NBA Western Conference Futures 2022: Klay Thompson Return Helps Golden State

The Golden State Warriors were not the favorites to win the 2021-22 title in the NBA’s Western Conference. That honor went to the Los Angeles Lakers. However, the Lakers have struggled this season and are currently in the seventh spot in the conference and are in danger of falling behind the Minnesota Timberwolves and LA Clippers who are hot on their tail in the standings. Meanwhile, Golden State started hot and has remained hot. The club is currently tied for first in the league with the Phoenix Suns and the recent return of Klay Thompson has only helped to solidify the Warriors hold on the top spot in the NBA Western Conference futures.

Before we look at the best teams in the NBA’s Western Conference, be sure to check out the best NBA betting sites and our NBA Finals betting guide.

2022 Western Conference Odds

Golden State Warriors+160+150+160+220+220
Phoenix Suns+400+450+400+330+295
Utah Jazz+550+550+550+400+350
Los Angeles Lakers+600+600+600+700+500
Denver Nuggets+1400+1200+1400+1500+1200
LA Clippers+1400+1400+1400+1200+1075
Memphis Grizzlies+1800+1600+1800+2600+1750
Dallas Mavericks+2000+2800+2000+1600+1625
Portland Trail Blazers+7500+6600+7500+6000+5400
Minnesota Timberwolves+8000+6600+8000+8000+6000
Sacramento Kings+20000+20000+20000+25000+12000
San Antonio Spurs+20000+12500+20000+30000+12000
New Orleans Pelicans+25000+25000+25000+30000+12000
Oklahoma City Thunder+100000+50000+100000+60000+19000
Houston Rockets+125000+25000+125000+60000+24000

Things are looking up for Golden State

Klay Thompson missed two and a half years for the Warriors, but he returned to the club on Sunday after not playing since the 2019 NBA finals. Thompson scored 17 points, grabbed three rebounds, had one assist and added a block in 20 minutes of play during Golden State’s 96-82 win over the Cavaliers.

Thompson and the Warriors are likely to ride the emotional high of his return to action for some time. That’s great for the team, which is 30-9 and had lost two games in a row for the first time right before Thompson’s return. Western Conference defenses are going to have fits covering Stephen Curry and Thompson for the rest of the 2021-22 NBA season.

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Phoenix hangs tough

Devin Booker missed seven games for the Suns because of a hamstring injury. When he sustained that injury, the Suns were in a battle with the Warriors for first place in the Western Conference. Booker took his time in returning to the club and that care has paid off. He is shooting 41 percent this season. That number would crush his previous career high of 38.3 percent from 2017-18.

I think many prognosticators have been waiting for the Suns to stumble, but the team has played great basketball and looks like it will be in the running to represent the NBA’s Western Conference in the NBA finals in two consecutive years.

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Lakers’ worries

The Los Angeles Lakers beat the teams they should this season, but when they face a club who is over .500 they struggle. That’s bad news because the Lakers are soon to start a stretch of games where they face teams with strong records. The run includes games against Utah, Denver, Miami, Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Charlotte this month. This stretch of games, most of which are on the road, where the team is 7-9 could be a make or break run for the LeBron James led team.

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Trent Reinsmith

Trent covers UFC and MMA for MTS. He has written for USA Today Sports, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively among others. He has been involved with MMA since he and some friends threw some money together to purchase the pay-per-view of UFC 1, and the rest is history.

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