During my youth there is not any denying the fact that I was a diehard Utah Jazz fan. John Stockton’s short-shorts, along with Karl Malone’s hilarious sayings were enough to make me feel some excitement down in the waist-region. Due to this fact, I have always followed the Western conference more closely than the Eastern conference and an interesting change has taken place over the last ten years. The West undeniably was the stronger conference, but it seems like in the past few seasons a power-shift has occurred; making the best teams now to be in the East. Enough of my ramblings, here goes my Western conference season-ending standings, starting from the basement and going up to the penthouse.
A few things to keep in mind going into the season. The season was shortened to sixty-six games, lots of back-backs, and even one mandatory back-back-back. Thus, this year will be dominated by younger teams; older teams like the Celtics, Spurs, and the Lakers may have a rougher time this year than they normally would in an eighty-two game season.
15. Houston Rockets- They will end up in the basement of the Western conference solely based on this fact. A possible starting five that will consist of Donatas Motiejunas, Luis Scola, Terrence Williams, Kevin Martin, and Kyle Lowry is enough said.
14. New Orleans Hornets- Without Chris Paul this team has lost its relevancy.
13. Phoenix Suns- Steve Nash can’t carry this team forever, I want him to go to the Lakers.
Tied at 12. Minnesota Timberwolves and Sacramento- Terrible General Manager and awful Owners, respectively.
10. Golden State Warriors- Can Monta and Curry get help from some big guys please?
9. Denver Nuggets- George Karl seems pretty persistent, on and off the court.
8. Utah Jazz- I’m probably reaching here, the Nuggets or Warriors in all likely-hood will take the eighth seed and jump the Jazz. But, an ex-Jazz fan can hope right?
7. Portland Trailblazers- This franchise holds the record for the most consecutive home sell outs, meaning that they have dedicated fans and a front office that won’t accept losing.
6. San Antonio Spurs- What is the collective age of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, and Tony Parker? Over/Under 100.
5. Los Angeles Lakers- Kobe, but no Phil.
4. Los Angeles Clippers- The Blake Show and CP3 will overtake Kobe for supremacy in LA, but knowing the Clippers their front office they will do something completely irrational.
3. Memphis Grizzlies- Young, talented, and scary just ask the Spurs from the playoffs last year.
2. Dallas Mavericks- Dirk will probably prove me wrong and jump to the top spot, but I’m going to go with the Thunder just because they are younger.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder- Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are too good of players to not compete for a title this year. The Kendrick Perkins add-on from last year is huge although he has dropped 30 pounds during the off-season. I think the Mavs, Clippers, Grizzlies, and the Thunder will fight for this conference championship this year, and they will eventually go on to lose to the Bulls or Heat.
Happy NBA season everyone, I couldn’t ask for a better gift on Christmas.