For the first time in years, the race is on for the best in the Western Conference. Analysts and basketball gurus have made the Clippers to come out on top, mainly because of Kawhi Leonard as their latest off season pickup. The same can be said with the Denver Nuggets, the much improved Utah Jazz, the steady but deadly Houston Rockets with their new triple-double combo of James Harden and Russell Westbrook.
Of course, we cannot disclose the fact that the Los Angeles Lakers will be a heavy competitor now that Anthony Davis and LeBron James will be playing together. The Blazers and the Warriors also made the list. But the biggest question mark made by the media is that they are favoring the Thunder over the Spurs. In fact, they favored all other teams below the third spot as a dog-eat-dog scramble.
Will Oklahoma redeem itself with Chris Paul? The trade did said that they are looking to rebuild the team, but the aging point guard can only do so much. Can the Blazers duplicate what they did in the postseason? Can the Warriors do well without Klay Thompson who is out with an injury until February? These are the questions every basketball fan should ask in as early as now.
If the Spurs can beat the odds provided that they can stay healthy all season. Dejounte Murray is ready to take over what Tony Parker started. He’s a defensive minded 21-year old who has the wingspan, stamina and mindset to guard some of the league’s best point guards. Derrick White will continue to improve, while the acquisition of Demarre Carroll and Trey Lyles will add depth to the Spurs’ front court.
The media can hype the Lakers and the Clippers all they want, and the Western Conference can and will be bloody. But they must not sleep on the Spurs. Pop can still whipmagic at any given point, and the team is a mixed pool of role players, underrated talents and up and coming players.