8 games in to the season, there are plenty of surprises and plenty of things we expected.
Phoenix Suns - There's no real surprise that they're the best offensive team in the league. Steve Nash can run any offense, especially a run-and-gun one. They'r missing Amare, but mostly on the defensive/intimidation side of things. James Jones has filled in nicely for the departed Joe Johnson, and how can you not love Leandro Barbosa. He's like a gnat with a jump shot.
Detroit Pistons - Everyone knows they can play defense, surrendering under 90ppg. There were some definate question marks about how well Flip would do in Detroit, especially since his Minnesota teams didn't always play consistantly good defense. Here's the thing. Flip didn't have to teach them defense, that team already knows how to lock someone down. The surprise is their ability to put the ball in the basket. Under Larry Brown the Pistons were a defense-only team, but in Flip's system Rip and Chauncey have flourished offensively. With the reigns loosened, Detroit is averaging over 100ppg. Surprise, surprise.
Washington Wizards - At 5-2, they lead the Southeastern division by a half game over the Heat. We all knew they wouldn't miss Kwame Brown, but I figured they'd be hard to up replace Larry Hughes on both ends of the floor. I was wrong. Gilbert Arenas is becoming the 60 million dollar player he is supposed to be, and Caron Butler is continuing to show he can fill up a box score. Antawn Jamison is as he was and Antonio Daniels has struggled, but the Wiz are on their way to a second consecutive trip to the post season.