The top 5 teams in the Eastern Conference for this season was determined earlier in the week. Let’s take a look at what the Western Conference has in store this season. Less than two weeks into the season, we have a couple of surprises for different reasons. The Los Angeles Lakers began the season 0-4. On the flip side, the Utah Jazz are 4-1 and tied with Portland and Memphis atop of the Western Conference. Utah dealt Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert in the offseason so we thought they would take for Victor. We also have the San Antonio Spurs with the same record as the Golden State Warriors. Who are the top 5 teams in the Western Conference? Who will have the best record in the Western Conference when the season ends?
Golden State Warriors
The defending NBA champions are still at the top of their game. The defending champions bring almost everyone back from the championship team. They have a healthy James Wiseman this season and that’ll help with the interior defense. They had the issue with Draymond Green punching Jordan Poole, but it seems like they have gotten past that. Draymond Green didn’t get the contract extension he was hoping for, could that turn into an issue? Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins signed their extensions about a month ago. The way I’m looking at it is that only the Warriors themselves or injuries could stop them from another championship appearance. The slow start doesn’t bother me at all when it comes to this team.
Many believe the Grizzlies would have beaten the Warriors in the playoffs last year if Morant didn’t get injured. Thus far, Memphis seems to be on a mission where its championship or bust. Ja Morant is averaging almost 33 points a game while dishing under 7 assists a game. Desmond Bane is one of the more underrated players in the league. Jaren Jackson Jr. is currently out and isn’t due back until possibly January. The addition of Danny Green could be huge as he bring in a championship pedigree. If Memphis holds court until Jackson Jr. returns they could be dangerous in the playoffs.
Many people were shocked when the Nuggets were blown out by Utah to begin the season. Jamal Murray has returned to the lineup after missing last season with a knee injury. Nikola Jokic is still one of the more dominant players in the league. Did I mention that he’s the reigning 2-time league MVP. Aaron Gordon will have to improve on both sides of the ball for them to be a championship contender. Can Michael Porter Jr. stay healthy for the season? Denver did add some depth via quality veterans to the team. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Jeff Green and Bruce Brown are nice additions to the Nuggets. Can they get past the Grizzlies or Warriors in a 7-game series?
The Dallas Mavericks made a surprising run to the Western Conference Finals last season. Luka Doncic will be in the discussion for league MVP this season. Dallas will have a full season of having Spencer Dinwiddle in their system. They are hoping that Tim Hardaway Jr. can be healthy for the long run. The loss of Jalen Brunson to the Knicks wasn’t really addressed in the offseason. They bolstered up their frontcourt by adding Christian Wood and JaVale McGee. Everything will revolve around Luka Doncic and if he can stay healthy the entire season. Don’t rule out another appearance in the Western Conference Finals again from this Mavericks team.
New Orleans Pelicans
This was a toss-up between the Pelicans, Suns and Clippers. The Suns have been a team on the cusp of winning the championship ever since they acquired Chris Paul. The Los Angeles Clippers have the talent, but are they able to stay healthy? The New Orleans Pelicans is the team that slides into the top 5 out west for me. New Orleans is also dependent on health and if Zion Williamson can play the entire season. C.J. McCollum, Brandon Graham and Zion Williamson is a great 3 to have. Any of those three guys can take over the game at any time. The rookie Dyson Daniels should be a great fit for this team and his development.
What do you think about my top 5 Western Conference teams? Who are your top 5 Western Conference teams? Leave some feedback below about anything regarding the Western Conference of the NBA.