There are about a dozen wrapped Christmas presents below our Christmas tree. Most of them are from my mother, and intended for my two sons, age two and six.

Inside those boxes? My sons' minds go crazy over the possibilities. The craziness comes from having to guess yet not being able to know until Christmas morning in this season of surprises.

The NBA season has been filled with surprises as well. For those NBA fans who've derided the Golden State Warriors dynasty as ruining the NBA by making it too predictable, may I present to you some of the biggest surprises under your NBA fan tree. Surprises like Nikola Vucevic, All-Star. Or Derrick Rose, dead-eye three-point shooter. Or De'Aaron Fox, the best player from the 2017 NBA draft.

That's the theme of this week's Power Rankings: The most pleasant surprise for each NBA team.

Biggest Movers
4 Pacers
5 Timberwolves
Rk
Teams
 
Chg
Rcrd
1 Warriors High-end talent was never going to be a problem for the Warriors. Depth was always going to be a problem, and that problem shows when players like Steph Curry and Draymond Green get bit by the injury bug. That's where the signing of Alfonzo McKinnie has been an absolutely huge and pleasant surprise for the Warriors. The Warriors were 4-5 when McKinnie was out with his own injury. While the big-name injuries have obviously hurt the Warriors more, the quality minutes that McKinnie's given the Warriors so far -- he's playing 16.1 minutes per game -- helped hold the Warriors together during a rough stretch. -- 18-3
2 Raptors This isn't the first you've heard this, but the continued development of 24-year-old Pascal Siakam has been one of the many keys for the Raptors this season, and among the most surprising to those who haven't followed the Raptors closely the past few years. Jonas Valanciunas' injury will put even more of an onus on the versatile Siakam during the next month or so. Siakam used to ooze potential but would often play recklessly. As he's matured, you can see the game slowing down for him. He's third in the NBA in true shooting percentage. -- 9-13
3 76ers A rookie has been one of the most vital role players for the shooting-starved 76ers. Landry Shamet has been hitting threes at a 40-percent clip, and shooting a ton of them in his 21 minutes per game. Among rookies, only Luka Doncic and Trae Young are attempting more threes per game than Shamet's 4.5. -- 11-10
4 Nuggets I loved Monte Morris coming out of Iowa State as a perfect backup point guard in the NBA -- someone who can play 15 or 20 minutes a game, protect the ball and hold things together for the starters. That's exactly what he's been this season. Morris is averaging just shy of 10 points per game in 24.4 minutes. The most surprising part of his production has been his excellent three-point shooting so far; Morris is hitting threes at a 43.5 percent clip. For the Nuggets, a big opportunity is coming up for both Trey Lyles and Malik Beasley to prove themselves in the face of all these injuries, namely to Paul Millsap and Gary Harris. 1 10-11
5 Bucks Crazy to think how many pundits panned the Brook Lopez signing for the Bucks. Lopez has been a key to Mike Budenholzer's spread-the-floor offensive scheme and to unlocking the greatness of Giannis. Who would have guessed even a couple years ago that Lopez would be launching seven threes a game? 1 13-8
6 Thunder We're a third of the way through the season, so this feels less of an anomaly and more of a surprising trend: Paul George is carrying more of the offensive burden than Russell Westbrook. George's usage rate is nearly as high as Westbrook's, and George is averaging 24.9 points per game, nearly four points more than Westbrook. -- 6-14
7 Celtics Marcus Smart's usage rate is at 13 percent, the lowest of his career -- and this is an incredibly good thing for the Celtics. Smart has never developed as a shooter or as a scorer, but the fact that he's no longer really trying to score is a huge positive for a team that already has an embarrassment of riches in terms of scoring options. Instead, he's contributing where he can on offense while playing elite, versatile defense. That's what the C's need from him. 1 11-10
8 Pacers The Pacers ranked 11th in defensive rating last season. This year, they are among the NBA's top defenses, with a 102.4 defensive rating that's bested only by the Oklahoma City Thunder. Myles Turner ranks third in NBA in blocks, averaging a career-high 2.8 per game. I still would love to see him shoot more than 1.7 threes per game, but on the defensive end, Turner has, along with Victor Oladipo, anchored one of the NBA's best defenses. 4 9-15
9 Lakers Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that two ball-dominant players haven't exactly been jiving together on the court, but I had thought before the season that LeBron James would be huge for Brandon Ingram's development. Ingram's best play, however, has been when LeBron's been on the bench. Head coach Luke Walton is already staggering their minutes. Perhaps it's time to go all-in on the strategy and bring Ingram off the bench. 2 12-11
10 Clippers The Clippers, losers of three straight, have cooled off somewhat since their hot start. A loss to the Thunder had been preceded by getting throttled by the Rockets and Spurs. A big part of their success has been a healthy Danilo Gallinari having the best season of his career. He's shooting an absurd 45.6 percent from three and averaging 19.0 points per game, just shy of his career high. 1 11-10
11 Trail Blazers What's the path forward for the Trail Blazers? They have one of the best backcourts in the NBA in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, yet the rest of their roster doesn't exactly scream high ceiling. I'm a believer in Zach Collins, and he was fantastic to start the season, but he has largely fallen off from his hot start. Collins was averaging 1.1 blocks and shooting 36.8 percent from three his first 20 games; over the past nine games he's averaging 0.6 blocks and shooting 23.1 percent from three. 1 11-11
12 Grizzlies This whole team has been a surprise -- one of the biggest surprises in the NBA this season. It was easy to forget during the abominable last season when the Grizzlies went full tank mode amidst a rash of injuries. Yey basically whenever Mike Conley and Marc Gasol have been healthy together, the Grizzlies have always been a playoff-caliber team. If there's one pleasant individual surprise for the Grizzlies this season, it's Garrett Temple, who is having the best season of his career. 1 11-10
13 Jazz What's most surprising about the Jazz this season is that, with virtually the same roster, their defense, which was one of the NBA's elite defenses a year ago, has been pretty average. The Jazz have gotten better defensively as the season has worn on and are now ranked ninth in the NBA in defensive rating; I expect that to continue to improve. But Rudy Gobert's recent complaints about officiating might have hit at a bigger point: The Jazz may have had a tougher time adjusting to this season's rule emphases than other great defensive teams. -- 14-7
14 Pelicans The two-year, $18 million contract Julius Randle signed last offseason looks like an absolute steal for the Pelicans. Randle is having the best season of his career, averaging a career-high 19.3 points on very efficient scoring. 1 6-17
15 Mavericks We all knew Luka Doncic had the potential to be great, but did anyone expect him to be this good this quickly? Doncic has surpassed the enormous expectations put on his shoulders when he was coming over from Europe. He's averaging 17.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists, has the most impressive step-back three this side of James Harden, and ought to at least be in the conversation for an (admittedly unlikely) All-Star nod. 2 10-9
16 Rockets Hey, the Rockets have won three in a row after losing seven of their previous nine. These were good wins, too; over the Trail Blazers, Lakers and Grizzlies. Maybe this is the point in the season where the Rockets become the team we expected them to become. The most surprising thing about this team has been how awful Eric Gordon has been from three. He's shooting less than 30 percent from deep. He's been so up and down; after making 7 of 11 threes in the Rockets' Nov. 30 game in San Antonio, he's shot 20 percent from three in seven December games. 2 4-16
17 Pistons I have faith that Bruce Brown can become a valuable player for the Pistons -- if only he can improve his moribund three-point shooting, which wasn't exactly great in college either. The Pistons will need him to become that, and will also need a healthy Luke Kennard to become a little bit more than that, because this team's backcourt is what holds it back from becoming anything more than fringe playoff team. 3 4-17
18 Hornets Jeremy Lamb has been putting together a career-best season in a contract year. He's at career highs in minutes (28.4), points (15.0) and steals (1.2). 1 13-10
19 Kings De'Aaron Fox didn't win Rookie of the Year last season, but if there were an award for sophomore of the year, he'd be in the lead. As a rookie, Fox displayed all the skills that made him an elite point guard prospect: elite athleticism, excellent passing vision and basketball IQ, and great potential as a perimeter defender. He also shot only 30.7 percent from three, which has always been his Achilles heel. This season, as the Kings have been among the NBA's most surprising teams, Fox is shooting 40.9 percent from three and averaging 18.1 points and 7.6 assists. When all is said and done, Fox may end up as the top player from the stacked 2017 draft. 2 8-14
20 Spurs Nobody expected Bryn Forbes to amount to much of an NBA player coming out of college, when he went undrafted in the 2016 draft. Yet Forbes has overcome low expectations before; he started his college career at Cleveland State before transferring to -- and then starring at -- Michigan State. Forbes has started all 30 games this season for the Spurs. He's a gunner from deep, shooting 41.5 percent from three. Explain to me again why the Spurs, who also have Rudy Gay among the NBA leaders in three-point percentage, shoot fewer threes than any team in the NBA? -- 6-13
21 Timberwolves If this road-heavy spell of the Timberwolves schedule is this team's moment of truth, then things are going to go very poorly for them. They've lost four straight road games -- including to the last-place Phoenix Suns -- after going 9-3 immediately after the Jimmy Butler trade. One surprising bright spot for the Timberwolves has been the reinvention of Derrick Rose as a shooter; he's among the NBA leaders in three-point shooting, hitting 48.3 percent of his shots from deep. 5 11-11
22 Magic How weird does this sound: Nikola Vucevic, NBA All-Star? It might become a reality this season, as Vucevic has had by far the most productive season of his career. He's averaging career highs in points (20.6), rebounds 11.7) and three-point shooting (40.4 percent). -- 5-18
23 Wizards Maybe Trevor Ariza can breathe some life into a Wizards defense that ranks 29th in the NBA in defensive rating. I have my doubts. Here's to hoping the trade opens up more minutes for Tomas Satoransky, who has been quite good for the Wizards despite playing less than 18 minutes per game. 1 14-8
24 Heat Analytics-minded basketball fans have long loved Josh Richardson, but now he's posting incredible traditional stats as well. He's the Heat's leading scorer (18.5 points per game) while shooting around 40 percent from three. He's also an anchor of the Heat's top-10 defense. After this season the former second-round pick has three years remaining on his four-year, $42 million contract; that's looking like a huge value contract for the Heat. 1 13-9
25 Nets Spencer Dinwiddie's recent three-year, $34 million contract extension gives some stability in the Nets' backcourt; it will be interesting to see how that deal affects the Brooklyn future of backcourt mate D'Angelo Russell. The arc of Dinwiddie's story has been inspirational; he has beaten a career-threatening ACL tear in college to become a second-round flier, then rose from the G League to become a player now averaging more than 17 points per game. -- 15-6
26 Knicks The Knicks are filled with youthful surprises, which means this team ought to be filled with hope for the future -- not just because Kristaps Porzingis will someday be back, and not just because they may net a massive free agent or two this offseason. They took a flier on Mitchell Robinson in the draft, and he's been one of the best young shot blockers in the NBA on a per-minute basis. Allonzo Trier has been a revelation and recently signed a two-year, two-way contract worth $7 million (if the Knicks pick up the team option for next season). Noah Vonleh and Emmanuel Mudiay have impressed as "second draft" guys, both looking like NBA rotation players. Who knows how many of these surprises will stick for the long term. But this was always going to be a lost season from the moment Porzingis was injured. Finding and developing these types of diamonds in the rough is the best way the Knicks could spend this season. -- 11-10
27 Bulls Wendell Carter Jr. is only 19, but he plays defense like an NBA veteran. Anyone who saw Carter at Duke last season isn't surprised by his two-way potential. But to be able to jump into the NBA and hang on the defensive end as a rookie is an impressive achievement. 1 14-8
28 Hawks The Hawks have officially started jettisoning their veterans in favor of developing younger talent, which means first-round pick Kevin Huerter has moved into the starting rotation. Huerter has started the past nine games; he scored a career-high 19 points in two games in a row last week, and made threes at a 52.5 percent clip during that stretch. 1 12-10
29 Suns Two wins in a row for the Suns, who have apparently forgotten that the point of this season is to lose lots of games and get one more draft stud, then to try to win next season. The Suns' biggest surprise this season has got to be the vastly improved three-point shooting of T.J. Warren. Warren shot 22.2 percent last season and 26.5 percent the year before; this season he's hitting threes at a blistering 44.8 percent rate. 1 18-3
30 Cavaliers If you've averted your eyes from the disaster that is the Cleveland Cavaliers, that means you've missed the resurgence of Tristan Thompson as an elite rebounding force. Thompson ranks in the top 10 in the NBA in rebound percentage. 1 12-10