NBA standings ordered by strength of schedule: Celtics dominate, Warriors struggle

Stephen Curry, Derrick White
Stephen Curry, Derrick White / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages
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NBA standings based on strength of schedule: Western Conference

1) Golden State Warriors
2) Memphis Grizzlies
3) Minnesota Timberwolves
4) Houston Rockets
5) Los Angeles Lakers
6) San Antonio Spurs
7) Denver Nuggets
8) Utah Jazz
9) Sacramento Kings
10) Oklahoma City Thunder 
11) Portland Trail Blazers
12) The New Orleans Pelicans
13) LA Clippers
14) Dallas Mavericks
15) Phoenix Suns

The Warriors have far and away the toughest schedule in the Western Conference and the toughest in the NBA. That may help explain why they are 12th in the West, though they have also battled injuries and inconsistent play from their best players.

This season hasn't gone the Grizzlies way, with their best player playing just nine games in between a 25-game suspension and a season-ending injury. They also have three other rotation players, including two starters, out for an extended period of time. That avalanche of injuries, combined with a harsh schedule, has them set to land a high lottery pick.

Despite having the third-toughest schedule in the NBA, the Timberwolves have the best record in the West. That suggests that they are indeed the real deal after disappointing last season.

In perhaps the biggest surprise, the Suns have had the easiest schedule in the whole league. This comes after expectations that they would be among the best teams in the NBA. Unfortunately, for them they're just eighth in West, though they are only a game out of fifth place. Of course, failing to take advantage of a cake-walk schedule could come back to bite them when their schedule inevitably gets tougher.

Ultimately, with the standings in each conference packed, it is a sign of parity in the NBA. The strength of schedule has played a part for most teams, with some teams benefiting from an easy schedule and others struggling through a tougher one. Stay tuned, as things are likely to change over the second half of the season.