The NBA season is less than two months old, and a lot has already happened. Houston Rockets guard James Harden is in the midst of an historical scoring season.
Remaining out west, the Los Angeles Lakers’ duo of LeBron James and Anthony Davis are dominating with the latter being considered a legit Defensive Player of the Year candidate.
Back east, Giannis Antetokounmpo has added even more to his game for a Milwaukee Bucks squad that is tied with the above-mentioned Lakers for the best record in the Association.
These are among the top five storylines in the NBA right now.
James Harden scoring at a record clip
This former league MVP heads into Thursday’s game against the Toronto Raptors averaging a ridiculous 39.5 points per game. He put up 60 and 50 points in his past two outings, respectively. Harden is now on pace to average the third-most points in NBA history, behind the two seasons Wilt Chamberlain had in his prime.
Despite Harden’s otherworldly performance, the Rockets currently find themselves at just 13-7 and as the fifth seed in the Western Conference. He must keep up this pace if Houston is to have any chance of coming out of the top-heavy conference.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks are scary good
Not only is Milwaukee an NBA-best 18-3 on the season, this team is outscoring its opponents by north of 12 points per game. That includes wins over fellow NBA title contenders in that of the Rockets, Raptors and Clippers.
Though, the story surrounds the Greek Freak more than anything. Giannis is averaging 30.8 points, 13.4 rebounds and 5.8 assists on 57% shooting from the field. If that weren’t enough, Antetokounmpo has added another element to his game on offense.
That’s just scary. Dude is still only 24 years old and has yet to hit his prime. It has Milwaukee as the odds-on favorites back east.
Lakers reign supreme in Southern California
Sure the Clippers are having themselves a good season with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George teaming up. However, it’s the Lakers that remain the hottest ticket in Southern California.
LeBron James and Co. head into Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz tied with Milwaukee for the best record in the NBA at 18-3. the Lakers rank third in points allowed and third in defensive rating. Heck, Anthony Davis is a legit NBA Defensive Player of the Year candidate. All of this has the Lakers as heavy favorites to come out of the Western Conference.
Disaster in the Big Apple
By now it’s well known that the James Dolan-led Knicks franchise is among the most laughable in sports. Sending press releases after failing to sign top-end players. Setting up press conferences for no apparent reason. You name it, and the Knicks have done it.
Now at 4-17 on the season, irrelevance is the name of the game for these Knicks. It’s led to speculation that head coach David Fizdale could be used as the fall guy.
Whatever the reason, the draw of New York City and Madison Square Garden just isn’t there for star players. Working at an advantage in North America’s largest media market, the Knicks continue to squander opportunity after opportunity. It’s just embarrassing.
It’s Luka Doncic’s world
This second-year player is doing something we have not seen from someone his age since Mr. LeBron James himself. It really is something to behold. Even after earning NBA Rookie of the Year honors last season, Doncic has upped his game at nearly every turn.
The 20-year-old Slovenian is averaging 30.7 points, 10.3 rebounds and 9.4 assists per game thus far this season. That’s nearing Oscar Robertson and Russell Westbrook territory in that he could average a triple-double. The dude is not even old enough to drink legally. Let that sink in for a second.