When the 2021-22 NBA regular season ended, the league’s Western Conference had two of the best teams in the NBA. Those teams were the league-leading Phoenix Suns and the Golden State Warriors. Phoenix finished the 2021-22 NBA season with a 64-18 record. That put them eight games ahead of the second place Memphis Grizzlies. Meanwhile, the Warriors wrapped up their regular season with a 53-29 record, which put them in a tie for third overall with the Miami Heat.
The Golden State Warriors went on to close out the 2022 NBA season on June 16, when they defeated the Boston Celtics 103-90 in the sixth game of the NBA Final. With the win, the Warriors locked up their fourth NBA Championship in eight seasons.
The Warriors and Suns are once again picked to battle it out at the top of the NBA’s Pacific Division during the 2022-23 NBA season, but they are not alone this year. NBA prognosticators are giving the LA Clippers, who finished last year with a 42-40 record, a better than average chance of winning the NBA’s Pacific Division in 2023.
2023 NBA Pacific Division picks
|To Win 2022-23 NBA Pacific Division|
|Golden State Warriors||+200||+200||+190||+200||+197|
|Los Angeles Lakers||+750||+800||+850||+750||+870|
Golden State Warriors
As long as the Golden State Warriors have their core players — Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green — and those players compete in more games than they miss, the Warriors will contend in the Pacific Division.
When you add depth players like Jordan Poole, who could be starters and keep young players like Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, and James Wiseman in the mix, things look even better for the Warriors.
The two big worries about this club are health and age. At some point both of those things are going to catch up to the Warriors.
The Phoenix Suns are bringing back most of the team that went an NBA-best 64-18 last year. That’s the good thing. The bad is that team also lost to the No. 4 seeded Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the playoffs.
Phoenix, like Golden State, is led by a player who is getting older and injury-prone. That player is Chris Paul. However, the younger members of the Suns are improving and showed last year that they can get things done even when Paul is out of the lineup.
I don’t think the Suns will have the same year they did last year. However, I think the team, because of their experience, will fare batter in the postseason.
The LA Clippers finished last year with a record of 42-40. With that, the team missed the playoffs for the first time in three years. However, the Clippers put that record together with Paul George playing in 31 games and Kawhi Leonard playing in zero games. The team also did that without John Wall, who joined the club after sitting out last season while he was signed to Houston.
That the Clippers have depth cannot be argued. That the Clippers will be better in 2022-23 than they were in 2022, also can’t be disputed.
The NBA’s Pacific Division is incredibly deep and challenging to pick. The Warriors have injury, health and age worries. The Clippers have injury concerns. The Suns also have age issues, but those really come down to one player. With how things played out last year, I think the Phoenix Suns are the best bet to win the 2022-23 Pacific Division.
Pick: Phoenix Suns to win the NBA Pacific Division in 2022-23.
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