Having finished one-third of the regular season, the NBA is once again fashioning a number of different storylines to garner the attention of its fans. The upheaval with some teams that saw plenty of turnover take place during the offseason is matched against the franchises that remain in contention to capture the title in June.
One of the storylines that’s now in its third year is the rivalry between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors. The two teams have met in the NBA Finals in each of the last two seasons. Should they again reach that summit in 2017, it will mark the first time ever that the same two squads have reached the finals three consecutive seasons.
Right now, that projection is on target since both currently possess the top conference record. The first of two regular season meetings took place in Cleveland on Christmas Day, with the Cavaliers forging a late comeback to win. Some of the officials’ late actions and inactions were later found to be in error, which should stoke the embers even more when the two teams play in Oakland on January 16th.
On an individual level, Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook is currently the favorite to win Most Valuable Player honors. The key reason is that he’s currently on pace to finish the season averaging a triple-double. If that becomes a reality in April, he’ll join the legendary Oscar Robertson as the only two NBA players to ever accomplish that feat.
Yet the competition for that top individual honor is tight enough that any statistical slide by Westbrook might move someone else into the favorite spot. Chief among those players is Houston Rockets guard James Harden, who’s currently averaging 28 points, just under 12 assists and eight rebounds per game.
More importantly, Harden has served as the centerpiece of a Rockets team that’s re-emerged as a strong postseason contender. They’re currently situated just three games behind the Warriors for best record in the league.
The team that’s currently in between Golden State and Houston is a familiar one: the San Antonio Spurs. At 27-7 after the games of January 2nd, the Spurs haven’t missed a beat after the retirement of future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan and the slowing down of two other Hall of Famers-to-be in guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
One of the surprise teams thus far has been the Utah Jazz, which currently has the sixth-best record https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/prix-viagra-pharmacie/ in the league. Their success has primarily been due to a stifling defense that’s only allowed a league-best 94.5 points per game. While they likely lack the depth of lasting through the postseason, a strong defense may be able to taken them farther than expected.
Another surprise possibility might be the Los Angeles Clippers, though navigating through the competitive Western Conference will be difficult. In the East, the only two teams likely to challenge the Cavaliers are the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics.
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