5. Golden State Warriors
It's no secret that we here at NBA.com Philippines do not like putting the obvious contenders here on our weekly League Pass guide. It is a requirement that every writer drink at least one cup of pour-over coffee in a mason jar before writing one of these rankings.
So just let this be a reminder: the Golden State Warriors are great. They were a great watch when Steph Curry was single-handedly carrying them through a rough start to the season. They’re just plain great now that they’ve started to figure things out on both ends of the court.
Their win in the finals rematch against the Boston Celtics on Sunday proved that no team makes a blowout more enjoyable than the Splash Brothers.
Stephen & Klay— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) December 11, 2022
balled out on #WarriorsGround ?? pic.twitter.com/KGXb7t00yN
4. Dallas Mavericks
There’s something interesting—and almost noble—in watching Luka Doncic try to carry the Mavericks into the play-in on his own. It must be so tiring to lead a team in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and 3-pointers made and also have to take care of your young son, Devin.
LUKA ON JRUE HOLIDAY 😳 pic.twitter.com/ctuQWFiQBO— ESPN (@espn) December 10, 2022
That’s a bit harsh. Luka has received a bit of help from a resurgent Tim Hardaway Jr. and Spencer Dinwiddie. And Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith try to make every play happen on the defensive end.
But the drama here will always be if Luka Magic is enough to get a win.
3. Orlando Magic
Don’t look at the stats sheet or the standings. Being the third-worst team in the league has nothing to do with being fun. Having Bol Bol, however, has everything to do with it.
💫 Bol Bol with the handle and a slick dish.— NBA (@NBA) December 10, 2022
RAPTORS - MAGIC Q1 live now on the NBA App
📲 https://t.co/1pomR04bRi pic.twitter.com/Ij1O1Awpsz
This is the future of the league – pterodactyl-looking dudes playing all five positions. In 20 years, we’ll have to raise the rims to 15 feet when Victor Wembanyama wins his 10th MVP and 15th title with whichever team drafts him.
For now, we have the Magic. Injuries and having every motivation to lose games this season has opened the doors for Orlando to experiment with their lineups like Bol Bol and Mo Bamba sharing the court. They also have Paolo Banchero, who might be the smoothest rookie to enter the league since Luka. Give the Magic a chance.
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has as many moves as the letters in his name. SGA aka Maple Penny has been tearing up the league this season. There hasn’t been a scheme or All-NBA level defender able to stop Gen Z Nick Van Exel.
SHAI WITH NO MERCY. WOW.— Bally Sports Oklahoma (@BallySportsOK) December 6, 2022
WHAT A PLAY FROM SGA.@okcthunder | #ThunderUp pic.twitter.com/43LTxoQXbz
OKC has a new perennial All-Star in their midst and it’s really only up to them when they want to go to the playoffs. With how SGA is playing now, OKC really only needs a few decent starters to get there.
The problem is the Thunder have G-League players as their frontline. Chet Holmgren could have changed that, but foot injuries are a bummer. SGA with a smattering of Josh Giddey is still enough to get us excited.
1. Sacramento Kings
Beam any Sacramento Kings content up our nostrils. In the past, even when they were remotely fun, the Kings have always given off some miserable vibes. Now, they’re literally lighting up Sacramento.
De'Aaron Fox drains the #TissotBuzzerBeater for the win from BEYOND! #ThisIsYourTime pic.twitter.com/BwYotIU2cA— NBA (@NBA) November 5, 2022
They’re playing at a hectic pace with a passable Mike Brown defense. They’re right in the middle of the Western Conference, but that shouldn’t matter.
De’Aaron Fox has been elevating his game. Domantas Sabonis has been low-key the rock of their offense. Kevin Huerter might be the most fun role player in the league to watch. Then, they come at you with guys like Malik Monk and Terance Davis off the bench – both dudes who think they have the green light to shoot.
This is the achievement of the Adam Silver regime: making the Kings good again.