While we were all fairly confident that the Cavaliers and Warriors would once again sit atop the standings, there have been plenty of things that no one saw coming.
Here are 17 of the NBA's biggest surprises halfway through the 2016-17 season.
Stephen Curry taking a (relative) step back
Curry's 2015-16 season was so magical that he was named the league's first-ever unanimous MVP. So, even though he's averaging 24.7 points and 5.9 assists while shooting almost 40 percent from three-point distance, there's talk of him being in some kind of slump because of how much his production has seen a year-over-year dip.
Nonsense. Curry is still that dude, but he's let Kevin Durant take control of the offense in order to get comfortable during the first half of the season. Still, seeing him come back to Earth a bit after last year's campaign has been a bit of a surprise.
DeMar DeRozan scoring a ton without shooting threes
DeMar DeRozan is averaging a career-best 28.2 points per game on 47.4 percent shooting, and he's doing it without the use of the three-point shot.
DeRozan is all about the midrange game and attempts just 1.5 threes per contest, while knocking them down only 24.6 percent of the time.
George Hill having a breakout season
George Hill always has been a nice two-way player, but no one expected him to post career-best scoring average (18.2 points) and shooting percentages (48.6 from three, 52.6 overall) in his first season in Utah. Injuries have limited him to just 16 games, but he'll be a huge weapon for a surging Jazz team once he makes his way back.
USA TODAY SportsRussell Isabella
The rise of Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis has been a League Pass favorite for a couple of seasons now, but the Milwaukee Bucks star has broken out to become a legitimate All-Star who's gotten almost as many votes from the fans as LeBron James.
Andy MarlinUSA TODAY Sports
Jimmy Butler getting even better
Butler already had seized the "face of the franchise" title from Derrick Rose two seasons ago with his stellar two-way play, but he's become an even bigger threat for the Bulls this year. Butler's 25-point average is more than four points better than last season, and he's averaging a career-best 6.7 rebounds while keeping his assist numbers relatively the same.
Copyright The Associated Press. All rights reserved.AP
The Timberwolves weren't supposed to be this bad
Remember people talking playoffs for the Timberwolves before Tom Thibodeau's first season in charge? Yeah, not so much. Minnesota is 13-26, just a game ahead of Dallas and Phoenix for the worst record in the West.
Isaiah Thomas putting the Celtics on his back
Al Horford was supposed to be the difference-maker in Boston, but he's been posting the same numbers he always has while Thomas has emerged as one of the toughest players to defend in the entire league.
Thomas is averaging a career-best 28.2 points (up six from last season), and scored 52 points in a Dec. 30 win over the Heat.
The Blazers taking a step back
The Blazers surprised everyone last year by finishing fifth in the West and making the playoffs, but find themselves at 18-23 at this point. That's currently good enough for the eighth spot in the West, but hopes were much higher in Portland after last year's stellar season.
The NBA avoided a lockout by getting a new collective bargaining agreement done
NBA commissioner Adam Silver and executive director of the players union Michele Roberts deserve a ton of credit for ensuring that there will be labor peace for the next several seasons. The two sides avoided any chance of a work stoppage by announcing that a new collective bargaining agreement had been reached in December, well before the expiration of the current deal this summer.
Kevin Durant has become a rim protector
We knew that Durant coming to the Warriors would be a huge addition to an already stacked team, but no one predicted the impact he'd have on the defensive end of the floor. With Andrew Bogut now in Dallas, and in addition to leading the team in scoring, Durant has become the Warriors' rim protector, averaging a career-best 1.7 blocked shots per contest.
The Lakers are fun again
Kobe Bryant's final season with the Lakers was among the strangest for any team in NBA history. Despite no longer being close to the height of his powers, Bryant took the bulk of the shots on a nightly basis, and the development of the youngsters was put on hold for a year while Kobe did his thing.
One season later, the Lakers are already fun again under new head coach Luke Walton, who is giving guys like D'Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram plenty of run in order to prepare them for what appears to be a very bright future.
Getty ImagesGetty Images
Russell Westbrook averaging a triple-double
We all expected Westbrook to go on a tear once Kevin Durant spurned him for the Warriors, but no one knew that would involve him averaging a triple-double — something he's currently on pace to do, with averages of 31 points, 10.7 rebounds and 10.5 assists through the Thunder's first 40 games.
The Cavaliers trading for Kyle Korver
A defending champion rarely feels the need to make an impactful trade early in the season, but that's what Cleveland did by dealing for Korver, a sharp-shooter who should benefit greatly from the attention opposing defenses give to Kyrie Irving and LeBron James.
Eric Gordon's career year
Gordon always has been known as an above average three-point shooter, ever since his rookie season with the Clippers. But in his first year in Houston, he's already made more shots from beyond the arc (145) than he has in any season during his nine years in the league — and it's only taken him 39 games to do so.
That's what having James Harden running the point will do for you.
The (on-court) resurgence of Derrick Rose
There's no denying that off the court, Rose has been a distraction for the Knicks. He was away from the team during the preseason dealing with an ugly court case in Los Angeles, and went missing earlier this week to deal with a family situation in Chicago without notifying the team.
But on the court, Rose has been a joy to watch. His 45.1 percent shooting is the best he's posted since his second year in the league, and he's averaging 17.5 points per game while showing flashes of the player he once was.
Joel Embiid becoming an instant star
Embiid missed his first two seasons due to injury, and though he's been on a minutes restriction this year and has been rested in back-to-back situations, he's immediately become the type of transcendent talent the Sixers hoped for when drafting him third overall in 2014.
Embiid is averaging 19.4 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocked shots while shooting 36.7 percent from three-point distance — and doing it in just 25.1 minutes per contest.
LeBron James being better than ever
He's 32 years old in his 14th season and coming off of winning an NBA title with the Cavaliers, so you wouldn't have expected LeBron James to do this much damage so early in the regular season.
James is averaging 26.1 points, the most since his 2014 season, while taking the same number of shots per game (18.6) as he did last year. He's averaging 8.1 assists, his highest number in that category since 2010. And he's shooting 38.1 percent from three-point distance, which is his best since 2013.
LeBron somehow has gotten better and better as the seasons wear on. Father Time is undefeated, but James is cerainly giving him a run for his money.