The Western Conference is once again loaded. The only change from last year is that the Los Angeles Clippers, not the Los Angeles Lakers, sit near the top. There will be plenty of important games throughout the season, but five stand out immediately.
The Pacific Division will be headlined by the Clippers and the run-and-gun Golden State Warriors. The Houston Rockets look like another contender in the West. Once again, the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs look like title contenders too.
The Clippers will have a difficult road if they want to lock down home-court advantage next spring, but winning these five games should give fans an idea of where the team projects to finish this postseason.