The 73rd National Basketball Association (NBA) season is about a month underway, and for what was regarded as going to be one of the most competitive and exciting seasons ever, the start of the season has not disappointed.
The battle for Los Angeles between the Lakers and the Clippers has been the main storyline, and after the Clippers beat the Lakers on opening night, the Lakers then won seven straight games and currently have a 18-3 record. The Clippers are not far behind them with a 16-6 record. They also got star forward Paul George back from a shoulder injury on November 14 and look to be a dangerous team for the rest of the season.
The Boston Celtics lost against the Philadelphia 76ers on their first game of the season but then went on to win 10 straight. A big part of that winning streak was forward Gordon Hayward, who was averaging 19 points per game on 55.5 percent shooting, but fractured his hand on November 9 and will be out at least six weeks.
Houston Rockets guard James Harden and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo were the top two Most Valuable Player (MVP) candidates last year and have been leading their teams to a 13-7 record and a 18-3 record respectively. Harden is now playing with all-star guard Russell Westbrook while Antetokounmpo has a similar team to last season as both players look to win their first championship.
Former two-time MVP and three-time NBA Champion Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is used to being on top of the Western Conference, but the Warriors struggled early on and Curry broke his left hand on October 30 and may not return this season. Guard Klay Thompson will most likely miss the entire season with a torn ACL as well. The Warriors are currently 4-18 and may not make the playoffs after being in the NBA finals for the last five years.
There have been other new teams that may make a run at the playoffs in the west including the Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, and the Phoenix Suns. All signs point to a Lakers-Clippers clash in the West Finals, with the winner of that going on to win it all in the next round. However, what made this season built up and so highly endorsed was the 10 possible championship contenders, something the league has not seen in years, so anything can happen.