NBA: The only 6 teams that can win the 2022 championship

NBA Philadelphia 76ers (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)
NBA Philadelphia 76ers (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis Grizzlies Ja Morant (Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports) /

Western Conference NBA teams that just missed the cut

There are a few teams that just missed the cut. For one reason or another, which I’ll explain, these are teams that perhaps in another year would be contenders but are not real ones this year.

Memphis Grizzlies – The Memphis Grizzlies are an interesting one. Ja Morant is quickly developing into a superstar and they have a solid supporting cast. However, it’s rare when teams make the jump from being the 8th seed to a championship contender without a superstar acquisition. I may be wrong, but because of the “paying your dues” clause, I don’t have the Grizzlies as a contender just yet. They may be a year away.

Utah Jazz – The Utah Jazz are an interesting team that has too frequently come up short in the postseason under the core of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. Nevertheless, they have a really good 1-2 punch and a top 11 defense. Good enough. However, they are subjected to the “superstar that loses value in the playoffs” clause. Until Gobert proves that he can not be schemed off the court in the playoffs, I have to remove his superstar status, and thus, that disqualifies the Jazz as a contender.

Denver Nuggets – The Denver Nuggets were close to getting the nod. They have an MVP candidate in Nikola Jokic and a really good supporting cast. They have a top 11 defense but there are too many questions regarding their health that still need to be answered. Because of that, I couldn’t give them the nod as a team that could win the championship this season.