NBA Predictions: Western Conference

Adam BeardContributor IOctober 6, 2009

EL SEGUNDO, CA - SEPTEMBER 29:  Pau Gasol #16, Kobe Bryant #24, Coach Phil Jackson and Ron Artest #37 of the Los Angeles Lakers pose for a photograph during Lakers media day at their training facility on  September 29, 2009 in El Segundo, California. 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 Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Who will be the victor of the West this year?

The Western Conference has always been a very tough and hard-fought conference in the NBA. Year in and year out, a different team can win it each year. Who will win the West this year?

Pacific Division

1. Los Angeles Lakers

2. Phoenix Suns

3. Golden State Warriors

4. Los Angeles Clippers

5. Sacramento Kings

Well, sometimes it just isn't fair.

The Lakers are just too good for this division right now. Adding Ron Artest is huge for this Laker team, and people are crazy about Lamar Odom coming back as well.

I couldn't agree more.

Led by Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers will easily win this division.

Phoenix still has Steve Nash, who is one of the best point guards in the league. Amare is back from his injury, and Jason Richardson is still an explosive scorer.

The Warriors are a young team that can make a little noise. Drafting Curry can't hurt because he fits perfectly into the offense. The Warriors are surrounded with talent—on the other hand, it's just a matter of getting this group together.

Sure, the Clippers got Blake Griffin, but he will not have an amazing rookie season in my opinion. He needs to improve a lot of things such as his jump shot. The Clippers and Kings are in rebuilding mode, and they will finish as the bottom two in the Pacific.

Northwest Division

1. Denver Nuggets

2. Portland Trail Blazers

3. Utah Jazz

4. Oklahoma City Thunder

5. Minnesota Timberwolves

This division won't change from last year.

The Denver Nuggets finished as the No. 2 seed in the West last year with Chauncey and Melo leading the way. The Nuggets are a hungry team and due to Chauncey Billups, they are focused on winning. Kenyon Martin is healthier than ever, Melo is making good decisions, and JR can explode at any time.

Portland is still young, yet very good. Adding Andre Miller might have been all they needed. They are very deep at almost every position, and I expect them to continue to get better and further in the playoffs.

The Jazz, to me, are falling. Deron Williams is an outstanding point guard and Boozer is always great. However, they have all this talent and can never win anything big.

Oklahoma City is an improving team, and they just need time. Kevin Durant is leading them to good things along with Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green.

Lastly, the Timberwolves are just going down. Johnny Flynn was a good draft pick, but they will not have a chance in the toughest division in the NBA.

Denver will win it again, and they will move on in the playoffs.

Southwest Division

1. San Antonio Spurs

2. Dallas Mavericks

3. New Orleans Hornets

4. Memphis Grizzlies

5. Houston Rockets

The good old Southwest Division is still pretty competitive. But I believe that the Spurs—by adding Jefferson, McDyess, and Blair—will win the division.

Tim Duncan is still Tim Duncan, Tony Parker is a quick point guard who can score and distribute, and Manu is a player that can win games for you. Richard Jefferson can only help the team by running it down floor a little more. The Spurs are still a force in the West.

Dallas is a dark horse to me. Shawn Marion was a great addition for the Mavs, and Dirk is the greatest shooter in the game right now. Remember that he was the MVP only two years ago. Jason Kidd is old, but still puts up those close to triple-double numbers. Josh Howard is an improving player, but this could be his year. And Jason Terry off the bench is the best thing you could have.

The Memphis Grizzlies might have Allen Iverson, but he is not the real "Answer." They have talent with Gay, Mayo, and Iverson, but A.I. is not a winner. He is a one-man show who can't win in the playoffs anymore. They are better than last year by a lot, but not in any spot to win the division.

The Houston Rockets are just disappointing with their injuries. You have to feel bad for them. Yao Ming, the franchise player, suffers a career-threatening injury, and T-Mac is about to be out until late November. Trevor Ariza, Louis Scola, and Aaron Brooks will try to help the Rockets win games, but I don't think they will have anything close to a good season.


1. Los Angeles Lakers

2. San Antonio Spurs

3. Denver Nuggets

4. Portland Trail Blazers

5. Dallas Mavericks

6. Utah Jazz

7. Phoenix Suns

8. New Orleans Hornets

I think the Lakers will win the Western Conference once again. Denver and San Antonio will be close and could beat the Lakers, but I think with Ron Artest, the Lakers added that tough mentality. Artest is one of the toughest players in the game today, and Kobe is still the greatest.

The Los Angeles Lakers will be in the Finals once again and possibly win another gold trophy.


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