For the first time in years, the West is wide open. Anybody can have a shot for an NBA Finals or title. The Warriors are without Durant who is in Brooklyn. Klay Thompson is out until February. The Clippers had Paul George and Kawhi Leonard. Anthony Davis is a Laker, Nuggets are still the same with depth.
Here’s my take on the loaded conference.
- Houston Rockets
With the addition of Russell Westbrook who averages triple-doubles on back to back season. Then the Rockets still had James Harden who motivated to win another MVP. The duo can take the win in every game. These two are no serious injuries from recent memory. With still the best interior defender Clint Capella, the all-around PJ Tucker and sixth man Eric Gordon. The Rockets can put 58 to 62 wins and challenges anybody. We all know that Harden and Westbrook played like out of their minds in regular-season so we expect them to be on the top.
2. Denver Nuggets
Superstar, depth, and experience as their main weapon to be on top. With Nikola Jokic will doing his usual things. Jamal Murray will likely be an All-Star this year. They had the deepest roster in the league. A lot of scorers in the team like Garry Harris, Monte Morris, and Will Barton. They also added toughness in the paint as Jeramy Grant in exchange for a pick. With the experience, they had last season it’s enough to secure the second seed.
3. Los Angeles Clippers
Talent can win games and the Clippers had talent. Maybe Las Vegas predicted them to be on top but it’s wrong. With Paul George is out on the opening first week of the NBA. The Clippers are not on full force to take down opponents every game. Plus Kawhi Leonard’s ability to stay healthy is very vital. With Lou Williams can score in a bucket the team still needs to be healthy. The more star players missed games they are going to continue to slide in standings.
4. San Antonio Spurs
The most underrated team this coming season. With the healthy roster, the Spurs can more. They projected to win more than 50 games. The addition of Dejounte Murray means improvements in defense. With regular point guard who will run the offense. Of course, the depth the Spurs had from Derrick White to Demarre Carroll. DeRozan is a comeback story who will be an All-Star.
5. Utah Jazz
They improved in point guard position when acquired Mike Conley. Bojan Bogdanovic who the Jazz want to play power forward. With Donovan Mitchell leading them they are going to have another great run. Only an injury can stop the Jazz to win games. Without enough bigs after Rudy Gobert, they will rely on the fast pace of the game.
6. Los Angeles Lakers
With the addition of Anthony Davis, the Lakers will be an automatic playoffs team. Although they are not too high, the franchise will enter since 2013. While James is healthy he is not getting any younger. Without that depth, unlike other teams, it isn’t easy to win in the West. They lost DeMarcus Cousins from injury who could provide them points from the paint.
7. Portland Trail Blazers
With the successful run from the last season, Blazers will fall to the only seventh seed. Without Jusuf Nurkic, the toughness down low is a problem. Hassan Whiteside is the best player if you look at the block shots. But he is the worst big man defensively, he doesn’t know how to pass also. Whiteside is a hot-headed person and doesn’t make his teammates better. With the talent of Lillard and McCollum, they can still continue their playoff streak.
8. Golden State Warriors
Sorry, DeAngelo Russell isn’t enough to be on top. With Thompson is out most of the season the Dubs will struggle to win games. They don’t have enough depth to back up them. Stephen Curry will have his moments but isn’t enough. The last time Curry takes over the game is they lost in the game four of NBA Finals.