Jeremy Lin and the 5 Biggest Surprises of the NBA Season
As the NBA regular season winds down, it is time to recap some of the unexpected events that have stood out this season.
Stories like an undrafted point guard out of Harvard sparking a dramatic shift in a team's fortunes just don't happen every season.
The 2011-2012 NBA regular season had many surprises, and here I outline the most notable of the year.
The Bobcats Are Just Awful
Forget that they only have seven wins. Forget that their point differential of minus-13.1 is more than double what the second-worst team's is.
Don't pay attention to any of the numbers. Instead, just watch a few games. It's an ugly sight to behold.
As a player, Michael Jordan was unstoppable in his dogged pursuit of winning. As an owner, his teams look and play like they have never even tasted victory. Or maybe they have and they just don't like the taste.
The Bulls Keep Winning Without Rose
Derrick Rose has missed more than one-third of the season yet the Bulls have a league-best 45-14 record.
And it's not as if the Bulls have surrounded Rose with prodigious talent.
The other players on the team are very good, but they are not superstars. They do, however, play exceptional defense and hit lots of big shots.
Chicago has a record of 16-7 in games that Rose has missed. That stat alone makes this one of the year's biggest surprises.
The Disappearance of Lamar Odom
Back on December 8, 2011, the New Orleans Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets came up with a three-team mega deal that would have landed Lamar Odom in New Orleans.
Not so fast. The deal was swiftly voided by David Stern, and how Lamar Odom handled the situation has been odd to say the least.
After voicing his displeasure on being part of the deal and later demanding a trade, Odom was shipped out to Dallas and proceeded to sulk for the majority of the season. Eventually his brooding and overall lack of production got him placed on the "inactive" list.
Is this Lamar Odom or Bison Dele?
The Hapless Portland Trail Blazers
1. Brandon Roy is forced to retire due to chronic knee injuries.
2. Greg Oden misses season due to yet another serious injury.
3. Head coach Nate McMillan feuds with members of the Blazers.
4. The Blazers endure a number of humiliating blowout losses, culminating in a 40-point blowout at the hands of the New York Knicks.
5. Head coach Nate McMillan is fired.
6. Marcus Camby and Gerald Wallace are both shipped out of town.
7. LaMarcus Aldridge is lost to injury for the rest of season.
It's a long list and there's no good news in it. No matter how bad one may have projected the Blazers to be, it's a safe bet that you wouldn't have predicted this type of total entropy.
By now you're probably all too familiar with the story.
Jeremy Lin stars for Harvard University but does not get drafted. He has short stints with the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets and bounces back and forth between the NBA and the NBA Developmental League.
He eventually becomes a New York Knick and is buried at the end of the bench. Eventually, he earns a few minutes and then in early February gets a shot at the starting point guard position.
Things worked out pretty well from that point.
Lin became the story across the nation. He hit big shots, made clutch plays and most importantly got the Knicks to start winning at a much better pace.
Unfortunately, Lin has been lost to injury for the remainder of the regular season. Nonetheless, his amazing "rags-to-riches" story was able to provide basketball fans with plenty of unexpected entertainment.