I know it's been a long time and tonight is the start of the NBA season, but now I'm here to give you part 2 of my 4 part series. The Western Conference Predictions. Let's not waste time here we go.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder
It's gonna be close between them and the Lakers, but even with them trading Harden, I don't think they'll miss a beat. Kevin Martin is a legit scorer, and Jeremy Lamb is another scoring threat off the bench. Sure the chemistry won't be as good as last year to start, but it's really only one guy they traded that got much minutes. This team will be very good even without Harden.
2. Los Angeles Lakers
Lakers made a huge splash this offseason with the acquisitions of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. Automatically this put them up a the top of the west for most predictors, but I do think it will take some time to develop chemistry like most team does, but it will be quicker because of Steve Nash. They don't have the deepest bench either. Come playoff time this team will be very, very tough to beat.
3. San Antonio Spurs
I've wrote off this team for the last several years saying that they are too old to be at the top of the west this long, but they've proven me wrong every year. As long as they have Duncan to lead them and Popovich coaching this team, they'll always be a tough team to beat.
4. Denver Nuggets
Man did the Nuggets get better this offseason. The Iguodala acquisition was great for them, with this team together they can really do some damage. Nuggets will be a tough team all year and I could definitely see them making a run in the playoffs
5. Los Angeles Clippers
Another scary team in the west. It's a contract year for Chris Paul, and the Clippers have to do well as a team for CP3 to stay. They did overpay for Jamal Crawford when they could've kept Nick Young for a fraction of the price. They should have a good year, but another one and done year in the playoffs is a definite possibility here.
6. Memphis Grizzlies
I do see Memphis taking a step back from the 4 seed they had last year, without OJ Mayo they really lack a scorer off the bench. They're starting 5 is good enough to keep them in the mix.
7. Utah Jazz
This is where things get tricky. The 7 and 8 spots are gonna be wide open in the west, and the Utah Jazz should be decent this season. They surprisingly made the playoffs last season, and with the big men they have, there's not many people that can handle them inside. With Mo Williams coming back it gives them another scoring option. Another one and done this season for the Jazz. Also don't be surprised to see the Jazz move Paul Millsap to move Favors into the starting lineup.
8. Dallas Mavericks
The Mavs make the playoffs once again, but barely. It's gonna be tough with Dirk missing the start of the year, but the OJ Mayo signing, and trading for Darren Collison and Dahntay Jones were great for them. They make the playoffs, but once again get swept by the Thunder.
Teams barley missing the playoffs
Golden State Warriors
A lot of hype surrounding this Warriors team, but I just don't see why. They're pretty much relying on Bogut and Curry to stay healthy this year, and Bogut is already hurt. They'll be good in the future, but this isn't their year.
If Rubio and Love were healthy I'd have them making the playoffs, but Rubio's expected to miss most of the year, and Love is out for about the first month and a half. Maybe next year Minnesota.