Black Friday has come and gone. Which means it's just about time to put the presents under the tree.
But you don't have to wait for Christmas to get the gift of basketball. Just keep watching.
Here's some more Surprises, Disappointments, and Things to Keep an Eye On.
- Spencer Dinwiddie
The reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week just keeps on hooping. With the injuries to both Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie has had to carry the load offensively. And things are going more than good.
The Brooklyn Nets have 6 out of their last 8 games and have got themselves over .500 for the first time all season. Dinwiddie has averaged 24.5 points per game on 42% shooting. He has been in the top three in voting for Sixth Man of the Year for the past two seasons. And if he keeps this up, he'll be back in that same group again.
- Luka Doncic
Even for the most trusting Doncic believers, his play has been above everyone's expectations. At just 20 years old, he has already catapulted himself into the MVP conversation.
For the entire month of November, he averaged 32.4 points per game, 10.4 rebounds, and 10.2 assists on 49% shooting! Those numbers are no flash in the pan, this guy is for real.
- John Collins
At the beginning of the season, the Atlanta Hawks looked like an improved team. They were healthy and had some new veteran additions. But the lengthy suspension brought down on John Collins due to a failed drug test has left the Hawks without their second best offensive player and their best defensive player.
Since his suspension, they have allowed a league worst 124 points per game while going 2-13. It may be safe to say that Collins getting suspended was the most disappointing thing to happen to any team so far this season.
- San Antonio Spurs
Who thought it was possible that a Gregg Popovich led team could lose 8 straight games? But this squad did it, and they're 2-8 in their last ten games dropping them to 7-14.
They have the talent to be a good team, but they just haven't been able to put it together. It's always easy for everyone to say "The Spurs are done," whenever they are met with any kind of adversity. Yet, they always prevail.
It'll be interesting to see what the next steps for this team are. Whether it's a trade, or moving someone like Lonnie Walker into the starting lineup to provide a spark.
Things to Keep an Eye On
- Ben Simmons
Simmons, for the last two seasons, has spoken frequently about how he takes pride on the defensive end of the floor. He has made it a point that he strives to be on the NBA All-Defense team, and this season may give him his much awaited debut.
He leads the NBA in steals, second in deflections, and second in loose balls recovered. What he lacks in shooting, he covers more than enough on the defensive end. His high level of defensive play has helped the Sixers to fourth in defensive rating.
- Race for the 8 seed
Yes, we are only 20 games into the season. But it's never too early to start paying attention to playoff races. In the Western Conference, just 2 games separate the 8 seed from the 14 seed.
The Golden State Warriors are the only team that looks like they've already payed themselves out of the chance to make the postseason. Funny how things change so quickly, huh?
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