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Oct 27, 2017
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We all knew that the New York Knicks (0-4) and the Chicago Bulls (1-4) were bound to suck, while it will take a few games before the Oklahoma City Thunder (2-2) and the Minnesota Timberwolves (2-3) figure things out in the 2017-18 NBA season.

But did you even think that last June's finalists were going to struggle this early? Or that the perennial doormats will occupy the higher spots in their conference? Well, stranger things have happened:

If we're being honest, seeing these team records prompted us to do a double take:


EAST

Philadelphia 76ers (1-4)

With Ben Simmons looking good as advertised (16.4ppg, 10rpg, 7.4apg), Joel Embiid looking almost unstoppable (20ppg, 10.5 rpg), and the Sixers finally looking like a team, what keeps them from winning? Maybe health is just the beginning of The Process...

Cleveland Cavaliers (3-2)

How did it come to this again? LeBron James has been a statistical monster as point guard for the first time since 2005 (31.5ppg, 13apg in two games), although more numbers from the King doesn't necessarily translate into more wins for the Cavaliers.

Brooklyn Nets (3-2)

The Nets and the Cavs carry similar records, despite the glaring contrast in talent level. Supposed to be a lottery team, Brooklyn currently leads the league in points per game with a whopping 121.2, with seven active players averaging double figures in scoring.

Orlando Magic (3-1)

Guess which squad is sitting atop the conference? Albeit likely to change next week, the Magic is enjoying its best start in six years because of two players having their respective career 41-point games: Aaron Gordon (27.5ppg) and Nikola Vucevic (23.8ppg)

WEST

Golden State Warriors (3-2)

The defending champions cannot afford any kind of distraction in what is considered to be runaway season, like Stephen Curry throwing his mouthguard at the referee and Kevin Durant giving the (ring) finger to a fan. Other than that, they'll be fine.

Memphis Grizzlies (4-1)

The Grizzlies had back-to-back victories over two of the Top 3 West teams—the Warriors (111-101) and the Rockets (98-90). Making this possible is arguably the league's best inside-outside duo of Marc Gasol (25.5ppg, 10.8rpg, 1.4bpg) and Mike Conley (19.4ppg, 4.2apg).

Los Angeles Clippers (4-0)

No Chris Paul? No problem for Blake Griffin (26.3ppg, 9.3rpg, 4.5apg), DeAndre Jordan (9.5ppg, 1.rpg), and the retooled Clippers. The next three featured scorers for the squad with the highest net rating (point differential per 100 possessions: 24.2) are all new acquisitions.

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San Antonio Spurs (4-0)

You can say being coached by Pop puts the Spurs in an advantage, but without a player like Kawhi Leonard, even a flawless system isn't foolproof. Fortunately, LaMarcus Aldridge is having a revenge campaign (26ppg, 8.8rpg, 1.5bpg) while waiting for The Klaw's return.

 

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