The 2022-23 NBA season has entered its third week and several teams have already emerged as title contenders.
A high level of competition highlights the league this season, with at least 10 teams in each conference capable of winning the championship.
In this article, we take a look at five teams that have a good chance of winning the championship for the first time in franchise history.
#1 Phoenix Suns
The Phoenix Suns have gotten off to a hot start and lead the way in the Western Conference with a 6-1 record.
They are currently on a five-game winning streak and have already shown they are hungry for the NBA championship.
The Suns have dominated the West in consecutive seasons (2021, 2022), but have failed to win the title.
With Devin Booker and Chris Paul leading the way, expect them to be in contention this season as well.
#2 LA Clippers
The LA Clippers probably have their deepest-ever roster and it doesn't come as a surprise that they are widely considered one of the favorites for the title.
The Clippers are led Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, and have a great supporting cast. As such, the Clippers will view this season as championship or bust.
Currently at 4-4, they will need some time to reach their peak, with Leonard and John Wall still under load management after coming off serious injuries.
#3 Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies are coming off one of their best regular-season finishes in franchise history.
With 56 wins in 82 games last season, they finished second in the West, only behind the Phoenix Suns (64-18). Yet, they failed to have a deep playoff run and were eliminated in the second round by the Golden State Warriors.
The Grizzlies have kept their core together and are seeking a championship this season. They are perfectly capable of going all the way if their leader, Ja Morant, stays healthy.
The last time they played in the Western Conference Finals was back in 2013.
#4 Minnesota Timberwolves
For the first time in the post-Kevin Garnett era, the Minnesota Timberwolves are in the title conversation, thanks to the addition of Rudy Gobert.
The Timberwolves have their own 'Big 4' in Gobert, Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards and D'Angelo Russell. With a talented and deep roster, the Wolves have very high expectations for the season.
Currently at 4-4, the on-court chemistry between their Big 4 will be key to their success. The Timberwolves last made the Western Conference Finals in 2004.
#5 Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets have not reached the Western Conference Finals since 2020, when they lost to the LA Lakers in the Orlando Bubble.
Despite having the reigning back-to-back NBA MVP on their roster in Nikola Jokic, they have failed to make much of an impact in the postseason.
The Nuggets are aiming for the top spot in the West, with Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. back healthy. Both players missed the previous season with serious injuries.
With a 4-3 record to start the season, Denver's focus will be on integrating Murray and Porter Jr. back into the system. Once this happens, they will be expected to play much better and hit their peak.