Who will win the NBA’s messiest divisions this season?

Unusual parity means several NBA divisions are muddling through with no clear favorites. Who comes out on top of the Pacific, Central and more?

Earlier today I pointed out the historic level of parity we’ve seen in the season to this point — heading for the first season in more than 40 years where no team finishes with a strength-of-scheduled adjusted point differential above plus-6.0.

All that parity has led to some extraordinarily tangled division races. In a new episode of The Step Back Podcast, hosts Ethan Skolnick and Brady Hawk went through the Pacific, Central and Atlantic divisions and more to pick winners.

Can the Lakers or Warriors steal the NBA Pacific Division?

Somewhat incredibly, the Sacramento Kings currently lead the Pacific Division, but the Warriors, Clippers, Lakers and Suns are all within three games in the standings. And, as Skolnick pointed out, things are getting tighter.

“The Kings are 4-6 in their last 10,” said Skolnick. “The Clippers are 3-7 in their last 10, they’ve lost six straight, and the Suns are 1-9 in their last 10 and have lost six straight. And because of that, LeBron going nuclear in the past week and a half and Lakers getting that win against the Heat, without LeBron or AD, have won five in a row.”

As Hawk pointed out, the answer to who wins this division may come down to health.

“Which star comes back the quickest,” said Hawk. “Because you look at this and the Lakers need AD coming back, the Suns need Devin Booker.”

He went on to explain some of the defensive challenges the Lakers have faced without Davis and the offensive struggles of the Suns without Booker’s shot creation.

“If Steph can come back, I honestly lean Warriors,” said Hawk. “I think the Warriors can figure out the rest of the regular season.”

Related — Steph Curry is expected back in the lineup tonight as the Warriors take on the Suns.

Check out the entire episode to hear more analysis of who comes out on top of the Pacific Division and more.

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