Overperforming Teams in the NBA This Season


Jarren Gray, Contributor

As this NBA season approaches the All-Star break and we enter the second half of the regular season, there have been a few teams that have exceeded expectations.

With a plethora of teams being close in standings and record differentials this season, some teams have had some surprising starts to the year. Below are the top four teams that have taken the NBA by surprise with their play through the first 50 games.

Brooklyn Nets (31-19), 4th in the East

The first team that has exceeded expectations so far this season are the Brooklyn Nets. Some might say they should not be on the list because they have two superstars, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

Considering the fact that Kevin Durant requested a trade before the season even started, giving the impression that this team was already falling apart after their terrible showing in playoffs last season, being the only team being swept.

A couple of weeks into the season Kyrie Irving missed 8 games due to posting an anti-semitic movie that was being streamed on Amazon. Since returning to the lineup, the Brooklyn Nets have seemed to resurrect their season with new Head Coach, Jacque Vaughn and have the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference so far.

Indiana Pacers (24-28), 10th in the East

The Indiana Pacers may be under .500, they are currently ninth in the Eastern Conference with a chance to play in the play-in tournament.

After trading Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis, expectations were low for the Indiana Pacers. Solid contributions from young studs like Benedict Mathurin and well-rounded veterans such as TJ McConnell, Buddy Hield and Myles Turner have Indiana fighting for a Play-In spot out east.

The biggest key to their success though is Tyrese Haliburton, the 22-year-old that averages 20 points per game and 10 assists per game and might be potentially an All-Star this season.

Sacramento Kings (28-21), 3rd in the West

The third place team in the Western Conference is the Sacramento Kings and they are one of the biggest surprises this season.

“Lighting the Beam” is a new tradition the Kings do after each win, this season the beam has been lit quite a bit.

They lead the league in points per game with 120. This team has a quietly deep roster with a lot of shooting, and athleticism and plays at a great pace.

Utah Jazz (26-26), 9th in the West

A team that most people thought might consider taking this season to get a chance at potential No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama, currently holds the eighth seed in the Western Conference and is only one game back of the fifth seed.

After trading away their two most valuable players in Donavon Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, the Jazz are ranked fourth in points per game with good 3-point shooting and good role players that understand their role on the team.

They also have two players that average 20 points per game, one of which is Lauri Markkanen, a versatile 7-footer that can stretch the floor with his 3-point shooting.