SH Blog: Top 10 surprises of the young NBA season

Where to begin?

Mike Brown’s exit? Phil Jackson’s overnight disappearance? The unending string of power forward injuries? A reformed J.R. Smith on the undefeated New York Knicks?

This season has been full of shocking developments; if you look closely enough you can find a significant surprise in nearly every division and on every team.

Here are our Top 10 with the season not yet three weeks old.

The New York Knicks opened 6-0: There really isn’t a need for an explanation here, which says a lot in and of itself. That being said, this is SheridanHoops.com and there’s a need for an explanation for everything; the New York Knicks are 6-0 for the first time since 1993-94, a year in which they reached the NBA Finals. They appear to be clicking on all cylinders. Carmelo Anthony is leading the NBA in scoring but playing unselfish basketball, as evidenced by last night’s terrific ball movement during most of the matchup on the road against the San Antonio Spurs. Raymond Felton and Jason Kidd look better together than anyone in the world could have expected them to look during preseason. Steve Novak, Tyson Chandler and Ronnie Brewer are all comfortable in their own skin and doing what they do best. Pablo Prigioni has been delightful to watch whenever he gets an opportunity to play and Rasheed Wallace is thriving as a defensive stalwart (wait, what?) and enjoying his rare trips inside the 3-point arc on offense (his pick-and-pop action is so fun to watch). If the Knicks can integrate Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert back into their lineup with the same ‘No ego’ approach that Smith has embraced, the sky is the limit for this team if it can stay healthy. Speaking of which…

JR Smith’s complete attitude adjustment: Smith is wearing suits instead of jeans to games. He’s gone from taking bad shots to carefully selecting good ones. He’s playing with heart at the defensive end and making a concerted effort to do the little things that help to win basketball games. He’s coming off the bench – a role he was pissed off about when he found out – and is thriving. Really, all you need to know is that JR Smith has taken 19 3-pointers and made 14 of them (an absurd 73.7% clip). Smith truly seems to be maturing.

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