Although the NBA season is still in its infancy, some familiar names are already at the top of the standings in both the Eastern and Western Conferences. For example, according to many of the best NBA betting sites, Brooklyn was the favorite to win the championship before the season began – and the Nets are doing their bit to make those predictions come true.
In the West, Steph Curry is leading the Golden State Warriors back into contention after some injury-hit postseason-less years. But, even at this early stage, we have picked out a few of the teams that you should definitely be keeping an eye on as we head into the New Year.
The Suns have had to deal with much unwanted off-court attention during the offseason and into the last few months. Those problems looked like they affected the way the team was playing at the beginning of the season when Phoenix lost three of its first four games.
But an excellent winning streak has now made the Suns look like the 2021 team that made it all the way to the finals before losing to Milwaukee. Chris Paul and Devin Booker are the main reasons why Phoenix is flying so high, but Deandre Ayton and Frank Kaminsky have ably backed them up. In a tough division, the Suns are shining right now.
Golden State Warriors
If we are talking about number one ranked teams, look no further than the Golden State Warriors. Steph Curry seems to be on a one-man mission to bring the title to San Francisco, but an excellent team behind him is taking everyone else by storm right now.
Curry’s points totals have been unbelievable so far this season, and he doesn’t look to be struggling with any injury recurrence. Jordan Poole and Draymond Green are chipping in with impactful contributions as well, and the Warriors are making everyone think how they could somehow be even better with a healthy Klay Thompson.
No preview for the rest of the season would be complete without praising the Nets as they attempt to win their first-ever championship. We won’t even have to wonder how Brooklyn will be able to get on without Kyrie Irving – because the team is proving that it can do just fine.
There was another slow start here, but things have been going largely to plan apart from a humbling at the hands of Steph Curry and his Golden State Warriors. James Harden’s numbers are beginning to impress again, and Kevin Durant is playing at an incredible level. If those two can remain on top of their game, the Nets might just be number one in the East this year.
When Washington traded Russell Westbrook for depth, its odds of winning the championship – or even making the playoffs took a nosedive. But, a few months into the season, that looks like being one of the deals of the offseason. Bradley Beal struggled in the opening games but has improved since then – and can only get better with this stronger team.
Kyle Kuzma and Spencer Dinwiddie have been posting good numbers, and the Wizards look like a far more rounded team than the one that relied too heavily on Westbrook last year and crashed out in the first round of the playoffs. This could be a team that does well in the Eastern Conference in 2022.
The Heat were not expected to make too much noise this season, according to the sportsbook. But they have started the season well in a surprisingly impressive Southeast Division. Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, and Bam Adebayo have been in devastating form, and Miami could go far in 2022.
That being said, the odds for the Heat to win the championship were very long before the first games of the season. Those prices have narrowed, but the NBA schedule is long. So keep your eyes on Miami to see if it can keep this form up after the holidays.