A little over a month has passed since the start of the NBA season, and about a quarter of regular-season games have been played. Who are the early leaders and contenders in one of America’s favorite sports?
Here are the latest power rankings:
- Golden State Warriors, 18-2: Steph Curry is playing championship-level basketball and aiming towards his third MVP. The team looks like the force of a few years ago when they won multiple championships and set many records.
Andrew Wiggins is finally stepping up and being a significant contributor. When you add Klay Thompson, who looks like he’s a few weeks away from returning, the Warriors look like a top contender this year.
- Phoenix Suns, 17-3: The Suns are on fire. They’re on a 16-game winning streak at the time of writing, and one can only wonder how they are not on top. The team has proved that last year’s trip to the finals was not a fluke and is aiming once again to get their first-ever title.
- Brooklyn Nets, 14-6: The Nets were supposed to be the next super team that would dominate the NBA. It hasn’t been the case so far, especially with the Kyrie Irving fiasco. We still don’t know if we’ll see him again in the Nets uniform.
The good news is that Kevin Durant and James Harden are healthy, playing well, and winning games. The bad news is that so far, in the few games against elite teams, Brooklyn has been beaten badly every time.
- Milwaukee Bucks, 13-8: The NBA Champions are starting to gain momentum and play good basketball. They’ve won seven in a row with the best defensive efficiency in that span and are 9-0 when the Greek Freak, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday are in the starting lineup.
- Miami Heat, 13-7: Miami is the secret contender for many people. Tyler Herro is making his case for Sixth Man of the Year, and the defense is getting better under All-Stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
The question for Miami will be their squad depth, as it’s viewed as a problem and inferior to other teams.
Other teams to watch out for are Utah Jazz (13-7), Chicago Bulls (13-8), Washington Wizards (13-7), and Charlotte Hornets (13-9)