4. Denver Nuggets
Nikola Jokic is an alien. As a seven footer, he has an argument to be the best passer in the entire NBA. On top of that, Jokic is averaging 26 points per game, and is on pace for the highest player efficiency rating in history.
While Jokic is incredible, he alone is not why Denver is ranked in the top four. Reinforcements are about to be on the way, as Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are expected to return in the near future and will be fully healthy come playoff time.
Despite missing the two stars, Denver remains as the sixth seed in the west. Players such as Monte Morris and Aaron Gordon have stepped up this year, with Morris most notably hitting a buzzer beater to beat the Golden State Warriors Wednesday night.
If fully healthy, this is a team nobody in the west wants to face.
3. Memphis Grizzlies
Who would have thought the Memphis Grizzlies would be the third seed of the west? Young star Ja Morant is playing at an MVP level, and the team continues to find great, young role players to strengthen the team.
Jaren Jackson Jr. has turned into a legitimate defensive star, and continues to be Morant’s partner in crime. Desmond Bane is averaging over 40 percent from three point range, and the addition of Steven Adams has been a huge under the radar pickup.
Memphis hopes to get Dillon Brooks back in time for the playoffs, where they have an opportunity to make a legitimate title run. This team is very young, but their gritty style of basketball should not be overlooked by any of the top teams in the NBA.
2. Golden State Warriors
While the core of Steph, Klay, and Draymond remain, this year’s version of the Golden State Warriors is much different from years past. It features a plethora of new, young faces, however, the team is having as much success as ever.
Steph Curry continues to show why he is the greatest shooter ever, averaging 25.8 points per game and 4.6 three pointers per game. Players such as Jordan Poole and Gary Payton II have made their presence felt on a consistent basis, as both guards have had breakout seasons.
The Warriors are currently the second seed in the western conference, and remain a legitimate title threat.
1. Phoenix Suns
Everyone needs to stop sleeping on the Phoenix Suns. At 48-10 Phoenix has by far the best record in the NBA. They could lose every game for the rest of the season and still be guaranteed a spot in the play-in game.
While all the credit will go to Booker, Paul, and Ayton, a major reason for the team’s success is its role players. Mikal Bridges has been a defensive star and an offensive threat, and journeymen such as Jae Crowder and Cam Payne have found a home in Monty Williams’ scheme.
In their last nineteen games, Phoenix has gone a ridiculous 18-1. It is time to mention this team as title favorites. The Phoenix Suns are a team without a true weakness.
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