2012 NBA standings: Knicks last undefeated team, Lakers stumble out of gates

Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE

The New York Knicks have surprised early, as they are the last team in the league to remain undefeated. Meanwhle the Los Angeles Lakers have gotten off to a shaky 1-4 start despite being expected to contend for an NBA Championship.

It's a little more than a week into the regular season, but there are already teams surprising with their performances.

Surprising in a good way are the New York Knicks: After Wednesday night's action, 29 of 30 teams in the league have lost one of their first few games, the lone outlier are the Knicks, who are undefeated at 3-0. The Knicks were expected to contend, but they've looked downright phenomenal in the early going, crushing the NBA champion Miami Heat on opening night, 104-84, and following that up with a pair of double-figure wins over the Philadelphia 76ers. The defense is the league's best in the early going, and the ball isn't sticking in Carmelo Anthony's hands on offense Some argue that their early success is based on unsustainable three-point shooting -- the team has set an NBA record by making 43 threes in their first three games -- but the team is filled with good shooters, and the looks have been open thanks to ball movement out of doubles by Anthony.

Also impressing with strong play in the early going are the Chicago Bulls, 3-1 despite not being expected to play well without Derrick Rose, and the 4-1 Dallas Mavericks, who were similarly counted out without Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavs and Knicks will meet Friday night.

On the flip side, the Los Angeles Lakers have struggled early, with the only win in their first five games coming against the 0-5 Detroit Pistons. The Lakers were expected to be a title contender with Dwight Howard and Steve Nash coming to LA, but there have been growing pains with the new Princeton offense, and Nash has been hurt. However, the much ballyhooed new offense might just be masking the real problem: a defense that's allowing less-than-contenders to put up 100 points per game with regularity.

Along with the Pistons, the Washington Wizards at 0-3 remain winless.

Here's a look at the full NBA standings thus far this season:

Eastern Standings

New York Knicks 3 3-0 1.000
Miami Heat 5 4-1 .800
Chicago Bulls 4 3-1 .750
Milwaukee Bucks 3 2-1 .667
Atlanta Hawks 3 2-1 .667
Boston Celtics 4 2-2 .500
Philadelphia 76ers 4 2-2 .500
Orlando Magic 4 2-2 .500
Cleveland Cavaliers 5 2-3 .400
Indiana Pacers 5 2-3 .400
Charlotte Bobcats 3 1-2 .333
Brooklyn Nets 3 1-2 .333
Toronto Raptors 5 1-4 .200
Washington Wizards 3 0-3 .000
Detroit Pistons 5 0-5 .000

Western Standings

San Antonio Spurs 5 4-1 .800
Dallas Mavericks 5 4-1 .800
Minnesota Timberwolves 4 3-1 .750
Golden State Warriors 5 3-2 .600
Memphis Grizzlies 4 3-1 .750
Los Angeles Clippers 5 3-2 .600
Oklahoma City Thunder 4 2-2 .500
Portland Trail Blazers 4 2-2 .500
Houston Rockets 4 2-2 .500
New Orleans Hornets 4 2-2 .500
Denver Nuggets 5 2-3 .400
Sacramento Kings 5 2-3 .400
Utah Jazz 5 2-3 .400
Phoenix Suns 5 2-3 .400
Los Angeles Lakers 5 1-4 .200

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