By Jay Jason McDaniel, Assistant Sports Editor—
The 2018-19 NBA season kicked off earlier this month, and so far it has been a rollercoaster of wrong expectations.
The first surprise of the season came on the second day. The New Orleans Pelicans didn’t make any blockbuster moves in the offseason and had a daunting opening opponent in the Houston Rockets. Anthony Davis came out and led the Pelicans to a 131-112 win with 32 points and 16 rebounds on the Western Conference finalists from last season. Since that game, they have outperformed their opponents and all expectations for the season.
Another surprise from the season so far is the competitiveness seen out of the Toronto Raptors and their new star Kawhi Leonard. Leonard was traded to the Raptors for Demar DeRozan over the summer and neither player seemed happy with the move, but the teams were thrilled with the opportunities. The Raptors have shown extremely good chemistry so far this season, earning them a 6-0 starting record.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have gotten off to the weakest start in franchise history. Currently sitting at 0-4, something’s gotta change for this team. Last season they seriously underperformed in comparison to expectations. All-Star Paul George decided to re-sign with the Thunder after last season, which was a pretty big surprise to the NBA as a whole. Two of their four losses come to the Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics, undoubtedly two of the strongest teams in the league.
The Los Angeles Lakers got a slow start to the season, but have begun playing at a higher level in their more recent games. In Lebron James’ home debut as an Laker they added one into the loss column from the Houston Rockets. Late in the fourth quarter there was a scuffle on the court involving multiple players throwing punches and ultimately earning suspensions.
This season has started fast and dramatically, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. All I know is that I’m thrilled to see seven more months of NBA basketball.