The clock is counting down till the end of the NBA regular season and there is still so much drama, you’d think it was the Oscars. The number one and two seedings in the Western Conference might be all sewn up, with the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies holding firm in those places, but over in the East things are really very cloudy, the teams are getting somewhat ‘slap happy’. No team has taken control of the conference and it really could, and probably will go down to the wire. The Play-in places are also very tough to call with tons of different scenarios still in play. Strap in everybody, it’s going to be wild.
Are the Suns the NBA Title Favourites?
Well, the bookmakers, Bet.co.za included, believe that the Suns are the overwhelming title favourites. It looks very likely too. You just have to look at Phoenix’s current record to see the reason why everyone has them as the team to the beat, they have 61 wins and 14 losses. Seven championship winners since 2010 have been no. 1 seeds, five of those were from the Western Conference. The signs are all there that this could be the year the Suns take it all. The other thing they have as an added positive is experience. They lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals last season, so they know what it takes to make it to the Finals. They also know what cost them the championship and have addressed those failings.
The East is Wide Open
If someone tells you that they know who will take the Eastern Conference number one seeding, and they say so with true conviction, don’t believe them, nor should you take those magic beans they want to sell you. Nothing is even close to being a sure thing. There are currently four teams that could all end the season on top of the standings in the East. The Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics all have legitimate claims to top spot. All of those teams have incredible players that could push their team to the summit, but form has been a tough thing for any of those teams to hold on to. The prize for clinching the higher seeding is home-court advantage through the playoffs. It is worth the battle and in this case we the fans will be the real winners as we watch the franchises go head-to-head.
Still no Clear MVP Stand Out
The race for conference position in the NBA is exciting but even more thrilling is the battle for the MVP of the league. That is still a three-horse (though many feel it is a two-horse race). Joel Embiid, the front-runner, Nikola Jokic, the current title-holder, and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has won it twice before. Some have written Giannis off early, goodness knows why. The smart money is on Embiid, as people love a new winner and he has been sensational this term. He is also in the tussle for the NBA scoring title, which too, is going down to the wire as the season end draws near. This campaign has provided us with loads of shocks and intrigue, you almost don’t want it to end.