph Curry is still playing lights out just like last year. He is a huge piece to this team, when Curry is injured this team struggles. Klay Thompson is showing everyone that keeping him over Monta Ellis was a smart move and is scoring from all over the floor. Iguodala has been the same player for years on out by posting stats in all categories. Barnes is playing consistent ball so far this season and is finally breaking out. But the one player they need to touch the ball more is David Lee. When Lee is touching the ball he is scoring 20+ points easily on a nightly basis.
#8 Denver Nuggets (9-6)
What can you say about this Nuggets? They are playing fast tempo basketball and thats with out a well known star on the team. They lost Iguodala in the off season, Gallinari is still recovering from his injury, and Cory Brewer joined the T-Wolves this off-season. But signing Nate Robinson and JJ Hickson will help this team more then anyone knows. Their rising star in Ty Lawson is putting the team on his back and carrying them to a playoff spot. Lawson is averaging 20.9 points per game, almost double from the second leading scorer on the team in Wilson Chandler with 11.2 points per game, and averaging about 9 assist per game. Kenneth Faried is still playing like the animal he is, leading the team in rebound with 9 per game. They have the best back up big man in the game with JJ Hickson who can post a double-double during any game. Once Gallinari comes back this team will be more efficient and be a problem once the playoffs hit.
#7 Los Angeles Clippers (12-5)
The Clippers are carrying on from how they played last year. With a new coach in Doc Rivers this team is either championship or bust. They had a strong off season by bringing in JJ Redick, Jared Dudley, Darren Collison and Antawan Jaimeson They have a strong leader in Chris Paul who is playing lights out this year by posting MVP type numbers, but then again he is up for MVP pretty much every year. Blake Griffen is showing that he can score more ways then just by dunking it. He is averaging a double-double this year with 21.5 PPG and 11 RPG. They have the best 6th man in the league with Jamal Crawford who can score from anywhere on the court. And this team may have the best bench in the league with Crawford, Matt Barnes, JJ Redick, Antawan Jaimeson, Jared Dudley, and even Nick Collison. Clippers are built for a run at the title, just have to see if it’s enough beat out teams like the Spurs, Rockets or Thunder.
#6 Houston Rockets (12-5)
Well the winners of the Dwight sweepstakes are playing some of the best basketball in the league. Dwight is playing like he was with the magic, by devouring the boards and making easy baskets at the rim. He is averaging a double-double with 16 PPG and 12 RPG. James Harden is playing like the superstar he is by leading the team in points, assists, and steals per game. Parsons is scoring at a great pace, averaging 16 PPG. He will get paid big buckets this off-season. Jeremy Lin is playing consistent ball as the starting point guard. Terrance Jones is a great surprise this season so far. Only problem is that Omer Asik is a starting center for practically any team in the league, so they better cash in on him now before its too late. I can see the Rockets making the playoffs once again this year and possibly making it to the semis, all thanks to Dwight.
#5 Oklahoma City Thunder (11-3)
Thunder just keep continue to play unstoppable basketball with Durant and Westbrook at the helm. I do believe they lost a big piece in Kevin Martin leaving this off-season but he didn’t gel well with the team and needed more touches then he was getting with the Thunder. But the Thunder are playing like they didn’t even need Martin to win. Durant is once again leading the league in scoring with 28 ppg. Westbrook is playing like he was never injured. Posting big numbers in all categories and being clutch when they need him. Ibaka is playing the best basketball he has in his young career, averaging 14 ppg with 10 rpg. But other then those 3 strong players the Thunder have complementary players, but none have filled the shoes of Harden. But yet they still continue to win and are a threat to win the championship.
#4 Portland Trailblazers (13-3)
This team is finally clicking on all levels on the court. This team has some of the best young talent in the league. Their core is in Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Nicolas Batum. Lillard didn’t believe in a sophomore slump, Aldridge is averaging a double-double with 21 ppg and 9 rpg. Batum is stuffing the stat sheet all over the place. And Wesley Mathews is finally contributing more to the team other then scoring and making 3 pointers. There isn’t much else I can say about this team other then they are fun to watch play and don’t sleep on these Blazers. They will be causing some big problems in the playoffs this season.
#3 Miami Heat (13-3)
Heat just continue to play championship basketball. Lebron is still the best basketball player on the planet and no one is slowing him down. He leads the team in points, assists, and rebounds per game. Wade has been a little banged up but is still putting up 18 ppg. Bosh has gave up on the center position and is shooting a good amount of 3 balls now, but is making a good percentage of them. Ray Allen continues to swish buckets and will score from anywhere on the court. And the bench of the Heat has players that can drain the 3 ball once everyone crashes on Lebron when he drives the ball in then dishes it out to the open player. This recipe has won them 2 championships in a row and I don’t see anyone stopping it.
#2 Indiana Pacers (15-1)
Pacers are off to their best start in franchise history. This team continues to win even with Danny Granger out, he seems like a lost cause now. Their superstar Paul George has put this team on his back and doesn’t plan on taking them off anytime soon. George is averaging a whopping 23 ppg with 6 rebounds and 3 assist. And he is one of the best defenders in the league. Lance Stephenson is a great surprise this season, posting 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assist per game, don’t forget he has already posted 2 triple-doubles this season. David West continues to play consistent ball. And Roy Hibbert is just blocking shots like there is no tomorrow. This team continues to win with their great defense. The Pacers only average 97 points per game, so they when they force a turnover they are converting them into points.
#1 San Antonio Spurs (14-2)
Every year fans and experts rule out the Spurs because they are “old.” But this team just plays the game the way it should be played. Tony Parker isn’t scoring as much as he was last year but he continues to get to the rim and hands out his assists to the open players. Duncan is having a slow start but that isn’t holding him back. Kawhi Leonard is a rising star and is getting it done on the boards and on defense. Not one player on this team averaging more then 18 ppg. Tony Parker leads the team with 17, but everyone on this team contributes one way or another. 4 players on the bench are averaging about 9 ppg and Manu is averaging 10 ppg. Every player knows his role and thats why the Spurs continue to win. No one is selfish and all play the game like it should be played.