NBA: Thunder And Timberwolves Are The Top Teams In The Western Conference

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The Denver Nuggets entered the 2023-24 NBA season as the odds-on favorites to defend their Western Conference Championship from a season ago, and they’ve started off well. They are 9-4 and on par with the Milwaukee Bucks in the East, but there are a couple of teams out West who have performed even better than Nikola Jokić and company through the first four weeks of the season, as the Oklahoma City Thunder and Minnesota Timberwolves have the best records in the conference.

NBA: Thunder & Timberwolves Are Tops In The West

The Wolves are listed #1 based on their winning percentage. They are currently sitting at 9-3, having won 8 of their last 9 after starting out 1-2. They have one of the top-rated defenses across the board which is anchored by Defensive Player of the Year candidate Rudy Gobert, and Anthony Edwards has continued his trajectory to stardom through the team’s first twelve games.

The wins have come against formidable opponents. A seven-game winning streak started with a victory over the then-idol Nuggets, and continued when the Wolves beat the Celtics and then the Warriors twice. A loss to the Suns stopped the run, but Minnesota has a chance to pick up some wins over the next couple of weeks, as they will play five of their next six at home.

Thunder Have Longer Odds Than Kings, Mavericks

In second place are the Thunder. One of the youngest teams in the league, the players are beginning to develop together and are led by scoring machine Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and 7-foot+ “rookie” Chet Holmgren. They are 10-4 and riding a 5-game winning streak, making them the second-hottest team in the NBA, behind on the Celtics. Like the Wolves, they were able to win a back-to-back against the Warriors that boosted their record, but the rest of their track record is not as impressive as Minnesota’s.

How long will it last? Neither team is projected to finish near the top when all is said and done. The Wolves currently have a +1100 designation (via BetOnline) to win the West, which are the 6th-shortest odds. The Thunder are even further back at +2000, the 9th-shortest.

The Nuggets are still the outright leaders on the board, sitting at +250.

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