Through Thursday, there are 14 teams with winning records, with the Houston Rockets (6-3) and Indiana Pacers (7-4) the biggest surprises.
A few of those teams have built those records with wins over lesser opponents. But a few have multiple wins within the top 15.
Here is every team’s record and point differential in games against the 14 teams that enter Friday’s action with winning records.
Records vs. teams currently over .500
14 teams currently over .500: ATL, BOS, DAL, DEN, HOU, IND, MIA, MIL, MIN, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHI, SAC
Through Nov. 16, 2023
A few teams of note:
- The Wolves‘ four games within the top 14 were all in their first six games of the season. They have wins (all at home) over the Heat, Nuggets and Celtics, and they lost in Atlanta. Their two wins at Golden State in the last five days don’t count here, but at least the first one (with Stephen Curry in the Warriors’ lineup) should be regarded as another quality win.
- The Rockets aren’t just surprisingly over .500, they’re also 3-1 within the top 14. Their six-game winning streak includes victories over the Kings (2x), Lakers (not counted here) and Nuggets. All of those wins were at home and they begin a three-game road trip with two games in L.A. this weekend.
- The Celtics have the most wins (5) vs. teams that also have winning records through Thursday. They also have two wins over the Nets, who were 6-5 before losing in Miami on Thursday night. Both of their losses have been on the road and by a total of just eight points.
- The Warriors are just 6-7 overall, currently on a five-game losing streak. But they’re tied (with the Pelicans) for the most games played (8) against the 14 teams currently over .500. Interestingly, if you followed last season’s Warriors, three of their four wins against the group were on the road.
- The Mavs are 9-3 and in second place in the Western Conference, but have played just two games against other teams that are currently over .500. They lost in Denver and won in Orlando. They’ll have two more this weekend, finishing their four-game road trip in Milwaukee (with a rest advantage) on Saturday before returning home to host the Kings (at a rest disadvantage) on Sunday.
- The Cavs and Lakers have the biggest differentials between their records vs. the 16 teams currently at or below .500 (Cleveland is 4-0, while the Lakers are 5-0) and their records vs. the top 14 (both 1-6).
- Four teams have a better record vs. the top 14 than they do against the bottom 16. They are the Hornets (2-4 vs. 1-3), the Warriors (4-4 vs. 2-3), the Rockets (3-1 vs. 3-2) and the Wolves (3-1 vs. 5-2).
Friday’s In-Season Tournament action brings only one game between two teams that have winning records. It’s the first meeting of the season between the Sixers and the Hawks (7:30 ET, NBA League Pass) in Atlanta.
Saturday gives us Mavs-Bucks (8 ET, NBA TV), while Sunday has Magic-Pacers and Kings-Mavs.
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