At the time of this writing, we are nearly one-fourth of the way into the NBA season. The first month has brought us many twists and turns, and we’ve seen several surprises. With unexpected teams exceeding expectations, and vice versa, here are the four most surprising NBA teams so far.
Four Most Surprising NBA Teams
#1) Utah Jazz
Without a doubt, the most surprising team this NBA season has to be the Utah Jazz. After trading away two franchise players in Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, they currently have a higher winning percentage than the teams that landed those players.
Lauri Markkanen is finally realizing his star potential in Utah, while Jordan Clarkson has helped carry the offensive load as well. Sexton, Olynyk and Conley all have played well as role players. This Jazz team looks cohesive, but we’ll have to wait and see if they can hold this form.
#2) Portland Trail Blazers
Portland is another team from the Western Conference that has far exceeded expectations. Portland currently sits atop the Western Conference with a 10-4 record.
The Blazers currently have a three-headed monster on offense. Damian Lillard, Anfernee Simmons, and Jeremi Grant all currently average about 20 points per game. Portland looks very good, and this is the first time in a while Lillard has had some real help on offense.
#3) Brooklyn Nets
Now for a team who has been surprising in the other direction so far this NBA season. Brooklyn ended last season on a bad note. They fell apart in the first round, getting swept by Boston. That was followed by a whirlwind of rumors and trade requests throughout the offseason, but Brooklyn managed to keep the core together. So far, the results from that decision are far from encouraging.
One bright spot is some surprisingly impressive play from Yuta Watanabe. Yuta had a rough rookie season, to say the least. This year though, he’s made some tremendous improvements. Yuta currently leads the NBA in three-point percentage, at the time of this writing. Aside from him, and the normally impressive performances from Kevin Durant, there hasn’t been much to be excited about in Brooklyn.
#4 Sacramento Kings
Don’t look now, but the Sacramento Kings currently own the fifth best record in the Western conference, at 9-6. The Kings have seen serious, All-Star caliber play from their point guard De’Aaron Fox. Domantis Sabonis has been very impressive this year, as well.
It’s far too early to get too excited about this team, as we haven’t made it a quarter into the season yet. However, the Kings have won nine of their past 11, and it feels like the tide is finally beginning to turn in Sacramento, as they have been one of the most surprising teams in the early portion of the NBA season.