The National Basketball Association has always been full of excitement and surprises. In many instances, a dark horse team has made it to the playoffs while shoo-ins have been shut out. And in some cases, complete underdogs have shocked Americans by becoming NBA champions.
One memorable shake-up was when the Cleveland Cavaliers won the 2016 NBA Championship series. Although the Cavaliers were considered the best Eastern Conference team last season, nobody, except perhaps the die-hard Cavaliers fans, gave the team any chance to beat the seemingly unstoppable Golden State Warriors. The Warriors set the best regular-season record in NBA history with their 73-9 record.
When the Warriors led the series 3-1, everybody was waiting for them to snatch the championship with just one more victory. But that victory never came. Led by LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, the Cavaliers took the series, giving their long-shot team its first NBA championship.
During the current 2016-2017 NBA season, basketball fans anticipate more exciting surprises. The Golden State Warriors are again leading the way, currently with a 43-7 record. If the team continues its performance, there is a high possibility that the Warriors will be contending for the championship once again.
The Warriors cannot take it easy, though, as they learned from last year’s championship. The Cavaliers are leading the Eastern Conference with a 34-15 record, followed closely by the surging Boston Celtics at 32-18. The Warriors are again being challenged in the West by the San Antonio Spurs with a 39-11 standing, and the Houston Rockets are nipping at their heels with a 37-17 record.
There are no sure bets in the NBA, however. Some players may have an unexpected breakout season or some could get injured, jeopardizing their team’s success. A good example is the case of Russell Westbrook, known by adoring fans as “Beastbrook,” who is having a phenomenal season. Teaming up with his new teammate Victor Oladipo, Westbrook has been racking up game-changing plays and triple doubles for the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder could conceivably overtake top-ranked teams in the West and challenge the Warriors for the conference title.
Love suspense? Keep an eye on the upcoming NBA games.