Like many when the holiday rolls around, the NBA has hit the time for another checkup. This is how the league has fared after 20 games.
The NBA Winners
This NBA season has given us a healthy dose of competition through each team’s first 20 games, but there were certain teams that have stolen the spotlight. While the Eastern Conference continues with Milwaukee at the top, with a one-win lead over the Chicago Bulls, the Western Conference sees a tie for first place between the Golden State Warriors and the Phoenix Suns.
Both teams sit at 18 wins, which not only gives them an advantage in the conference but also puts the number one team in the country as a tie. The Suns have taken off, however, with a 17 game win streak, putting them as legitimate title contenders once again.
17 IN A ROW. RECORD TYING. pic.twitter.com/z3mqO3sIxQ
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) December 1, 2021
With a few powerhouses stationed at the top, many teams have been fighting it out in the middle of the pack. The Eastern Conference is full of competition, even pushing teams with records above .500 to the bottom of the pack.
The Miami Heat and Washington Wizards are currently fighting to find their way to the top of the conference mountain, and have a very good chance if they can pull out everything they have in these next few months. The Western Conference sees itself in an opposite predicament. The top three are clearly determined with the Utah Jazz sitting comfortably at third in the conference with a comfortable four-game lead on the Dallas Mavericks.
These next few months will become a deciding factor for most of these spots, so teams need to begin putting in their full effort if they want to gain ample room in the playoffs.
This season has begun to give dreams to many teams at the top, but for those not so fortunate, nightmares have begun to take over. The Atlanta Hawks nearly punched their way to an NBA Finals appearance last season, yet find themselves locked in at 10th place in the Eastern Conference.
The Orlando Magic, however, find themselves in a much worse situation. The 2020-21 Magic were lackluster, and that seems to be the case once more. With only four wins so far this season, the Magic organization seems on the brink of total collapse, and fans have started to worry for the future.
The teams with the most heat on them right now, however, seem to be the Heat and the Bulls. The two teams had violated the league’s rules on free agency, attempting to probe into Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry. Both teams have had to forfeit their second-round draft picks as punishment, and both teams are arguably frustrated. These are two teams on the verge of championships, and this is a huge setback.
ESPN Sources: The NBA will make Chicago and Miami forfeit their next available second-round draft pick over findings in probe into early contact in summer free agency. Probe was centered on Lonzo Ball and Kyle Lowry sign and trades.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 1, 2021
The season will continue with multiple tip-offs at 7 p.m. tonight.