The Championship Bus

20 games into the season, more than half the league has already disembarked. Who’s left?

BY DAVID THORPE

A few years ago, Henry Abbott described the NBA season like a long and bumpy bus ride. At the start, 30 NBA teams are on that bus, each hoping for a magical ride that ends with a league title. The season is harsh, though. The bus pulls over often, discharging passengers at every stop. (Once you’re off the title bus, it’s almost impossible to get back on.) 

The news of the year? The Warriors just got off the bus, after being loyal passengers for five years. And that fact creates another: twenty games in, it’s the most crowded bus in memory. In our season preview, I expected 10 teams—including the Warriors, once Klay Thompson returned—to stay onboard at least until Christmas. ‘Tis the season of surprises. My big takeaway: There are even more contenders than I expected. Most are an Andre Iguodala-or-similar player away, and trade season opens December 15 (when players who signed free agent contracts last summer are eligible to be traded). So buckle up—it’s going to be a wil…

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