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3 Surprising Teams (In A Good Way) Through 3 Weeks

Yes, we're only 3 weeks in. But it's never TOO early to overreact

Photo By: Chris Gardner (Getty Images North America)

There have been plenty of surprises thus far in the NBA. Teams have gone from the Wembanyama sweepstakes to possible playoff contenders. Then there have been some teams that went from championship hopefuls to landing some ping pongs in the lottery. But today, we'll just focus on the good surprises we've seen so far.

1. Utah Jazz

It's November 10th and the Utah Jazz have full control of the 1st seed in the Western Conference. With 10 wins and just 3 losses for what was supposed to be a tanking team, or so we thought. Danny Ainge accidentally created one of the most fun teams to watch in The Association. First-time Head Coac

h Will Hardy has the Jazz dishing out assists left and right. As the Jazz are top 5 in most of the passing statistical categories.

Then there's the incredible season thus far for Lauri Markkanen. The former Bull and Cavalier was acquired alongside Collin Sexton in the blockbuster Donovan Mitchell trade over the summer. The Finnisher (yes, that is a real nickname) is averaging just under 23 Points and 9 Rebounds per contest and he's shown off a much improved defensive game than in previous seasons. Then there are guys like Jordan Clarkson, Mike Conley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Kelly Olynyk that bring different aspects to the game with their different playstyles.

Will the dream run continue? Who knows. But it sure has been fun to watch.

2. Portland Trail Blazers

Injuries, 3rd quarter deficits, a hard schedule. It hasn't mattered to Portland thus far. As Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers are tied for 2nd in the West with an 8-3 record. They've gotten missed games from everyone in their starting lineup with the exception of Josh Hart and are yet to see their free agent defensive anchor Gary Payton II. Plus, it feels like in every game they've played there has been some 10+ point comeback that needs to be made by the 4th quarter. And when they do get to the 4th quarter, Portland is the most clutch team in the NBA. With 4 game-winning shots by guys not named Damian Lillard.

The Trail Blazers have ranked 8th in defensive rating so far this season. This is a huge surprise, considering the defense which lacks in the backcourt. Offensively, they've been below average. But that is expected when your All-NBA Point Guard misses 4 games with a calf strain. So maybe Portland can become a real threat in the West.

3. Cleveland Cavaliers

I expected the Cavs to be nice. But not THIS nice. Through 11 games, they've had an 8-3 record, and a majority of those games have come without their All-Star Guard Darius Garland. I mentioned the blockbuster trade earlier, and it hasn't been too bad for the Cavaliers either. As Mitchell is averaging 31 Points, 4 Rebounds, and 6 Assists so far in this young season. Then the two other stars, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley have been magnificent on the defensive end. Propelling the Cavs to the 2nd best defense in the league.

But the bench has been just as impressive as the starters. Kevin Love and Caris LeVert have paved the way for the 2nd unit offensively. But some under-the-radar guys like Dean Wade and Cedi Osman have been excellent options for J.B. Bickerstaff off the bench for some two-way play. From top to bottom, Cleveland has been on top of the game.


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