Every NBA fan knows that despite their greatest wishes and desires, every few years the tides turn, and major changes take place. These changes can be by way of anything from new rules entering the league to superstar players finally retiring. But regardless, they always end up shifting who has power, and ultimately, how the game is played.
This year, short of a few exceptions (the Miami Heat and the Oklahoma City Thunder more specifically), it seems as though the theme rings a combination between "The Mighty Have Fallen" and "Lets Hear It For The Underdogs". Teams that have stood tall for the last couple of years (the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks...) are now being overshadowed by the likes of the Brooklyn Nets, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Here is where we stand:
Starting with the Eastern Conference we have the New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets, the Philadelphia 76ers, the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors, all in the Atlantic, followed by the Chicago Bulls, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Indiana Pacers, the Detroit Pistons and the Cleveland Cavaliers, in the Central. And the Miami Heat, the Atlanta Hawks, the Orlando Magic, the Charlotte Bobcats and the Washington Wizards finish it off for the Southeast.
In the West we have the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Utah Jazz, the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Denver Nuggets and the Portland Trailblazers for the Northwest, followed by the Pacific made up of the Los Angeles Clippers, the Golden State Warriors, the Los Angeles Lakers, the Sacramento Kings and the Phoenix Suns, and last the San Antonio Spurs, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Dallas Mavericks, the Houston Rockets and the New Orleans Hornets (Pelicans?) for the Southwest.
The Knicks are 15-5, the Bulls are 11-8 (so shameful, I know), the Heat are 13-5, the Thunder are 17-4 (woo-hoo!), the Clippers are 14-6 and the Spurs are 17-4 (this team never stops).
Its still early in the season, and in this sport, you never really know, but with the Celtics at 11-9, the Lakers 9-12 and the Mavericks 10-10, it sure does seem like some teams have lost the throne.
Could 2012-2013 be the season that leaves Kobe Bryant out of Playoff headlines? And Mike Woodson once again in the spotlight? All signs point to yes.