The Phoenix Suns enter this week with a 19-4 record through the first 23 games. Included in that record was an 18-game winning streak that finally came to an end against the Golden State Warriors.
Phoenix is now on top of the NBA standings at 19-4, but there is still a long season to go. Many “experts” are calling the Suns the team to beat, but is that really the case?
There are few professional leagues with as much parity as the NBA, and the NBA Finals typically focus on new teams each year. Phoenix was in the NBA Finals a season ago, but it’s going to take some great play to make a return.
The betting odds don’t have the Suns as the betting favorites either, and they are actually fourth on the list. Phoenix has odds set at +900, but there are three teams that the oddsmakers like even more.
Western Conference is Loaded
The biggest problem that the Suns are going to face is trying to win the Western Conference. Golden State is also 19-4 through 23 games, and the Warriors and Suns have split the first two matchups against each other.
It is the Warriors that are the betting favorites to win the Western Conference, with odds being offered at +290. The Suns are right behind them at +390, but there is also a loaded group behind them as well.
The Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers are also going to factor into the Western Conference race, and Phoenix will be challenged in all three playoff rounds. It’s really hard to call anyone the team to beat in that conference because each team is loaded with talent.
After dealing with the Western Conference, Phoenix will also have to take on a team from the East. Brooklyn is the favorite in that conference, with odds as low as +145.
Most would agree that the Nets are the team to beat in the NBA, especially if they get Kyrie Irving back in time for the postseason.
Booker Continues to Shine
The Suns have gotten contributions from up and down the roster this season, but it has been Devin Booker leading the way. Booker was seen as an MVP candidate in the preseason, but he’s way down on the MVP betting list at this time.
The MVP future odds for Booker are now set at +4200, but those could change in a big way as the season goes along. Stephen Curry is the heavy favorite to win the MVP this season, with odds being offered at +150.
Take the Field
The Suns certainly look like one of the best teams in the NBA this season, and they should be in the mix to win the NBA title. It would be a stretch to call them the team to beat, though, because there is just so much depth in the West.
Golden State is going to get Klay Thompson back soon, and that will likely make the Warriors the real team to beat. The Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks are both loaded in the East, and they could be considered as the top teams as well.
The Suns could very well go on to win the NBA championship this season, but saying that they are currently the team to beat would be a bit of a stretch.