8. Lakers’ lackluster start
Some thought there was sure to be an adjustment period for the Lakers, but most people had already pegged the Lakers as the favorite to win the title. However, when the Lakers got off to an awful 1-4 start, and continued to struggle, it was quite surprising to most. With the Lakers currently hovering around the .500 mark, it has definitely been an unexpected start, to say the least.
7. Kobe Bryant’s level of play
This one isn’t too much of a surprise since every Lakers fan knows how hard Kobe Bryant works in the off-season, and how he continually tries to get better somehow; despite his age. Two seasons ago, Bryant couldn’t even practice due to a battered knee, was playing less than 34 minutes per game, and even contemplated retirement. Then, over the 2011 off-season, Bryant had a surgery performed in Germany which seemingly invigorated him and allowed him to attack and play more like we, as fans, have become accustomed to seeing him play.
However, after performing in the Olympics over the summer of 2012, Bryant somehow managed to come into this season in incredible shape and has played an extremely efficient, attack-minded game. Bryant is currently averaging 30.1 points on a career high 47.8 percentage from the field, and 37.1 percent from three-point land (which is his third-highest clip); additionally, Kobe is also averaging 5.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists. What’s really surprising is that he can still get to the rim and attack more consistently than he has since probably the 2008-2009 season–or even earlier than that; the free throw attempts per game will prove that.