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1) In very tight West, will any team go all in to win?
Talking to someone with the Clippers less than a couple of hours before Kawhi Leonard‘s return to play, they casually said one of the reasons they were comfortable being patient was nobody had run away with the West.
They are right. On Thanksgiving, nearly 20 games into the season, just three games separate the top-seeded Suns and the out-of-the-play-in 11-seed Warriors.
It’s not like that in the East, where Boston and Milwaukee have clearly looked like the two best teams, and there is already a six-game gap between the Celtics and the 11-seed Bulls. Out East, the bar has been set (and both the Bucks and Celtics are still without key players due to injury).
Out West, no team has run away with anything — five other teams are within a game of the top-seeded Suns. Or, look at it this way: The Suns are two games away from falling from the top seed to the play-in. With so few games played who a team played matters, strength of schedule factors in more, and the Kings, Clippers and Suns are among the seven easiest schedules in the league. Things will get tougher for them.
Which leads to this question, one asked by Vincent Goodwill on Brother from Another on Peacock Wednesday:
Will any team make a bold trade and make themselves the team to beat in the West?
There are rumors of deals, but they are not necessarily a conference changers. The Jazz have been rumored to have an interest in John Collins. The Suns have their eye on Bojan Bogdanovic in Detroit among other players (and they are sending out Jae Crowder in a deal at some point, looking for players who can help them win now in return). Will any team make a move for Myles Turner? (And will the Pacers trade him, after they have gotten off to a better-than-predicted start and Turner has been a beast protecting the rim?) Buddy Held? Will the Rockets finally trade Eric Gordon?
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Author : NBC Sports
Publish date : 2022-11-24 14:12:09
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