Who Will Be Representing The West Coast In The NBA Finals This Year?
The 2022 NBA Playoffs look set to be one of the most exciting and unpredictable yet. Some teams are playing for the first time in years, some great teams didn't make it, and some teams are playing for an 8th consecutive year (looking at you Celtics).
Of the two conferences, the West Coast looks like it is going to be the most competitive. With current champions, the Suns, making a run for the NBA title with some really stiff competition.
This is the perfect article if you are looking for a guide to help you with your NBA betting. Today, we will be looking at the 4 teams that are most likely to win the Western Conference in the 2022 Playoffs.
#4 - Utah Jazz
NBA Championships: NA
West Coast Championships: 1997, 1998
You are probably wondering why the Jazz are so high on this list if they have never won the NBA Championship and haven't won the Western Conference since 1998.
Well, thanks to the shortened regular season last year, they topped the Western Conference table leading into the playoffs. They then went on to make it to the Semi-Finals of the conference, where they lost 2-4 to the Clippers.
They have also had another great season this year. They topped the Northwest Division for the second year in a row and came in 5th overall in the Western Conference table.
This is the 6th year in a row that they have made it to the Playoffs. Only the Celtics have a longer run at the moment.
The Jazz's first-round opponent is the Dallas Mavericks. They have currently won a game each. The Mavericks finished one spot above the Jazz in the Western Conference table, but the bookies have the Jazz to win this round.
The Jazz has an opportunity to cause a big upset later in the tournament, however, they are yet to find their start player who can lead their team to the finals.
#3 - Memphis Grizzlies
NBA Championships: NA
Western Conference Championships: NA
The Grizzlies are one of the youngest teams in the NBA, so their lack of silverware should not be held against them.
The team has had an incredible year, only the Phoenix Suns have done better across the whole NBA. They ended the season with 56 wins and 26 losses.
This year has already been a record-breaking year for the Grizzlies as they won their division (the Southwest Division) for the first time in their history. Even when they were playing in Vancouver they did not win a division title. They are also only the second team from outside of Texas to win this division.
Could this year hold a first Western Conference Championship and a first NBA Championship for them?
Well, they'd have to knock out a few big teams on their way.
In the first round, they are up against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Timberwolves came 7th overall in the Western Conference during the regular season. If they were to beat the Timberwolves then they would most likely come up against the Golden State Warriors, which could be a very difficult battle.
#2 - Golden State Warriors
NBA Championships: 1947, 1956, 1975, 2015, 2017, 2018
Western Conference Championships: 1975, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
The Warriors are the most experienced team that we have talked about so far on this list. However, this is the first time they have qualified for the Playoffs since they made it to the NBA Finals in 2018.
Or more accurately, this is the first time they have made it to the playoffs since Kevin Durant left for the Knicks.
In the regular season, the Warriors came second in their division (behind the Suns) and third overall in the Western Conference table (behind the Suns and the Grizzlies). They are undoubtedly one of the best teams in the conference and would be winning any other division.
One of the things that the Warriors have on their side is that they have a group of incredible players, the likes of which teams like the Grizzlies and the Jazz do not have. They have players like Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, and Stephen Curry who put in game-winning performances week in and week out.
The Warriors are playing the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the Playoffs, they are currently winning 2-0 overall.
#1 - Phoenix Suns
NBA Championships: NA
Western Conference Championships: 1976, 1993, 2021
The Suns have spent years living in the shadows of the Golden State Warriors, but now it's their time to shine and they are making the most of it.
The Suns have entered the playoffs with the best winning record in the whole NBA this year. They also won their division (Pacific Division) and topped the Western Conference table.
The Suns were last year's Western Conference Champions. They knocked the Lakers out of the first round, then the Nuggets, and beat the Clippers in the Western Conference Finals. They sadly lost to the Bucks in the NBA Finals.
This year, their run might be a little easier as neither the Clippers nor the Lakers made it to the playoffs this year.
As you can see, their two toughest opponents look to be playing each other in the second round, so that will make their run even simpler. They will either be playing the Jazz or the Mavericks in the next round, and the bookies have them predicted to beat either in straight matches.
Looking at the number, it appears that the Suns have an easier run to the NBA finals than most. But who will they meet there? Or will someone cause a huge upset along the way?