Monday's question of the day: What has been the biggest surprise after one week of the NBA season?
Reporters from around the Tribune family tackle the question of the day, then you get a chance to chime in and tell them why they are wrong.
Mark Heisler, Los Angeles Times
The most surprising team of the new NBA season? That’s easy: Cleveland, with LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal, AKA Shock and Aw.
The new tandem settled the issue of what to put on the cover of magazines’ NBA preview. Unfortunately, the season had to start sometime. The Cavaliers are 2-2, losing their opener (Boston’s first win in Cleveland in three seasons) and getting hammered the next night in Toronto.
Instead of playing even slower than they did with Shaq, and even slower that that with their Shaq-Zyudrunas Ilgauskas Twin State look, they may do a lot better turning it up with more athletes (Shaq, James at four, Anthony Parker at three, Mo Williams and Delonte West at guard).
Of course, the season is barely a week old but we’re just trying to help.
Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
The Suns lose Shaquille O'Neal and Matt Barnes essentially for nothing in return in the offseason and, well, what do you know? There they are, back at the top of the standings in the Western Conference, running and gunning. This, again, is Steve Nash's team, playing at his pace. Then there are the Nuggets, who made it to last season's conference finals after selling off Marcus Camby, and now are at the top of the West after losing Linas Kleiza and Dahntay Jones in the offseason to free agency, due to their position against the luxury tax. And don't sleep on Denver forward Carmelo Anthony, he appears poised to become this season's Dwyane Wade, breaking through to the next level.
Josh Robbins, Orlando Sentinel
“Who is Ryan Anderson?” That’s the question former NBA sixth-man extraordinaire Eddie Johnson asked recently on Twitter. It’s a question lots of people are asking after Anderson’s surprising start for the Orlando Magic. Many analysts considered the gangly 21-year-old just a throw-in to the off-season trade that brought Vince Carter from New Jersey. But Anderson has been a revelation filling in for suspended power forward Rashard Lewis. Anderson is averaging 17.3 points per game and is shooting 55.0 percent from beyond the arc. His contributions helped the Magic win their first three games of the season despite an ankle injury to Carter and Lewis’ absence. In fact, Anderson has played so well that Coach Stan Van Gundy might move Lewis to the small-forward spot when Lewis returns on Nov. 16. “I guess I’ve always been an underdog,” Anderson said. “I’ve always been overlooked.” Not anymore.