Staff Writer: Ryan Ward
Even though we see a lot of the same teams in the NBA contending for titles and playoff spots, as time goes on other teams, so of which do not expect, start to emerge as forces to be reckoned with.
This season we have a seen a few teams around the league that have gone from a terrible team with no hope, to legitimate playoff teams. In the Western Conference, the Oklahoma City Thunder have been that teams as they have seemingly come out of nowhere with MVP candidate Kevin Durant having the best season of his young NBA career.
Not only has Kevin Durant made his Oklahoma City Thunder a playoff team for the first time since moving to Oklahoma City, is also a legitimate candidate for the award as he scoring just under 30 once again and could possibly win the scoring title this season as he is only just behind LeBron James and the leading scorers list this season.
Along with Oklahoma City Thunder, the Phoenix Suns have also gotten back to their winning ways this season and look like a legitimate playoff team as well. The Memphis Grizzlies could also be a team to be reckoned with in the Western Conference in the years to come, but they will most likely fall just a little bit short of making the playoffs this season as the Portland Trail Blazers hold a four game lead over OJ Mayo and company right now.
The Eastern conference also has its share of surprising teams this season with the Charlotte Bobcats the Milwaukee Bucks looking like they will make their way into the postseason this time around.
Over the past couple of years the Charlotte Bobcats and the Milwaukee Bucks and amongst the league’s worst teams. The Bobcats have been a team that is just been struggling due to the fact that they had a young core of players are still trying to learn how to play with each, but this season things are changing as Gerald Wallace and new swingman Stephen Jackson have really started to turn around his franchise.
Even though the Charlotte Bobcats becoming a playoff team is something that happened way before anyone anticipated, the Milwaukee Bucks have arguably had the better season it looked have an even more promising future as a few of their players like center Andrew Bogut and point guard rookie phenom Brandon Jennings look like they could compete amongst the best players in the league in the near future.
This season the Milwaukee Bucks have faced a few of us and downs as at one time they were without a doubt a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern conference, especially after Jennings lit up the Golden State Warriors for 55 points.
Shortly after Jennings put on an amazing scoring display against the Warriors, the Bucks start struggle and many people started asking whether or not their promising start to the season was nothing more than a fluke. Even though that seemed like the case, the Bucks weren’t done yet as they slowly, but surely were able to become a legitimate playoff team once again and now are the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference.
There is still a ways to go in the second half of the NBA regular season, but I believe the Milwaukee Bucks could give one of the Eastern conference heavyweights a run for their money in the playoffs and could quite possibly make it into the second round as the surprise team in the East.