Top 10 True Title Contenders for the 2022/23 NBA Season

Top 10 True Title Contenders for the 2022/23 NBA Season

Edwin Kiplagat
March 9, 2023 at 6:52 AM
  • The 2022/23 NBA season has had plenty of drama and many talking points
  • The Golden State Warriors are struggling while the Sacramento Kings rule
  • The Denver Nuggets are the best in the West and the East is usual business
  • Who has what it takes to go all the way to the NBA Finals and win the prize?

It is another phenomenal NBA season: the Denver Nuggets are dominating the Western Conference, while the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics fight for the Eastern Conference.

Furthermore, it is beginning to emerge which teams can go deep into the playoffs.

The Bucks and the Celtics are favorites to win the title, while sleeping giants like the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers should not be written off just yet.

Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Giannis Antetokoumpo, NBA, Warriors, Suns, Bucks, Mavericks, Nuggets, Clippers, Kawhi Leonard, Luka Doncic, LeBron James
The Warriors are the defending champions but face competition from the Suns and the Bucks. Photos by Ron Jenkins, Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE and Patrick Smith.
Source: Getty Images

The Warriors won the title last season - their fourth in eight years - but have struggled for consistency all season, just like many teams in the West.

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Which teams are best placed to go all in for the title? Sports Brief takes a look at the true contenders this season.

2022/23 NBA title contenders

10. Dallas Mavericks

The addition of Kyrie Irving before the February 9 trade deadline elevated the Mavericks to a title contender. However, they are not favorites after Irving and MVP candidate, Luka Doncic played together for several games. Although Irving fixed their offense, their defense got worse.

They showed against the Suns that they can go toe to toe with any team, but it all came down to defending. They have the league's 12th-best defense which may not be enough to win them a title.

Mavericks, Luka Doncic, Irving, NBA, Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic are still learning to play together. Photo by Ron Jenkins.
Source: Getty Images

9. Cleveland Cavaliers

The Sacramento Kings have been the story of the 2022/23 season. However, the Cavaliers have quietly grabbed the headlines for the right reasons.

They have the best defensive rating in the NBA this season and their offense is decent, led by All-Star guard, Donovan Mitchell. They won their first and only NBA title in 2016 and will need to beat the likes of the Bucks and Celtics to win it all.

8. Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are having another great season. However, off-court problems for Ja Morant are putting the team in the spotlight. His 'I'm fine in the West' remark has backfired so far.

The Sacramento Kings have taken the second spot in the West and are trying to cope without Morant. They lost in the semis last season to the eventual champions, and things may get tougher this season.

They've lost their last three games and were recently knocked off the second spot in the West. If Morant gets a lengthy suspension from the gun video, their season could be over.

7. Golden State Warriors

It is not wise to write off the defending champions, even though they recently lost their seventh straight road game. They are now 7-25 away from Chase Center. Steph Curry's injury problems haven't helped.

As the season enters the final stretch, Steve Kerr's team will have to step up in a chaotic conference. If they get a playoff spot, they're a dangerous team when everyone is healthy, per the Athletic. What's better than the dynasty ending a successful era with title #5?

Draymond Green, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Warriors, NBA
The Warriors will be tough to beat despite their struggles. Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE.
Source: Getty Images

6. Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers have one of the best teams in the league. With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, they have players who have playoff experience. Leonard is a two-time Finals MVP.

Ty Lue's biggest challenge will be to find the best combination come playoff time. With a proven performer like Leonard, the Clippers can challenge any team.

5. Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers have easily been the third-best team in the East, with the Bucks and the Celtics being arguably the two best in the NBA this season.

MVP candidate, Joel Embiid has been one of the best players in the league this season. His pick-and-roll with James Harden is one of the most potent actions on the court. They last made the NBA Finals in 2001 and will have to go through the last two NBA finalists in the Bucks and Celtics.

4. Phoenix Suns

The addition of two-time NBA Finals MVP, Kevin Durant automatically elevated the 2021 NBA Finals runners-up to title contenders. With the regular season in its final stretch, Durant, Devin Booker, and Chris Paul need to gel.

Moreover, Paul and Dutrant need to be healthy for the Suns to have a good run. With the two-time NBA champion, Phoenix can beat anyone.

3. Denver Nuggets

Nikola Jokic is on track to win his third straight MVP award. His Nuggets have been the best team in the West all season, thanks to the Serbian center.

They were knocked out of the first round last season, and it would be disappointing if they didn't make the finals this season.

2. Boston Celtics

Last season's runners-up have shown once again why they deserved to be in the finals. They were the best team in the league for most of the season before their recent skid.

The Bucks are their biggest threat in the East, and they will need to beat them again this campaign to reach the finals.

Jayson Tatum, NBA, Boston Celtics
The Celtics have won just one NBA title this century. Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE.
Source: Getty Images

1. Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks have won 18 of their last 19 games, helping them kick the Celtics off the top of the East standings. Giannis Antetokounmpo is having another great season and is in contention for the MVP award.

The Celtics eliminated them in the East semis last season, and it looks like they may clash again this season. They are favorites to go all the way. Can anyone stop them?

Curry's warning to NBA teams

Sports Brief also reported on Curry sending a subtle warning to NBA teams about the Golden State Warriors.

The 34-year-old said when healthy, they will be a tough matchup for any team in the basketball league.

Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson, and Andre Iguodala won their fourth title last season.

Edwin Kiplagat photo
Edwin Kiplagat
Editor- Other Sports