My Predictions for Final Western Conference Standings (Positions 15-11)

  1. Golden State Warriors
  2. Houston Rockets
  3. Los Angeles Clippers
  4. Portland Trail Blazers
  5. Memphis Grizzlies
  6. San Antonio Spurs
  7. Dallas Mavericks
  8. New Orleans Pelicans
  9. Oklahoma City Thunder
  10. Phoenix Suns
  11. Utah Jazz
  12. Denver Nuggets
  13. Sacramento Kings
  14. Los Angeles Lakers
  15. Minnesota Timberwolves

Those were the final standings at the end of the season last season. I have already predicted who I thought will finish 15-1 in the Eastern Conference and now it’s time for the Western Conference. The Western Conference is the tougher conference to predict because it’s such a tough conference to be in. You can be the 8th seed in the West but if you were in the East, you would be a 4-5th seed. I have my predictions so let’s go!

#15 Minnesota Timberwolves (#15 last year): The T-Wolves are an interesting young squad. This team is filled with young talent. Ricky Rubio is still a young point guard that leads this team with is flashy passes. Zach LaVine is an exciting player to watch because of his highlight reel dunks. Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns are #1 overall picks that have very high potentials. Wiggins has already shown brilliance as he averaged 16.9ppg and 4.6rpg and went on to win Rookie of the Year award. The team also has young players like Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad. This teams’ future is bright. They have veterans on their team like Andre Miller and Kevin Garnett to show these guys the way. Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic are veterans that can help them compete as well, if healthy. I like the blend of young and old on this team. Like I said, the future is bright. The present, not so much. They will compete and will be a fun team to watch, but they will not win many games and again be at the bottom.

#14 Denver Nuggets (#12 last year): The Nuggets rid themselves of Ty Lawson for basically nothing in return. That paves the way for rookie Emmanuel Mudiay to get the starting job. Mudiay is a potential rookie of the year winner who was drafted 7th overall. I believe the Nuggets have more players than can help them be competitive right now, than the Timberwolves. The reason I have them so low then is because of the fact that I believe a couple of those players will eventually be traded this season for young talent and picks to help kickstart the rebuilding process even more. I won’t say who because I am saving that for a future article, but that will obviously hurt the numbers in the winning column. Keep an eye on Emmanuel Mudiay. He should be a fun rookie to watch. Jameer Nelson is a veteran that can guide him in the right direction, which I like. I expect another high pick for the Denver Nuggets after this season concludes.

#13 Portland Trail Blazers (#4 last year): What happened to the Blazers was devastating. 4/5 starters are gone. Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, Robin Lopez, and sixth man Arron Afflalo, are all gone. There is still a reason why Trail Blazer fans should still be excited; Damian Lillard. I love Damian Lillard. They also have some intriguing young guys as well. In the trade that sent Nicolas Batum away to the Hornets, they acquired Gerald Henderson and Noah Vonleh. With Gerald Henderson, 27, you know what you get. He averaged 12.1ppg and 3.4rpg while shooting .437% from the field and .331% from the 3pt line. He’s going to be one of their best defenders as well. Noah Vonleh has a high ceiling. The potential for him makes the Blazers organization excited. The Blazers expect big things out of C.J. McCollum this season. The Blazers were able to acquire Mason Plumlee from the Nets so he will be their starting center. There’s other guys that can contribute for this team. Yes, they will be towards the bottom, but they should have a bright future.

#12 Sacramento Kings (#13 last year): The Sacramento Kings made a puzzling offseason signing. They signed Rajon Rondo. The signing itself is already puzzling, but they gave him a 1yr/$9.5m deal. No one was going to sign Rondo besides the Kings. The Kings still have DeMarcus Cousins, who should be a All-Star this year and was snubbed last year. Rudy Gay, a 20 point scorer, is still on this team. Kosta Koufos was signed as a backup to Cousins this offseason. They addressed their 3 point shooting woes a bit by signing Marco Belinelli, who last played for the San Antonio Spurs. The Kings are seen as the most dysfunctional organization to date. They still should be able to be a decent team, but not enough to make the playoffs.

#11 Los Angeles Lakers (#14 last year):

Yes the Lakers were bad last season but I do not think they will be as bad as they were last season. The Lakers were able to get Roy Hibbert for a second round pick. His time in Indiana was done. Maybe with a fresh start, big Roy will turn it around. I like a lot of guys on this squad. They have an exciting young backcourt that they may play together in Jordan Clarkson and the 2nd overall pick D’Angelo Russell. They signed Louis Williams, who averaged 15.5ppg while shooting .404% from the field and .340% from the 3pt line. He was a Sixth Man of the Year winner last season. To have that come off your bench is a luxury. They signed a veteran big man Brandon Bass to help with Julius Randle. Lakers will obviously not be a playoff team but they will be better than people think they will. They still have players like Nick Young, whom people are concerned about with Lou Williams fit wise. We really do not know whether Kobe Bryant will be healthy or not. He has a lot of miles on those tires and Father Time is catching up to him lately. Unfortunately for him, a ring will not be coming for him anytime soon.

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