With a quarter of the NBA season already behind us, we can start to get an idea of teams that will likely be in contention toward the end of the year. The Suns and Warriors look like they are playing at another level than the rest of the league with the Warriors on a 7 game win streak and 18-2 overall record and the Suns currently on a 16 game win streak and 17-3 record.
In the East, the Bucks are starting to make a move and have won 7 in a row and sit in the 4th seed. Despite the slow start, the Bucks remained one of the top favorites to win the 2022 title and their recent play is a good indication of why. Head on over to our Betting Strategies guide if you are looking for tips on how you can take advantage of this weeks NBA action.
Lebron James returned from his abdominal strain and has returned to his typical dominant style of play after a slow start to the season. Lebron looks to be carrying an additional chip on his shoulder this year as he was recently given his first-ever suspension for elbowing Isaiah Stewart and was also warned by the league this week for profanity and using an obscene gesture in a win over the Pacers.
The big concern for the Lakers is that as Lebron goes the Lakers go and the older roster looks lost on nights when Lebron is not playing or he has an off night. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Lakers make a big trade before the deadline and try to get someone like Damian Lillard as the current roster does not look like it has the shooting or speed to play with the Suns and Warriors in the West.
The top teams in the west face off Tuesday night in what could be an early-season Western Conference Finals preview. The Suns and Warriors play a similar style of basketball with excellent three-point shooting, an up-tempo face, and long defenders that can guard multiple positions. Steph Curry is the early season MVP favorite thanks to his exceptional play.
The Suns are doing a great job at home and are the slight favorite at home. The Suns may have the better top to bottom roster as role players like Cameron Payne, Javele McGee, Cam Johnson, and Jae Crowder are all averaging around 10 PPG off the bench.
The Knicks and Nets are both relevant at the same time for the first time since the early 2000s which is a great thing for New York basketball fans. The NBA is a better league when basketball matters in New York and both teams look like they will be in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Kevin Durant is right behind Steph Curry in the MVP odds but the Nets depth is still a big question mark and it showed in their loss to the Suns over the weekend. The Nets and Durant have to be pleading with Kyrie Irving to get vaccinated as he would likely put the Nets over the top in the Eastern Conference.
The two LA teams face one another on Friday night at the Staples center with both teams having the luxury of being able to prepare for the game in their home locker rooms. The Lakers and Clippers are hovering around .500 and have both battled injury issues and likely are just hoping to get into the playoffs 100% healthy. Lebron James has looked great since his return from injury and scored 39,30, and 33 points in his last three games. The Clippers are likely without Kawhii Leonard all year and Paul George is having to carry the weight and is doing a great job so far this year at doing so by averaging 25 pts, and 7 rebounds per game.
The Nets are still the favorites likely due to the fact that they have an easier path to get to the Finals out of the East, while the Warriors, Lakers, Jazz, and Suns are seen as the favorites to make it out of the West.
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