Onto the West
1. OKC Thunder. Why; I think their stability will count for more than most teams and result in a great regular season record. Westbrook is the best combo guard in the NBA and we forgot that too quickly. They'll have a great regular season. Unless they find a way to get ldridge, they're going out first round of the playoffs.
2. LA Clippers. Why; Best off-season acquisition - Doc Rivers. Blake Griffin may become a basketballer or better yet - they'll trade him and Jordan and get something solid in return. Randolph and Aldridge maybe? It could happen - don't sleep on Doc. This guy TRIED to bring KG with him. He has built the backcourt - it's set up for dump and kick. So who do you dump too? Jus' saying...
3. Houston Rockets. Why; I like that Morey is very humble. But they're at least the third seed in the West once they work it all out. Olajuwon in the background is awesome too. Speaking of Aldridge - Asik for Aldridge and Lopez is real and could get done. Heck Houston could throw the whole box and dice and take McCollum/Matthews as well. Morey is looking more of a Dumbledore than an Abbott by the day.
4. San Anotnio. Why; We've never really cared fo the regular season and this year will be no different. I seriously considered us at 5. But once again, we're a strategic mob and we would tip ourselves against OKC ahead of LAC/HOU anyday so bring on OKC in round 2. I'm interested to see how Bellinelli pans out... Patty Mills for league leader in H5PG. I'll let you work that one out.
5. Memphis. Why; Continuity. Good drafting. More opportunity for Ed Davis. They've got a great list but they need to get new rhythm on O. If they missed one thing from Rudy G it was his down the stretch offense. No one stepped up last season and they have every reason to believe they were a better team than San Antonio. Sadly, they weren't smarter or harder - those things have to change. Marc Gasol HAS to become a 22/10/2 guy. Has to.
6. Golden State. Why; I think the more accurate question is why this low for a team that's gotten healthier, came closest to knocking off the Spurs, and added Iggy for some dead weight? Well the health question is not a certainty but let me put it this way - if Bogut plays 60+ games, Curry plays 60+ games, and Barnes develops - they make #2 or even #1 here because that's 60 wins right there. This is officially the team NO ONE will want to play come post season and that's just the way Marc Jackson wants it (and a great team to get on board with for fantasy basketball!!).
7. Minnesota. Why; See above - when K Love, Pek, K-Mart, Rubio and co are on the court they can hurt you in so many ways. You should also plan in advance for losing the rebounding - because neither Love nor Pekovic is going to give you an O Board. Fact. Similarly come playoffs they will be a nightmare and if things go as per this prediction, LAC need to know they have a losing record against a K-Love led Wolves. BEFORE they were this good. Another upset brews. See why being seeded 4 may actually be better?
8. Portland. Why; They have a bench now. Sorry Don but I'm betting against Kobe and the Lakers this year. LMA, Lopez, Matthews, Lillard, Batum with Mo Will and CJ-Mac coming off the bench is a nightmare if they're on. Alternatively if they're off it's a walkover - your choice. This is a sub .500 team too btw - there are too many loaded teams this season and we can realistically expect playoff teams sub .500. Portland are good but there is a gap between 6th and 7th and then again to 8th.
Notable mention in the West LAL and DAL; both veteran teams which are both relying on their veterans finding the elixer of life and turning back time. Both are not happening and thus both are looking at lake lottery picks in a loaded draft (could be worse) and some mega free agent opportunities.no comments no comments