Several NBA teams that began the year with relatively high expectations found themselves near the bottom of the standings to start the 2018-2019 season. Most of them have performed much better of late, specifically in the Western Conference.

The Oklahoma City Thunder (6-4) and Los Angeles Lakers (5-6) were both victorious Wednesday. Russell Westbrook and Co. now find themselves in the very early playoff picture, while LeBron James and L.A. are on their way to cracking the top eight.

The Thunder were the last team in the West to pick up a win. With Westbrook missing the first two games, Oklahoma City started the season with four straight losses before finally beating the Phoenix Suns (2-8), who have the conference’s worst record. The Thunder have taken advantage of a light schedule, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers (1-10) in their last game to extend their winning streak to six.

L.A. started the year poorly in part because of a difficult schedule. James went 0-3 to begin his career as a Laker, losing to three teams that made last year’s playoffs. Los Angeles has since gone 5-3, beating all three non-playoff opponents. The Lakers have also won two of their last three games against teams that played in last year’s postseason with wins over the Portland Trail Blazers (8-3) and Minnesota Timberwolves (4-8).

LeBron James Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the second half of a game against the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center on October 31, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

It would be three straight wins over playoff teams if it wasn’t for the Toronto Raptors (11-1). Last year’s No.1 seed in the Eastern Conference blew out the Lakers Sunday at Staples Center, maintaining the NBA’s best record. Toronto is undefeated when Kawhi Leonard is in the lineup.

The Golden State Warriors (10-1) are the league’s only other one-loss team. They are a two-point road loss against the No.2 seed Denver Nuggets (9-2) away from having a perfect record. The two-time defending champions might be more dangerous than ever, and Stephen Curry is putting together another MVP campaign.

The Nuggets, Los Angeles Clippers (6-4), Memphis Grizzlies (6-4) and Sacramento Kings (6-5) are all in the playoff picture after missing the 2018 postseason. The Utah Jazz (5-6) and New Orleans Pelicans (5-6) have failed to reach expectations, thus far.

The Houston Rockets (4-5) are working their way back up the standings. They are on a three-game winning streak and have performed better with James Harden back in the lineup.