NBA Season Preview Western Conference
Welcome to the NBA Season Preview; Western Conference. Click here if you missed the Eastern Conference. We will also start our NBA Roundtable next week, so if you have not downloaded our Roost so you don’t miss a thing, now is a good time to do it, or follow us on Twitter @7poundbagdotcom or even like us on Facebook
Now lets start the show
|Oklahoma City Thunder||Oklahoma City Thunder||Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Portland Trailblazers||Denver Nuggets||Utah Jazz|
|Utah Jazz||Utah Jazz||Denver Nuggets|
|Minnesota Timberwolves||Portland Trailblazers||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|Denver Nuggets||Minnesota Timberwolves||Portland Trailblazers|
Chad: Kevin Durant returns to form after injury filled year
EJ: Russell Westbrook. Sorry, Kevin Durant, but my money is on Westbrook for he is really the catalyst for the Thunder. Westbrook needs to get involved, early and often, if the Thunder are going to return to elite status. If he can get his points, and the ball in his hand, and Durant becomes more of the secondary star (y’all must think this guy is nuts!) then the Thunder will become legit again under new coach Billy Donovan.
David: Kinda has to be either 1 or 1A in OKC, doesn’t it? Let me give you someone. Damon Lillard. I don’t think they will be very good at all, maybe not even win 25 games, but very little of that team would start on a playoff team.
Player I Wish Was On Another Team
Chad: Gordon Heyward on the Thunder b/c I can’t think of another option that makes sense
EJ: What if Emmanuel Mudiay was part of the youth movement that is the Minnesota Timberwolves? No disrespect to the Nuggets or to Ricky Rubio but man oh man what if Mudiay was pushing the ball up the court alongside a high flier like Zach LaVine and a versatile big man in Karl-Anthony Towns? Might have bought the NBA League Pass just to watch that.
David: Again Damon Lillard- everyone else good left.
Team to Watch
Chad: Blazers- How do they respond w/o Aldridge
EJ: The obvious answer is the Thunder but I will go with Minnesota. I want to know what the over/under is going to be on Kevin Garnett going off on his teammates. The oldest player in the League is probably going to have a real short fuse with so many young players on his team, so I expect he’s going to give them youngins the business on a nightly basis. However, it’s how they respond to his rough methods is why I want to watch this team. Will they get it, or will they rebel?
David: I’m looking at the T-Wolves. I think they are a year away, but holy sheepdip, that frontcourt. If Wiggins and Towns can work together, and Pekovic can regain some of that shine- this could be a playoff team- even in the West. Swap Rubio with Lillard and you could have a contender. Don’t forget Flip Saunders just passed away, sadly.
Chad: Thunder have the division in hand by the ASG
EJ: Only the Thunder will make the playoffs out of the Northwest. I’m sorry but this division as a whole sucks. There are some exciting players on the Nuggets, Jazz, Trailblazers, and T-Wolves but not good teams overall. I have a hard time seeing another team in this division even crack .500.
David: Shouldn’t this division be in the East? Swap this one with the Central? Since we all know the Thunder walk away with this division, how about we have 4 deals from these teams all involving starters at the trade deadline?
|Golden State Warriors||Los Angeles Clippers||Golden State Warriors|
|Los Angeles Clippers||Golden State Warriors||Los Angeles Clippers|
|Los Angeles Lakers||Phoenix Suns||Phoenix Suns|
|Phoenix Suns||Sacramento Kings||Sacramento Kings|
|Sacramento Kings||Los Angeles Lakers||Los Angeles Lakers|
Chad: Steph Curry- Duh!
EJ: Paul Pierce and Lance Stephenson. Co-MVP’s for the Los Angeles Clippers will be needed if they are going to dethrone the Warriors for the division title and the NBA Championship. Doc Rivers finally gets his man in Pierce, and Lance finally gets to a team where the pressure won’t really be on him. He’s free to be the triple double man that he was with the Pacers in L.A. He likely won’t start with the Clippers, but he can be a worthy 6th man on the year candidate in L.A.
David: Paul Peirce.
Look at the stabilizing effect he had on the Wizards, and now he is going to a team with what? 3x the talent? If he can make Lance back to the Lance that was on the Pacers, plus push Chris Paul to the levels he got Rondo- look how his game has changed, the sky could be the limit and he might not even score 10 points a game
Player I Wish Was On Another Team
Chad: Cousins on the Lakers to help an aging Kobe
EJ: I know I have not been too kind to the Los Angeles Lakers in recent seasons even though I am a long time Laker fan, but I’m also a realist. They are not a good team and in the hyper competitive West they are years away. With that said the player I wish was on another team is Kobe Bryant. Kobe deserves at least one more NBA title run and he is not going to get that with the Lakers. That’s why I wish he was with the Clippers or Warriors. Yes, Kobe would not fit in with either franchise but at least the two division rivals would give him one more postseason run.
David: Isn’t Cousins always the answer here? Isn’t Kobe always next? How about Bogut? Get his lead footed self out and find a PF/C that can really get this motion offense going.
Team to Watch
Chad: The Clippers- deepest roster they have ever had
EJ: The Warriors. Can they do it again? I’m doubtful to be honest, but I sure want to see them try.
David: Kings. True to my Tarheel roots, I have to love George Karl, but lets just say I don’t want him coaching my team. I cannot understand how this team is going to gel- and now you bring RONDO in here? Unless Karl just became Pat Riley, this team could have a meltdown. I wonder if they can bring in Steven Jackson?
Chad: Clippers and Warriors both over 60 wins
EJ: The winner of the NBA Championship will come from this division. Last year I picked the Clippers to win the title. This season? I’m doubling down with the Clippers once again. They are going to need a healthy Chris Paul to do it, but for once they appear to have the depth needed to survive a long season.
David: Curry will average under 20 points per game. I get the feeling he’s going to jack up his assists and defense, and let the other guys work on filling the buckets until crunch time . . kinda like Isiah?
|San Antonio Spurs||San Antonio Spurs||San Antonio Spurs|
|Houston Rockets||Houston Rockets||New Orleans Pelicans|
|New Orleans Pelicans||New Orleans Pelicans||Houston Rockets|
|Memphis Grizzlies||Memphis Grizzlies||Memphis Grizzlies|
|Dallas Mavericks||Dallas Mavericks||Dallas Mavericks|
Chad: Anthony Davis continues to carry roster to playoffs
EJ: Anthony Davis. Not a stretch by any means but if the Pelicans become an uptempo team under Alvin Gentry then you are going to see some monster numbers from Davis. I wouldn’t be surprised if Davis becomes the league MVP to be honest. Just a shame that the Pelicans are stuck in a division with the Spurs and Rockets.
David: Gotta be the Brow. I’m expecting a HUGE jump this year from him. I’m talking first team All-NBA.
Player I Wish Was On Another Team:
Chad: James Harden in NO to Memphis Grizzlies run with Davis
EJ: Chandler Parsons had to leave Houston to be his own man but if he was still with the Rockets, he would have been on a title contender. He can’t say that in Dallas. Parsons playing alongside Howard would have been better for him right now instead of playing alongside Dirk. He chose the money and the exposure but career wise he should still be in Houston.
David: Marc Gasol, and before the year is out, he might just be. How about Gasol to the Warriors for Bogut and a pick?
Team to Watch
Chad: The Spurs- How does Aldridge fit into the Spurs Championship Chase
EJ: The Pelicans. I think those young players will be exciting to watch. I’m very curious to see if Alvin Gentry can really get anything from Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans. I’m not too worried about Omer Asik, Davis, and Jrue Holiday but in order for my predictions on the Pelicans to come through then Gentry is going to have to get Gordon and Evans in gear.
David: Always the Spurs. Can Aldridge do enough to make up for the drop of Tony Parker and Manu? How about David West? The Spurs need some backcourt love.
Chad: The sting of the Deandre Jordan and the age of the team forces Dallas to miss the playoffs
EJ: My bold prediction is not that bold. The Mavericks will miss the playoffs. Not landing DeAndre Jordan was a monster of a loss and despite all 5 teams making the playoffs last season, the Mavs will take the step back and miss out this season.
David: The Grizzlies window has closed, and the team will be busted up by the end of the year.
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