- Los Angeles Lakers have recorded six wins in their first seven games.
- Underachievers Phoenix Sun have enjoyed a promising start to their campaign.
- Current conference favorites LA Clippers have only won five of their eight games so far.
Basketball season is underway with the Western Conference teams battling it out once more to reach the playoffs, and have a shot at becoming NBA Champions. The NBA betting odds are currently in favour of the Los Angeles Clippers winning the championship and the Western Conference, but a few teams are faring better than them so far.
Last year, Western Conference Champions Golden State Warriors lost out to East Conference team the, Toronto Raptors. West Conference teams are no doubt eager to bring the title back to the Pacific coast. Let’s take a look at the teams who have already made a positive start to the season.
Los Angeles Lakers
Rewind ten years, and the Lakers were a formidable force. Back-to-back Championships in 2009 and 2010 alongside consistent top-place finishes in the Pacific Division. But then, they dropped off the radar. For the last six seasons, the Lakers have failed to reach the playoffs, with their best West Conference finish in 10th place.
The Lakers have begun their season with an impressive six wins and one defeat. They’re not holding back. With LeBron James now cemented into the team and chasing his fourth championship title, the Lakers will be pushing more than ever to obtain a title.
From Colorado and playing in the Northwest division, the Nuggets managed quite a feat last season. Finishing at the top of their division and second in the Western Conference, although the side hasn’t reached an NBA Final in their club’s history, their impressive record so far of five wins and two defeats is looking promising for the season ahead.
Referred to by many sportswriters as the ‘Enver Nuggets’ for their lack of ‘D’ (defence), the side are living up to their nickname with an average points difference of 3.2. But with their recent victory over Miami Heat at 109-89, there’s the hope they can improve their points tally.
To say there has been a drought in victories for the Suns would be an understatement. Having failed to make the playoffs in the last nine seasons or even reach an NBA final since 1992, the fans will not be getting too excited by their promising start this season.
After winning five games and losing two, the Suns are in an impressive position. Their newfound success might be down to acquiring Aron Baynes and Ricky Rubio in defence for some veteran leadership, but for the sake of the fans, we hope it continues.
The Clippers, tipped to be favourites and take home the title this year have managed five wins and three defeats so far this season, not exactly a golden start. Some might be wondering how the Californian team has managed to gain such promise, having failed to get past the first round of the playoffs in the last four seasons – here’s why.
The team has acquired last year’s FMVP Kawhi Leonard from the Toronto Raptors and Paul George, six-time NBA All-Star and four-time member of the NBA All-Defensive Team. These new additions to the team have put them in good stead, improving the team’s on-court performances. The Ringer made their opinion very clear, “By surrounding the best player in the world with waves of shooters and defenders at every position, the Clippers have become the clear favourite to win the NBA Championship.”
With current odds of winning the conference at 35/1 at the time of writing, it might shock fans that the Mavericks have a record of five wins and two defeats so far this season. The side has only lost to the Clippers and Lakers so far, whilst securing a vital victory over the Nuggets.
Since winning the NBA Finals in 2011, the side has struggled to keep up with its reputation. Not achieving a place in the playoffs for the last three seasons has been a hard pill to swallow for the El Matador fans, but already this season is looking promising. Luka Dončić’s recent weight-loss has improved his agility on the court, whilst Kristaps Porziņģis weight-gain has improved his dominance. The pair combined, with an impressive bench means the Mavericks are not shy of talent and are in good stead to improve on previous campaigns.