The Top 10 Surprises of the NBA season

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It’s exactly 10 days into this NBA regular season, it feels like 10 weeks for those who cover the league on a regular basis, and a whole hell of a lot has already happened.

Few things have gone as expected, of course the undefeated start for the Pacers is an exception, and surprises abound across the league. Here are 10 that immediately came to mind, including a pair of dazzling young point guards, one major market team in big trouble and another that’s downright irrelevant right now.

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Rookie Rankings: Week 1 – Michael Carter-Williams Atop List

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hinkieFor the last decade, the 11th pick in the NBA draft has been a crapshoot.

In 2011, the Golden State Warriors rolled a “yo” with Klay Thompson, who has shown All-Star potential. The previous year, however, the New Orleans Hornets selected Cole Aldrich, who has shown D-League potential.

For every Jerryd Bayless, there’s an Acie Law. For every J.J. Redick, there’s a Terrence Williams. And let’s not forget the immortal Fran Vasquez, who wants to come to the United States about as badly as Roman Polanski.

In June, Philadelphia 76ers GM Sam Hinkie had the 11th pick. He needed a point guard, having traded All-Star Jrue Holiday for the rights to Nerlens Noel. The two best point guards – Trey Burke and C.J. McCollum – were off the board.

So Hinkie grabbed Michael Carter-Williams. How’s that working out?

“I think it’s a point guard’s league,” coach Brett Brown said, “and I think Michael Carter-Williams is for real.”

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Evening News: Tyson Chandler out 4-6 weeks; Patrick Beverley “pain free” after early return

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In today’s news, Tyson Chandler will be forced to sit out for at least the next month with a fractured right fibula. Meanwhile, in Houston, Patrick Beverley is feeling good after returning earlier than anticipated to the Rockets. 

The Numbers Say… Tyson Chandler’s Knee Could Cripple New York Knicks

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Tyson ChandlerOn Tuesday, November 5, the New York Knicks suffered a major blow to its title aspirations when center Tyson Chandler went down with an apparent knee injury. Frank Isola of The New York Daily News reports that X-Rays on the knee were inconclusive, and the Knicks are now calling a knee sprain the, “Best case scenario.”

As harsh as it may sound, Chandler’s health will decide the outcome of New York’s season.

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Sprung: Knicks lack quality complement to Carmelo

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Carmelo_AnthonyThere’s no question the New York Knicks have a lot of really good players other than Carmelo Anthony. But without J.R. Smith in the lineup for the first five games, they lack a quality second option on offense in order to succeed against the league’s better teams.

Who knows? The Knicks may end up struggling even when Smith returns from his season-opening five-game suspension.

On Sunday night at Madison Square Garden, the Knicks struggled mightily in the first quarter, when Minnesota raced to a 40-19 lead and held on for a 109-100 victory to move to 3-0 for the first time since 2001.

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