With so many promising teams in this young NBA season, we’ve already seen our fair share of full two-way teams. Whether it’s newly formed teams or championship organizations, there is no shortage of two-way talent. As we enter a full 82-game season for the first time since 2018-19, it has also been one of the fairer playing fields in recent memory.
The offseason has been filled with teams using their cap space and reshuffling their rosters in the hopes of creating a winning culture and competing for an NBA championship. Just over 20 matches in the 2021-22 campaign, the results of this hard work by front offices are already coming to fruition.
As we delve into another entertaining basketball season that’s bound to be loaded with highlight reels every night, let’s take a look at six teams that have been the most dominant two-way units so far.
6. Miami Heat
After spending an entire offseason overhauling their roster and building a more cohesive two-way unit, the Heat returned to victory lane and returned to the Eastern Conference elite. With key new additions to Kyle Lowry and PJ Tucker, the Heat have found the perfect veterans to mingle with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro.
Less notable additions like Markieff Morris and Caleb Martin paid big dividends, as did the re-signings of Dewayne Dedmon and Gabe Vincent. Max Strus’ outstanding performance in the Summer League was no coincidence either. The Heat’s gritty defensive style mixed with their multi-faceted attacking game plan has allowed them to reestablish their status as true title contenders.
Despite all the success they had early on, the Heat will need to make some serious adjustments to their game plan and will need even bigger contributions from Butler, Lowry and Herro as they will play the next six weeks without Adebayo, who is. sidelined. with a thumb injury. Despite all of this, the Heat remains one of the most complete teams in the NBA. Without Adebayo’s recent injury and their noticeable lack of size, they would be even higher on this list.
5. Chicago Bulls
As a team down for several seasons, the Bulls made a full commitment last summer to building a winning team around franchise stars Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic, and it was a plan that worked to perfection. . This came to fruition with a complete overhaul of the roster which consisted of free agent signings and signings and trades involving DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Derrick Jones Jr. and Tony Bradley.
The Bulls have now successfully built a legitimate playoff team that has the potential to make a surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals or maybe even the NBA Finals. It might be a bit premature considering the start of the NBA season, but with a streak of big wins already on the books, Chicago is definitely claiming its reputation as one of the best two-way teams in the league. .
With their deadly mix of size, length and athleticism, they were able to score from anywhere and lock down some of the league’s most explosive offensive units. Between LaVine and DeRozan being the top 10 scorers, Caruso being a stealing machine and Ball improving the backcourt as an elite player, the Bulls already have so much to do and will only get better as the game progresses. season.
4. Milwaukee Bucks
They are the reigning NBA champions and have started off slow this season, but as they have started to get healthier and regain their rhythm, the Bucks are slowly reminding the entire league why they might be the repeat favorites. Led by two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and All-Star forward Khris Middleton, the Bucks have showcased their championship pedigree and look set for another title this season.
Even though they will be without Brook Lopez for much of the year, they were still able to secure key contributions from the rest of their supporting cast. If anything is true in this league, it’s that you can never underestimate the heart of a champion, and the Bucks have been locked in and ready to pass their opponents at both ends of the pitch during their recent hot streak. .
3. Phoenix Suns
Fresh off an 18-game winning streak, the Suns have been an absolute force of nature this season and have not slackened a second in their quest to prove all enemies wrong and repeat themselves as champions of the Western Conference. With Chris Paul looking to win a ring for the first time in his illustrious career and Devin Booker continuing to play at the All-Star level, the Suns have proven they are the real deal and the playoff race of last year. was no accident.
This has been especially true with DeAndre Ayton dominating in the paint and Mikal Bridges locking some of the league’s best players on the defensive end. In their relentless pursuit of an NBA championship, the Phoenix Suns have been an unstoppable rebel force that has not backed down from any side of the field.
2. Golden State Warriors
After two straight injury-scarred seasons where they missed the playoffs, the Warriors have bounced back with vengeance and are eager to win another title. Stephen Curry played MVP-caliber basketball and was one of the league’s most effective two-way guards, while Draymond Green was dominant as an elite forward who anchored his defense to perfection. Andrew Wiggins also plays the best basketball of his career for Golden State
Additionally, with excellent overall performances from their stellar supporting cast with Jordan Poole, Kevon Looney, Damion Lee, Juan Toscano-Anderson, Otto Porter Jr., Nemanja Bjelica and Gary Payton II, the Warriors were the team to most complete double meaning so far this season. They also did all of this without Klay Thompson and James Wiseman in their rotation.
As we dig deeper into the 2021-22 NBA season, the Warriors are only going to get deeper and even more dangerous than they already have been. As they move closer to Championship form, the Dubs will seek to warn the basketball world at large and continue to remind us why they are the best team in the league right now.
1. Utah Jazz
By far the most efficient team on this list with the second-best points differential in the league, the Utah Jazz have been an offensive and defensive heavyweight throughout the season. Led by Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley and three-time defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert, the Jazz have played the lights this season and will not let go of the accelerator any time soon.
Their perfect balance of ball movement, 3-point shot and smothering defense is what has allowed them to thrive this season and keep their opponents at bay. As they aim to make their first NBA Finals appearance since 1998 and win their first NBA title in franchise history, the Jazz have already shown they can race with the best of them this year. season, with the aim of overcoming any obstacle in their way to championship glory.