Los Angeles, San Antonio, Dallas, Portland and Denver: Best In The West Part Two

Brandon RibakSenior Writer IJuly 29, 2009

DENVER - MAY 13:  Carmelo Anthony #15 of the Denver Nuggets knocks away a pass intended for Dirk Nowitzki #41 from Jason Kidd #2 of the Dallas Mavericks in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Pepsi Center on May 13, 2009 in Denver, Colorado.  The Nuggets defeated the Mavericks 124-110 to advance to the Western Conference Finals.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

After a few signings here and there, I have come to an agreement that the top five teams in the West have altered just a bit.

In my original "Who is the Best in the West" article, I ranked the top three teams in the West as follows: Los Angeles Lakers at No. 1, San Antonio Spurs at No. 2, and the Denver Nuggets at No. 3.

While I still believe LA remains No. 1, I might consider adjusting that prediction, and doing a "1a, 1b" type of ranking if they do not re-sign sixth man Lamar Odom.

As of now, they stay on top, with the Spurs tailing behind them.

At the three spot, the Nuggets have dropped considerably on my list (No. 5), highly due to the fact that they have not made any critical moves during the offseason.

They acquired point guard Ty Lawson during draft night, re-signed Chris "Birdman" Anderson, and let defensive-minded Dahntay Jones walk.

While Denver's organization has done virtually nothing to improve their roster so far, the Mavericks, on the other hand, have really made some crucial trades and signings to get themselves back to their 2006 season caliber.

In the recent weeks, they have added both swing man Shawn Marion and PF/C Drew Gooden—clearly augmenting their team as a whole, and obviously preparing to make a run in the West during the upcoming season.

With a team consisting of Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, Josh Howard, Shawn Marion, Drew Gooden, and Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks have suddenly emerged as a top-contending team, and stand at No. 3 on my "Best of the West" rankings.

After signing veteran point guard Andre Miller, the Portland Trail Blazers shadow right behind the Mavericks at the No. 4 spot.

As I mentioned in my Blazers article, Portland's roster is made up of extremely young and inexperienced talent.

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