Through 1/4 of the 2021/22 NBA season, no team has played more impressively Warrior and Sun.
Golden State, currently on a seven-game winning streak, has the best 18-2 record in the league. None of the team’s defeats were more than four points, and one came in extra time. It’s perhaps no surprise that the Warriors have the NBA’s second-best offensive line, but their 99.4 defensive stat – leading the league by more than four points – is not something we see coming.
Phoenix, meanwhile, had a 1-3 start, but hasn’t lost since, reeling from 16 straight wins to improve to 17-3, just one game behind Golden State. Like the Warriors, the Suns have risen to the top of the NBA rankings thanks to an incredibly superior defense, the team currently finishing third in the league. Mikal . Bridge created a buzz for Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green may be the current favorite.
While we don’t necessarily expect Golden State or Phoenix to be in this good form heading into the season, there’s no compelling reason to expect big setbacks from either team.
Warriors aren’t even at full strength yet and can become even more dangerous when Klay Thompson and James Wiseman back to action. The Suns haven’t lost any key players on the roster that made it to the NBA Finals in the spring, and young players like Deanre Ayton and especially the Bridge is still improving.
The two Pacific teams will face off against each other twice this week – in Phoenix on Tuesday and at Golden State on Friday. Matches featuring two of the NBA’s hottest teams will be great games, but we’re not focusing on today’s poll on the winners of those games. We’re taking a longer-term view and looking at how the results of the season have impacted our perception of which favorites will appear at the Western Conference in 2021/22.
As The Athletic’s John Hollinger writes, the Suns and Warriors are currently outperforming the rest of the NBA, but there’s still plenty of time for other teams to battle their way into that top tier. NS Jazz is a contender – their net score of +9.8 is actually second in the NBA, just behind Golden State. NS Lakers have had a slow start, but they are considered the pre-season favorites to win the West and any team that has LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook in its list can not be abbreviated.
We want to know what you think. Will you get the Warriors or the Suns across the field at this point? If so, do you consider the Golden State or Phoenix the best choice for coming from the West? If you’re in the field, which team do you like best in that group?
Vote in our poll, then head to the comments section to share your two cents!
https://www.hoopsrumors.com/2021/11/poll-western-conference-favorites.html Poll: Western Conference Favorites | Rumors