It’s truly the Wild Wild West this year. A lot of teams are coming back with guns loaded towards Golden State. They are the favorites going into the season though. Will they finish atop of the conference for the 4th consecutive year?
8. Denver Nuggets
Took everything in my soul not to continue the Lonzo hype train and put the Lakers in here but the West is just too deep. They’ll get an honorable mention for interesting teams to watch. The Nuggets could legit be a top 4 seed in the East with their talent. They have a lot of talented young guards to go with a scary one to punch downlow of Jokic and Millsap. They can win a lot of games in the West and will be a tough out come playoff time.
7. Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers will be relying heavily on their inside presence to get them in the playoffs. They brought in some firepower with Lou Will, Gallo, and defense with Pat Bev to hold up on the perimeter to make another return to the playoffs. Blake Griffin is going to have to have a MVP contender type of year.
6. Portland Trailblazers
Dame and CJ are a top 5 guard combo in the NBA and they have the depth to get enough wins during the regular season to be comfortably in the playoffs. The NBA is a guard driven league right now and the Blazers have the guns to finish above their competitors that lack the guards to keep up. (LAC, DEN, NOP, MEM)
5. Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota has all the tools to be competitors THIS year if they grow up. I don’t expect them to gel enough during the regular season but they can be dangerous come playoff tie. They have talent at every position and the bench depth with Crawford, Muhammed, and Dieng to compete with anyone.
4. OKC Thunder
They are the most top heavy team in the West but that top is filled with hungry vets. They will take a little to gel but they should outtalent most teams with their stars. The depth may hurt them come playoff time but I expect this team to be tough to score on then. Roberson, PG13, and Jeremi Grant are a helluva wing combo to try and score on for 48 minutes.
3. San Antonio Spurs
The Spurs will never skip a beat under Pop. Guaranteed to finish top 3 in the West regardless of talent. Getting Rudy Gay to come off the bench as a 3 to give Kawahi a break or as a stretch 4 is one of the most underrated moves of the offseason. I know people love to hit on Rudy Gay but getting him for a discount and to play below his normal role is a power move.
2. Houston Rockets
The addition of CP3 gives the Rockets even more firepower from last season where they finished with the 3rd season. Offense is the most important part of the regular season so expect them to shoot teams out of the building for most of the year.
1. Golden State Warriors
Everyone in the NBA is chasing the Warriors. The additions of Nick Young and Bell should only make it harder. I expect them to cruise through the regular season.