Some of the biggest surprises from season 1 of NBA2K were Damian Lillard’s shooting slump, Paul George’s superb form and the Bulls beat out teams like Golden State for an undefeated start to their debut. Who are some other top 10 surprises that have happened so far?
The “Damian Lillard news lakers” is a surprise that came from the start of the 2021/22 season. Damian Lillard had a shooting slump that has been disappointing for his fans.
We anticipate certain things to happen in the NBA every year. The Lakers and Nets were the center of attention before to the season. Both clubs were projected to be at the top of the rankings. Although it is early in the season and both clubs are battling with injuries and other external factors, they are both towards the top of the rankings. This was to be anticipated. Others who are hovering around the top are making us look in the wrong direction.
The same may be said regarding one’s own performance. Some of our players are scorching hot, while others are freezing cold. Every season has its own set of highs and lows. These are the ten most surprising events from the start of the 2021-2022 season.
10. The Pelicans of New Orleans seem to be a lottery team.
Many others thought that acquiring Devonte’ Graham would be a better match. Graham is averaging 17 points and 5.4 assists per game this season. With being stated, Lonzo Ball has shown to be the best point guard in the NBA, as seen by his strong start with the Chicago Bulls. Despite the loss of Ball, Graham, Jonas Valanciunas, and Tomas Satoransky were brought in as extra components to aid a youthful club.
Instead, we’re keeping a close eye on Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Jaxon Hayes’ progress. Brandon Ingram has shown that he cannot be a decent team’s top player. We expected each of these players to take a step ahead, but by now, we should have figured out what the cards indicate.
You may blame Zion Williamson’s absence for the Pelicans’ one-win season. A good club, on the other hand, would find a way to win without its superstar, or at the very least make a.500 bid. The Pelicans currently have the league’s worst record. Even if Williamson returns soon, the Pelicans are starting to look like a lottery club. If that occurs, speculation over Williamson’s future will abound in the media.
9. The Wizards of Washington are off to a fast start.
After opening the season 5-1, the Wizards have lost two of their past three games. We anticipated the squad to finish around.500 after trading Russell Westbrook for a plethora of role players. The Wizards are entertaining to watch, even if it is still a possibility. Kyle Kuzma leads the team with 14.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Montrezl Harrell leads the team with 18.0 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Since coming here through trade, these two major names have lived up to their names.
Because of his difficulty to fit in with the Lakers last season, Harrell’s return to fame has gotten a lot of attention. Harrell looks to have never relapsed, yet he was abused in Los Angeles. Bradley Beal is surrounded by quality components in the shape of the previous Sixth Man of the Year and Kuzma.
Beal is averaging seven points less than previous season, but he is averaging more rebounds and assists. Your numbers may suffer on better teams, and Beal is a guy that prefers to win as a team. Beal has yet to demonstrate that he can lead a club to the postseason on his own. Could this be the first time he does this now that he has a proper supporting cast?
Chris Paul’s Refusal To Slow Down (number 8)
The Valley of the Suns is a place where the sun shines brightly
Chris Paul, although being 36 years old, shows no signs of slowing down. Paul is the league’s only guard with a double-digit assist average. With 12.0 assists per game, Paul leads the league. Paul had a 14-point, 18-assist effort against the Raptors on November 2.
When the Suns advanced to the NBA Finals last season, Paul proved to be the missing link. While the Suns are not a “star-studded” club, the notion of team basketball was on full show throughout the team’s postseason run. With that stated, several clubs were missing significant players, but they were able to reclaim them before the beginning of the season.
There was a nagging sensation that the Suns would return to Earth. For Paul, though, this is not the case. Since 2015-2016, when the Clippers had one of their finest seasons, Paul hasn’t averaged double-digit assists. The Suns are just 4-3, but if Paul continues to control the offense as he did with MVP Steve Nash in the golden years, the club may take off at any time.
7. The Chicago Bulls are a force to be reckoned with.
Because of the changes made in 2021, the Bulls were one of the most interesting teams entering the year. For starters, during the trade deadline, the club acquired Nikola Vucevic. They then raised the ante by signing free agents Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan. With the bench appearing weak on paper, Tony Bradley, Derrick Jones Jr., Ayo Dosunmu, Alex Caruso, and Alize Johnson seem to be the 2011 Bench Mob.
Coby White isn’t even back in the Bench Mob 2.0, so that may be an offensive boost as well. Even though Illinois fans watched Dosunmu’s play last year when the All-American earned the Bob Cousy Award in college, his performance this year has to be a pleasant surprise. The ascension of DeRozan has to be the greatest surprise.
DeRozan has a 27.0 point and 6.1 rebound per game average. In terms of scoring, he’s fourth in the league. Fans in San Antonio assumed he was nearing the end of his career, but we forget that he had to take on a new position. Last season, DeRozan was deployed as a point forward. DeRozan is in his natural position now that Ball is in charge of the offense. The fourth-quarter tandem of DeRozan and Zach LaVine is a nightmare. Once Vucevic gets going, the Bulls’ chances of contending for the No. 1 seed might become a reality.
6. Paul George is the league’s leading scorer.
Featured image courtesy of USA TODAY Sports
George is currently tied for second in scoring with Kevin Durant. George has a 27.9 average, while Durant has a 28.3 average. PG13 had topped the league in this category until Friday night. This is surprising considering George has never won a scoring championship. He’s also seldom mentioned when it comes to this metric. Due to Kawhi Leonard’s absence, the club is counting on George to carry them until he returns.
George will win the MVP award if he keeps playing like this. Although this is just a seven-game sample size, there are a few points to consider. For starters, George is shooting a career-high 50.7 percent from the field. He’s also hitting 42.2 percent of his three-point attempts, which is a career best. His 7.7 rebounds are slightly more than his career high, and his free throw percentage is little above 85%.
We’ll have to wait for more games to see whether George can join the 50-40-90 club, but if he can, he’ll be a strong contender for MVP. The Clippers are 4-4 on the season, so they’d have to make the playoffs, which would be a stretch considering Leonard’s absence. With that said, George is bringing the Clippers back into contention, which is not something we expected to say right now.
5. The Toronto Raptors Are Making A Playoff Playoff Playoff Playoff Playoff Playoff Playoff Playoff Playoff Playoff Play
The Raptors, who are 6-4 and looking like a playoff club, are another example of a surprise competitive squad. They’re accomplishing all of this without Pascal Siakam, who is sidelined with an injury. That will almost certainly lead to speculations that Siakam will be traded owing to his high contract and the team’s success, but that is a topic for another day. If Siakam returns and gels well with this group, we may be looking at a squad that looks a lot like the Knicks from last season.
Nick Nurse is one of the league’s finest coaches. As long as the team can maintain this, this should be evidence. Fred VanVleet is making a resurgence this season. He seems to be a contender for Most Improved Player of the Year. OG Anunoby leads the team in scoring with 20.3 points per game. While we all knew he had the ability, the fact that he is now able to achieve it astounds us.
Since winning the title in 2019, the Raptors have sunk in the previous two years. It seemed like a rebuilding phase when Kyle Lowry departed, which fueled trade speculations around Siakam. The team, on the other hand, is off to a flying start. Nurse will be named Coach of the Year if this trend continues.
4. Rudy Gobert Is A MVP Candidate
(USA TODAY Sports/Jeffrey Swinger)
For significant honors like this, only three players are considered finalists. Gobert would be one of the finalists in the MVP voting if it began today. Not only does it seem like Gobert will make history by winning his fourth Defensive Player of the Year Award, but he is also producing at a high rate on both ends.
Nikola Jokic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jimmy Butler, and Kevin Durant are the top five players in terms of efficiency. With an amazing 17.3 rebounds per game, Gobert leads the NBA in rebounding. He also has the best field goal percentage in the league (73.6%). On both sides of the court, he seems to be one of the finest centers in the league.
For the time being, the Jazz are dominating the Western Conference, but we may expect more from this club. Last season, the Jazz were the league’s best team in terms of victories, and they’re looking to do it again this season. Could this be the year the Jazz make a long playoff run and reclaim their league title? It will be due of their MVP candidate if they succeed.
3. Damian Lillard’s Ice Cold Shooting
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Is Damian Lillard working too much? Some whispers surfaced before the season that he would be leaving Portland. Lillard was speculated to desire leave when Terry Stotts was fired as head coach. Those reports were false, but something is certainly upsetting Dame Time. Last season’s league leader in clutch points hasn’t looked anything like the All-NBA First Team pick from the previous year.
To put things in perspective, Lillard has never had a worse shooting performance in his whole career. All of his shooting percentages are at or below his career average. This includes a field-goal percentage of 35.3 percent, which is roughly 10% lower than previous season. This includes a 23.4 percent three-point shooting percentage, which is a career-low by a significant margin. This is an almost 17% decrease from the previous year. In 2014-2015, he shot 34.3 percent, which was his career low.
Lillard had a successful tenure in Portland, but it’s time for him to move on. He is incapable of leading the squad by himself. He is frantic and looks to be under duress. Again, it’s all random, but something is interfering with his performance. This isn’t the Lillard we’ve seen before. You can point the finger at the coach all you want, but Lillard has never been a psychologically weak player. Something has harmed his game, and he’ll have to figure out how to fix it as the season develops if the Trail Blazers are to make the playoffs this year.
2. The Ascension of Al Horford as a Defensive Player
Who’d have guessed Al Horford’s return value would be that high at 35 years old? Horford is proving to be the defensive anchor that the club anticipated he would be early in the season. To be fair, the squad already had Robert Williams as a defensive cornerstone, but Horford’s output is a welcome addition.
Horford has the most blocks in the NBA, at 3.0 per game. Horford’s previous career best was 1.5 when he was a member of the Atlanta Hawks in 2015-2016, demonstrating how shocking this is. When Horford was an All-Star with the Celtics from 2016 to 2019, he wasn’t nearly as good on defense.
Horford will make a push for Defensive Player of the Year if he can keep this up. Horford also pulls down 10.1 rebounds a game. Horford has been required to play more of a defensive role with a smaller team, but he has also been a standout on offensively, sitting at the top of the league with five double-doubles already. Given his age and time in the league, this is a remarkable achievement.
1. Miles Bridges’ All-Star Performance
Miles Bridges of the Charlotte Hornets is the best example of a surprising success story. We’re seeing one of the most dramatic transitions between seasons in recent memory. This is remarkably similar to Pascal Siakam’s MIP award win in 2019. While championship dreams seem unrealistic in Charlotte this season, the 23-year-development old’s demonstrates that the Hornets might be a force to be reckoned with in a few years.
In 66 games last season, Bridges averaged 12.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game. Bridges’ 50.3 percent field goal percentage and 40.0 percent three-point percentage were promising. Bridges has played in nine games this season, averaging 24.1 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.0 block. This is backed up by a field-goal percentage of 48.2 percent and a three-point percentage of 37.1 percent.
Bridges was one of the top players in the nation during his time at Michigan State. The former No. 12 overall choice in 2018 has taken a couple years to mature, but he looks to have arrived. The Hornets thought they might be a playoff club with LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, and Gordon Hayward. If Bridges continues to play well and the Hornets remain in contention for the playoffs, he may be named to the All-Star team, which would be a tremendous surprise to everyone in the nation.
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Damian Lillard’s shooting slump has been a surprise for the 2021/22 season. The shooting slump has seen Lillard shoot just 31% from the field and 27% from three-point range. Reference: damian lillard net worth 2021.
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