NBA Top 3: Tracking season win total winners
With the NBA season nearing the halfway point, it's a good time to look at which teams are well on their way to surpassing their preseason win projections.
Here are three teams that are in good position to reach their total (totals courtesy LVH):
Phoenix Suns (21-15; projected win total: 21.5)
In a season featuring a handful of teams expected to be terrible, only the Philadelphia 76ers were expected to be worse than the Suns. Yet, while the Sixers are living up to their poor preseason prognostication, Phoenix remains one of the best stories in the league. With 46 games left on the schedule, the high-octane Suns are one victory away from surpassing their projected victory tally for the entire season. The Suns' run-and-gun style has been the catalyst, and should continue even with a serious knee injury to Comeback Player of the Year candidate Eric Bledsoe.
Portland Trail Blazers (28-9; projected win total: 38.5)
While the Suns have risen from the NBA depths to remain competitive all season long, the Trail Blazers have taken an even greater step - from fringe playoff team to legitimate Western Conference contender. Projected to be a sub-.500 team, the Blazers have exceeded even the loftiest expectation thanks to a league-best offense averaging better than 109 points per game. The starting lineup - led by MVP candidate LaMarcus Aldridge - is one of the most dangerous fivesomes in the league, while a significantly upgraded bench has allowed Portland to give its top unit some much-needed rest.
Charlotte Bobcats (15-23; projected win total: 27.5)
The Bobcats looked to be a lock to surpass its projected win total by sometime in February, but may have to wait a little longer thanks to a dreadful cold streak that has seen them drop eight of their last nine games. Recent slide notwithstanding, Charlotte remains on pace to breeze past its tally thanks to a surprisingly stout defense that is limiting the opposition to 96.6 points per night - the fifth-best mark in the NBA. That defense has slipped a bit with the flip of the calendar, but with plenty more games left against woeful East opponents, Charlotte should be able to right the ship.