By: Adam Tortelli ~Staff Writer~
In the midst of the NFL season heating up and college basketball starting, the NBA has been an afterthought throughout November, causing major storylines to go unnoticed in weekend morning caf conversations.
Continuing their success from last season, the Golden State Warriors picked up right where they left off on June 16 when they won the 2015 NBA Finals.
Since the season began on Oct. 27, the Stephen Curry-led Warriors have yet to lose a game, and Curry has been nothing short of spectacular, averaging more than 33 points and nearly six assists per game.
Curry’s player efficiency rating (PER) currently stands at an outlandish 35.5 (to put this in perspective, New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis led the league last season with a PER of about 26).
The hot start has catapulted the Warriors above any criticism. They have proven to be the best that the NBA has to offer and trying to point out their flaws is as difficult as Jalen Reynolds staying out of foul trouble.
The only tangible criticism against the reigning champions is that they don’t have injuries… yes, they are disliked for their luck. Elsewhere in the association, teams are already trying to separate the contenders from pretenders and stars plagued by injury last season are back with a vengeance — well, besides ever-injured Bulls guard Derrick Rose.
Indiana Pacers forward Paul George has proven to be the most valuable player not named Stephen Curry in this very young season after suffering an excruciating leg injury with team USA in the summer of 2014. Meanwhile, center Andre Drummond of the rival Detroit Pistons is also averaging an incredible 19 points and 19 rebounds a game.
Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant is back to his ways of scoring with ease, a lethal combination with the explosiveness of teammate Russell Westbrook. The ageless San Antonio Spurs are already atop their division, riding the dynamic duo of marquee free agent LaMarcus Aldridge and draft-night steal Kawhi Leonard.
Last, but certainly not least, the Cleveland Cavaliers are also making waves in their quest to redeem their loss in the injury-plagued Finals. Forward Kevin Love is finally looking like his all-star self, and LeBron James continues to be LeBron James.
Despite resting comfortably atop their division, Cleveland cannot receive true evaluations until they have all bodies on the court together, something that they have lacked since the beginning of last season’s playoff run.