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What are the biggest overreactions to opening week of the NBA season?

What are the biggest overreactions from opening week?
What are the biggest overreactions from opening week? (Getty Images)

We're officially one week into the season which means it's time to fully embrace small sample sizes.

Some are here to stay, some will be gone tomorrow, but here are five overreactions based on the first week of the regular season...

Nikola Jokic is the best centre in the NBA

Following a win over the defending champion Golden State Warriors, the Denver Nuggets are 3-0 for the first time since starting 5-0 in 2009-10.

At the centre of it all? Nikola Jokic.

MORE: Jokic named Western Conference Player of the Week

Entering this season there might not have been a player in the league more polarizing in terms of how he's perceived. In the eyes of some, he's already a top-10 player and bonafide franchise pillar. In the eyes of others, Jokic's statistics can at times ring hollow.

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Sure Not Now

Given his play through three games this season, it's hard to argue for anything but the former as he's averaging 26.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game while shooting 63% from the floor, including 50% from beyond the 3-point line.

Just how ridiculously efficient has he been thus far?

If the season ended today - please don't take this too seriously - he'd rank first in NBA history in Player Efficiency Rating, Win Shares per 48 Minutes, Box Plus-Minus and Offensive Rating.

Obviously, all of those will come back down to earth. But even when they do, who is to say that he can't outproduce Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns, the three centres selected to All-NBA last season?

We could be watching the best centre in the league blossoming right before our very eyes.

Stephen Curry will win another MVP

Through four games, Curry is off the second-best start of his career behind only the 2015-16 season in which he went on to become the first unanimous MVP selection in NBA history.

He's been Golden State's best player, leading the team in scoring, assists and PER while once again hovering around the hallowed 50-40-90 club which he's already done twice in his career.

More importantly? The Warriors have been a mess without him on the floor, posting a net rating of -4.9 in 49 minutes, a ridiculous 16.1 points worse than with him in the game.

It's exactly what we've seen over the last two years with Curry's on/off impact weighing more heavily than Kevin Durant's.

Should the Warriors finish with the league's best record - a decent bet even with the loss to Denver - it's hard to argue against a third MVP award for Curry if he continues to produce at this level.

Pelicans have the NBA's best offence

When the New Orleans Pelicans lit up the Rockets for 131 points to open the season, most saw it as simply a product of Houston's porous defence.

When they torched the Kings for 149 points two nights later, an absolute truth began to settle in: New Orleans has the most prolific offence in NBA history.

Sure, there are 80 more games on the schedule, but through 96 minutes of action the Pelicans have taken a blowtorch to the record books, averaging 140.0 points per game which is vastly superior to the all-time record of 126.5 set by the 1981-82 Nuggets.

The only team in NBA history to score more points through two games is the 1962-63 Boston Celtics who went on to win the NBA Finals. That team had nine Hall of Famers while this team has Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle. That team also eventually cooled off, settling in at 118.8 points per game

OK, so maybe saying best ever is a bit too far. But there is a world in which the Pelicans finish with the league's top-ranked offence.

Pelicans Offence This Season
NBA Rank
Points per game 140.0 1st
FG pct 56.0 1st
Off efficiency 127.9 1st
Pts in paint PG 76.0 1st

No strangers to flying up and down the floor after leading the NBA in pace last season, the Pelicans offer up a bevy of different looks. Mirotic is the somewhat classic stretch four in the modern game (and currently tied for the league lead in scoring!) while Randle imposes his will in the paint and is at his best in the open floor after snatching defensive boards.

Alongside Davis, the Pelicans have a pair of strong offensive frontcourt options they can use to exploit different matchups on a nightly basis.

The Raptors are the favourite in the East

With apologies to the Nuggets taking out the champs, no team had a better win in the first week of the season than the Toronto Raptors who blitzed the Celtics down the stretch to finish off a resounding 12-point win.

Entering the season, the Raptors were considered by most the second-best team in the East, a contender with a puncher's chance of winning the whole thing. After a 4-0 start which included that win over Boston, the Raptors might already be better than anyone thought.

Kawhi Leonard is already on pace to average a career high in scoring despite the fact that he doesn't even look 100% yet. In his third game against the Charlotte Hornets, Leonard hit three different triples off the dribble, each one looking more fluid and closer to the MVP candidate from two seasons ago in San Antonio.

Kyle Lowry is off to the best start of his career and appears to be flourishing as a playmaker in Nick Nurse's more wide open system, dishing out 26 assists over his last two games which is the second-most he's ever had over any two-game stretch.

Beyond the clear pecking order - not to be understated given some of the early issues with managing touches in Boston - everyone is contributing. Serge Ibaka, Jonas Valanciunas and Pascal Siakam all offer something different in the frontcourt. Fred VanVleet once again looks like the NBA's best back-up point guard. Danny Green, OG Anunoby, C.J. Miles and Norman Powell give Toronto perhaps the league's deepest stable of plug-and-play wings with size.

Centered around their new star, the Raptors are emerging as an unselfish chameleon that can play any style at any time.

The Lakers will miss the playoffs

Nobody expected Year 1 of the LeBron James era to begin with a bang. As we've seen from previous slow starts in new surroundings, these things take time.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been competitive in all three games.

And yet, they are 0-3.

This is the first time a LeBron James team has started 0-3 since 2004-05, his second season in the league. That also just so happened to be the last time James missed the playoffs.

Coming off an overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the Lakers have their first back-to-back of the season at frisky Phoenix before returning home to face undefeated Denver. After that is a rematch with the Spurs in San Antonio. Given Brandon Ingram is out for all three of those games while serving a suspension, it's not that far-fetched to imagine an 0-6 start for the Lakers.

MORE: Lakers upcoming schedule

Somewhat lost in all of this is that it's coincided with LeBron James leading the league in minutes per game. While it's certainly nothing new for James to carry a heavier load early in the season, it will be harder for Luke Walton to take his foot off the gas with monitoring his star's workload the farther back they fall.

Two key upcoming games to watch: Nov. 3 and Nov. 14 against Portland, both of which could be major tiebreaker games. The season-opening loss to the Blazers could ultimately cost the Lakers in a tight playoff race as Portland is one of the teams projected by some to slide out with the Lakers now in the mix. Also of note? The Lakers play their final game of the regular season against Portland.

Is this an overreaction to be looking ahead to April just three games in? Absolutely.

But that's what opening week overreactions are all about.

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