Due to a booming free agency period of moves, draft picks, and signings, the landscape of the NBA had made a complete turnaround.
Of course, there are teams whose standings have been set in stone— the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers dominating the East, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers are heavy favorites in the West.
However, nearly every team has a story and has made moves to put themselves in the highest position to compete.
Nothing is guaranteed in the NBA, and keeping this in mind, here are four NBA teams that will surprise this season.
Four NBA Teams Sure to Surprise This Season
Atlanta is currently in a rebuilding phase, with shooter Trae Young running the show for the young Hawks team. Young is considered the most exciting shooter since Stephen Curry. Young is gifted off the dribble with his hands and moves smoothly with the ball and through the pick-and-roll. So far this season, he has been exciting to watch, shooting 50 percent from the field and three-point range.
The Hawks has a nice blend of young players and veterans, from the rookies to free agency pickups like Evan Turner. With Young at the center of the team, Atlanta moves at a much faster pace, which results in them earning more lessons that could benefit them in the long run during tough games against
For several years, the Detroit Pistons has been a fluctuating team, not being able to have any balance or consistency. This time it seems that Detroit could finally break out of being stagnant.
Blake Griffin has evolved over the years, being the main man in Detroit beginning last season. He has improved his shooting game and gave it his all in every game, fighting through injuries. Still, his history of reoccurring injuries is a lingering concern for the team looking to rise in the Eastern Conference.
Thankfully, the team has been doing well amid Griffin being out with the help of Derrick Rose. In his first four games as a Pistons, Rose averaged nearly 25 points, shooting 54 percent from the field. He’s moving swiftly and looks healthier than ever before. Luke Kennard is evolving as well in his shooting game, improving to 48 percent shooting from the field and three-point range. Going into a “contract year,” Andre Drummond is making a case early in the season to be worthy of a maximum deal by averaging 20 points a game and jumping up to 60 percent.
Detroit has a solid roster, and as long as everyone respectively plays well into their roles, they can find themselves into the conversation of East contenders.
Memphis, similar to Atlanta, is another team developing a young, loaded core.
Their first-round draft pick, Ja Morant, has speed, vertical athleticism and can shoot reasonably well at the point guard position. Pair Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. together, and you have a duo of athleticism, size, and quickness.
Morant will be the potential lock-in for the franchise point guard and surrounding with will be depth all through the Grizzlies’ first and second units. Players who fill these units include Jae Crowder, Jonas Valanciunas, Tyus Jones, and Memphis’s other first-round pick Brandon Clarke. The Grizzlies new head coach Taylor Jenkins, who is skilled at developing rookie and young players, can play around with this roster. Memphis switch young players and veterans interchangeably between certain positions like the point guard position or center position.
The Miami Heat are looking to build a new dynasty following the retirement of the great Dwyane Wade last season. There is optimism that Miami can achieve that very soon with Jimmy Butler, a wing-player with a fiery, blue-collar attitude.
With Hassan Whiteside now in Portland, this gives center Bam Adebayo more minutes. Adebayo is suited for Miami’s defense, as he can push the pace and finish around the rim. Also, Goran Dragic, James Johnson, and Dion Waiters are back and healthy.
Miami also got much promise in their first-round pick, Tyler Herro, who is shooting 36 percent from three-point range.
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