The 2015-16 NBA season is only a few weeks old, but already lines are being drawn and front runners are being established. With the exception of the Golden State Warriors, who are the clear leaders of the pack, there’s a lot of competitive rivalries and divisional fighting in the coming months.
The returning 2015 Champions, the Golden State Warriors (12-0), are early front runners in the Western Conference and league in general, starting off the season with an impressive 12 game winning streak, and so far a perfect record. Luke Walton, the Warrior’s Assistant Coach, took over as interim Head Coach while Head Coach Steve Kerr recovers from back pains.
In the Southwest Division, the San Antonio Spurs (9-2) and the Dallas Mavericks (8-4) are tangling for first place, and have the best shot against the Warriors. The Southeast Division is the most contentious in the league, with no team in falling beneath .500. In the Northwest Division, the Oklahoma City Thunder lead with a 7-5 record, closely followed by the Utah Jazz (6-5) and Denver Nuggets (6-6). Expect these divisional rivalries to heat up as the season continues.
Unlike the Western Conference, there’s no clear front runner yet in the East. In the Central Division, the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers are tied for first place with 8-3 records respectively, and expect a fierce battle between those two in the coming season. On the offseason, The Chicago Bulls replaced their former coach Tom Thibodeau with Fred Hoiberg, and the Cavaliers are led by powerhouse veteran and all around celebrity Lebron James.
In the Southeast Division the Atlanta Hawks lead with a 9-5 record, followed by the Miami Heat who trail with a 6-4 record. In the Atlantic Division, the Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors lead, with the Celtic’s 6-5 (.545) record just edging out the Raptor’s 7-6 (.538).
The Losing Teams
In the Western Conference, the two teams with the most disappointing starts have been the New Orleans Pelicans (1-11) and the L.A. Lakers (2-9), who are both having rough starts to the (15-16). The Pelicans made it to the playoffs last season with a 45-37 record, but after losing to the Warriors 4-0 in the first round, they fired head coach Monty Williams, and replaced him with Alvin Gentry.
On the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers are the antithesis to the Golden State Warriors, having lost all 12 of their games so far, continuing their losing streak from the 2014-15 season, that saw their 18-64 record tie for the second worst record in franchise history.
Roman Temkin is a real estate developer with a huge passion in sports.