The Norman Transcript

Sports

February 4, 2014

NBA might be more top-heavy than ever before

NORMAN — Adam Silver is taking over the NBA at a good time.

In fact, for five teams, it’s a really good time.

Indiana, Miami, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and Portland all enter the week with winning percentages of .700 or better, and that’s significant.

Only one other time in league history — 1997-98 — have as many as five teams won at such a rate, that coming in a season when Chicago, Indiana, Utah, Seattle and the Los Angeles Lakers did the honors. It’s not inconceivable that more than five finish with that good a record, with the Los Angeles Clippers and Houston still having realistic shots, too.

So in a season where so much of the narrative has been about how bad many NBA teams are, and with good reason, there’s another end of the spectrum to consider as well.

At their current rates, Indiana and Oklahoma City are on pace to finish with two of the top 25 records in NBA history. Milwaukee, meanwhile, would have the 11th-worst mark ever if the season was ending now. And going back to last season, including playoffs, the Bucks have lost 55 of their last 67 games (while the Heat have won 63 times in that same span, starting on March 20).

Yes, there are some very bad teams in the league, and that obviously plays a role in helping everyone else’s record.

But there are probably very few people who would deny that the top of the top in the NBA this season is as good as the league has seen in quite some time. And the first championship that will be awarded in Silver’s era as the league’s commissioner could very well go to a team with a case to say that it had one of the best seasons the NBA ever saw.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Big 12 Media Days Football Most Big 12 squads won’t shy from tough non-conference

    DALLAS — Never have the words “Final Four” been used so often at a football media gathering. Monday at Big 12 Football Media Days, the College Football Playoff was the hot topic. On Dec. 7, the 12-member panel will announce the best four ...

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commish forecasts end of college sports as we know them

    You really have to read everything Bob Bowlsby said Monday, because kicking off Big 12 Football Media Days, all the conference commissioner did was not only predict the end of college sports as we know them, but explain with fairly ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Tour leader Nibali says he’s ‘flag-bearer’ against doping

    CARCASSONNE, France — Barring a disaster for him on French roads from now until Sunday, the man who looks set to win the Tour de France says he understands that cycling is still paying for its longtime doping plague....

    July 22, 2014

  • McIlroy will emerge even stronger than ever

    HOYLAKE, England — The celebration began long before Rory McIlroy had a chance to drink out of the claret jug....

    July 22, 2014

  • Petrino ushers Louisville into ACC

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — Bobby Petrino turned Louisville into a top-10 team nearly a decade ago. Now, more than two years after a scandal derailed his career, Petrino is back with the Cardinals as they enter the Atlantic Coast Conference....

    July 22, 2014

  • Bowlsby:Changes come with a price

    DALLAS — Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby spoke in a reserved tone Monday. But what he said to begin the Big 12 Football Media Days news conference painted a bleak future for college athletics....

    July 22, 2014

  • Stewart still riding high

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tony Stewart heads into the busiest week of his year riding high from a win in his return to sprint car racing. Stewart raced in a sprint car last weekend for the first time since he broke his leg in an extracurricular ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Witness: Sterling must sell to pay debts

    LOS ANGELES — The chief financial officer of Donald Sterling’s properties said Monday that the billionaire may be forced to sell a large portion of his real estate empire to cover $500 million in loans if he persists in refusing to sell ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Mikolas pitches Rangers past sloppy Yankees

    NEW YORK — Miles Mikolas earned his first win as a starter, pitching into the eighth inning Monday night and leading the Texas Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the sloppy New York Yankees. Trailing by a run with none on and two outs in the ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Angels with latest big move before deadline

    Oakland general manager Billy Beane acted boldly, trading top prospect Addison Russell in a deal that brought starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Athletics....

    July 22, 2014

Facebook