The NBA has definitely been showing a different face so far this season, many things have changed and it's practically like we're living in a different basketball world after the many moves that have taken place in the past few months, and even days.
The Orlando bubble is now just a memory, many things have changed around the league and different favorites have emerged after the different blockbuster trades that have been taking place, and that had been shaping the league in a whole different way from what we expected at the beginning of the season.
How are the defending NBA champions doing this season?
The Lakers had a hot start of the season and things seem to be going just fine with them, but that was up until Anthony Davis suffered an injury that has kept him out for a few months already. That was only the first obstacle, because after that, different injuries started affecting the lineup in different ways, the most important though, is the absence of LeBron James, who suffered an ankle injury that has kept him away for over a couple of weeks already, and Frank Vogel has had to go to war without his main weapons for several games.
It's not all bad news for the Lakers though, they got to sign someone they were really needing in their lineup, Andre Drummond, one of the league’s best rebounders ever, a true rim protector, who is someone that the team was missing, as Marc Gasol was not able to fulfill his part in the starting lineup.
Lakers management doesn't seem to be too concerned about the situation, as the team is still in good position for the playoffs, and the idea is to have everyone back and healthy for that stage. If they get that to happen, then they have a good chance to defend the NBA title.
Who are the real contenders for the NBA championship?
The Brooklyn Nets are the Lakers’ number one threat right now, they were already a strong team when they signed Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, but during this season they have been able to add James Harden, Blake Griffin, and now LaMarcus Aldridge as well, and they are definitely the team to beat in the East, even on top of the Milwaukee Bucks and the reigning two-time MVP, Giannis Antetokounmpo.
There are other teams that have been doing great this season and we can’t forget about them no matter how strong the Lakers and the Nets are. The Philadelphia 76ers, Utah Jazz, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns, and LA Clippers are also having a great season and have a good chance to go long in the playoffs this year. There are still many games to go, and a lot of things can still happen so we still need to sit tight and enjoy the season, because we might be in for a big surprise.
Let's just hope that injuries don't play a big role from now on in the season, so that we can see the full potential of every team to close the season, and of course, during the playoffs and the NBA Finals, because that's what we are all waiting for.