1. Denver Nuggets (4-1)- Outside of an ugly loss to Minnesota, Denver has been rolling. One of the most impressive things about them is the younger guys on the second unit are making the most out of their minutes. Christian Braun and Peyton Watson have stepped up and played well alongside Reggie Jackson. Other teams made big splash moves over the summer, but I still think Denver is the best in the league.
2. Boston Celtics (4-0)- I wasn’t crazy about the Kristaps Porzingis move at first, but it’s been a difference maker for Boston. Jayson Tatum was my pick for MVP this season and he is playing like it averaging 29.8 PPG, 9.2 RPG, and shooting 40% from deep. The bench is a little worrisome at times, but it’s apparent that this is the best team in the Eastern Conference to start the season.
3. Golden State Warriors (4-1)- The thing that jumps out to me the most about the Warriors is how good the bench is playing, and how well they have played on the road. The Warriors won three road games in a row against the Kings, Rockets and Pelicans, and Chris Paul was a big reason why. Despite his struggles in the last outing, he has been excellent with the second unit and keeping the team afloat when Curry is on the bench. Most people have crowned Denver the best in the West, but you can never count out Stephen Curry & Co.
4. Dallas Mavericks (4-0)- Luka Doncic is a cheat code and is giving Jokic a run for best player to start the season. He’s pretty much putting up a triple-double every night and the team is playing more inspired basketball because of him. Dereck Lively has also been huge defensively giving the Mavs the rim protection they have desperately needed. Could this be the year it clicks for Dallas? We’ll find out soon enough.
5. Philadelphia 76ers (3-1)- I’m glad that Philly can play basketball without the James Harden situation looming over them. We knew once Harden was gone Tyrese Maxey would have a bigger role and he has answered the call along with Tobias Harris and Kelly Oubre. I don’t want to bank on Philly in the postseason, but right now this team is playing more freely than they have in the last couple of seasons.