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SB Nation Reacts: The Wizards surprise, the Warriors rise

Good week to have a W mascot it seems.

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NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Washington Wizards Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

This week’s installment of SB Nation Reacts is light on Memphis Grizzlies-centric content. But it does include two teams that the Grizzlies have played so far this season, and how their current success may define how the rest of their 2021-2022 seasons go.

First up, the mighty Golden State Warriors are clicking on all cylinders. Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins...the whole crew is off to an NBA-best start even without Klay Thompson. In fact, the only loss that Golden State has suffered so far this season is to the Memphis Grizzlies (in overtime) and after knocking off the Brooklyn Nets in Barclays Center Tuesday night the Warriors look every bit the part of contender.

Does SB Nation Reacts agree? Well...in the Western Conference, yes. They do.

Phoenix and Utah obviously are still major hurdles in the West, as is Denver with reigning MVP Nikola Jokic playing even better than he did last season. Add in LeBron, AD, and the Lakers still looming, and the path for the Warriors remains treacherous. Nevermind the fact that if the playoffs began today (and seeding post play-in held) their first round opponent would be...the only team that beat them this season, the Grizzlies.

See, we can keep it Memphis-focused!

All that is to say that while the Warriors are mighty now...the season has just begun. Patience is a virtue - and a difficult one to adhere to at times.

At the same time, on the flip side, one of the season’s biggest surprises is the squad currently on top of the Eastern Conference. The Washington Wizards (who beat the tar out of the Memphis Grizzlies November 5th) are clicking on all cylinders in year two of newly-extended General Manager Tommy Shepherd. They look the part of contender at the moment as well...and fans are buying in.

If you have followed the Washington Wizards at all the last several years, all this positivity is surprising. The doom and gloom about surrounding Washington basketball had folks wondering where Bradley Beal was going to end up in free agency or even via trade. Now, Beal would seem to be a fool for wanting to leave (which in fairness to him, he’s not ever publicly hinted at) and the Wizards appear ready to add to the long list of Eastern Conference contenders.

Can Washington hang with Brooklyn, the Miami Heat, the Milwaukee Bucks, and others? Time will once again tell. But for now, there’s magic in the air in Washington.

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