Last year, the Western Conference was all laid out and was pretty easy to see who would be going to the playoffs and who wouldn't. It was just a matter of fact on what seeding they were going to get.
Now, looking at a new year, it looks as though the same teams are going to make it. Maybe not. The Rockets lost three of their best players; Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, and Dikembe Mutombo. They still made a run for the playoffs but without their center, how well will they do?
The Jazz might also lose their spot due to the fact that Carlos Boozer does not want to come back. But even still, they can be in the playoffs.
So there are two teams that might not make the playoffs. Let's take a look at who might take their spot instead.
The Phoenix Suns. Hopefully, they'll have a full year with Amar'e Stoudemire and without Shaquille O'Neal, they can go back to their run-n-gun and win 50+ games. They have the players to do it. Let's see if Steve Nash can execute again.
The Oklahoma City Thunder. They acquired James Harden and he's suppose to make an impact. The Thunder are getting more experienced and they have Kevin Durant. Can they make a push for the playoffs? Let's see.
The Minnesota Timberwolves. They acquired Chucky Atkins who can fill a point guard spot until Rubio decides to man up and play for the team. Thinking about it, I don't think they have a chance. A friend told me the Wolves have a chance, but I doubt it.
The Golden State Warriors. This team was tenth place last year. They were way out of making the playoffs but this year, they have Monta Ellis a full year as long as he doesn't do anything stupid again. They also got Stephen Curry, who's suppose to be a spot up shooter and a potential Rookie of the Year candidate.
Final results: There's no saying they have any chance in the playoffs but I believe that the Phoenix Suns will take the spot in place of the Houston Rockets. But only time will tell.