* Surprise #1: The Magic seem to have already launched themselves back into title contention. After a major romp of the Spurs and an impressive come-from-behind victory over the Celtics on Christmas, I’d say the wheeling-and-dealing they just did really has worked out for them so far. There have been rumors that there are still more moves to be made, but when a team is playing this well, why mess further with a good thing?

* Surprise #2: Did anyone really expect the Heat to beat the Lakers at Staples? While Miami has been playing better as of late and getting closer to living up to the hype, I wasn’t expecting them to win on Christmas in L.A., especially since the Lakers have their bigs back. Kudos to Bosh for finally growing a pair and to the entire team for playing true Riley defense. I am still not convinced they can take out a healthy Celtics team come playoff time, but we’ll see.

* Surprise #3: How is it that the Utah Jazz continue to play so well? This is a team that lost Carlos Boozer and three significant bench players (Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, and Wes Matthews) in the last year. Granted, getting Al Jefferson helped make up for the loss of Boozer a little, but I thought for sure this team would be fighting to stay above .500. Instead, they are 21-9 as I write this, which ties them for the third best record in the entire Western Conference with the Lakers.

* Surprise #4: Luis Scola scoring over 20 points per game. The Rockets aren’t that good anymore, so he’s getting more shots, but still – I thought the guy had maxed out his potential last year when he got 16 a game. To add to that, he’s getting 8.7 rebounds a night, so he’s almost a 20/10 guy. Luis Scola! I guess someone’s gotta try to make up for Yao Ming, though, eh?

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