Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors are the early-season shockers in the East
Few surprises in the West – Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors, and Dallas Mavericks top standings after two weeks
We're roughly two weeks into the 2021-22 regular season.
Already, we've seen quite a few surprises, and even a few shockers.
What follows is our top five surprises (and shockers) during the opening two weeks of the season.
(1) Miami Heat, best (beasts) in the East – Many expected the Miami Heat to be good, but not this good. They're 6-1 and have won 5 straight games. Each of those victories was a pointspread cover, a win in excess of 13 points. That's dominance. The Heat are also undefeated at home, a perfect 3-0. The Eastern Conference will be competitive at the top, but for now, Miami is back on top for the first time since the Lebron James-Dwayne Wade era. The Heat are hot!
(2) Toronto Raptors Soar! – We loved the Raptors to exceed 35.5 win this season, and they're well on their way. Back in October, we touted "Toronto Over" on the season win total (READ THE ARTICLE HERE). With a 6-3 record after two weeks, including five straight victories, the Raptors may be a much better team than was forecasted by the betting markets. The young Raptors should improve as the season goes along and the players gel with more chemistry. We love our preseason over bet!
(3) Celtics Struggle – Boston was expected to be competitive in the East, but so far they've struggled, looking really bad at times. The proud Celtics are just 3-5 and winless at home in three games. What's really problematic for Boston is – their three wins are versus Orlando, Houston, and Charlotte. When the Celtics play versus good teams, they lose – mostly by double digits. Boston looks weak and soft.
(4) Grizzlies Roar – Memphis wasn't expected to be do much this season. But they've overperformed and are 5-3 in a tough conference that's stacked with talented teams. Sure – it's way too early to call the Grizzlies a serious contender, but let's credit them for now for being very much in the race. Let's put it this another way – any team that beats the Warriors, Clippers, and Nuggets (arguably among three best teams in the West) deserves credit. Let's also mention Memphis is 6-2 against-the-spread.
(5) Nuggets, Clippers, and Suns all with losing records – Nobody expected the powers of the West (Phoenix, LA Clippers, and Denver) to each struggle with losing records early on in the season. Denver seems impossible to figure out, whipping Dallas and Phoenix on night, then losing back to back games versus Memphis. The Suns might be experiencing a hangover effect from losing the NBA championship last season. And the Clippers have yet to show an impressive win (we don't care that they beat up on Minnesota and Oklahoma City. We expect the results to pan out according to expectation the deeper we get into the season. However, it might be time to start sweating if you're a fan (or bettor) on these three teams, which ranks as disappointing, so far.