Yesterday I covered the Eastern Conference and what I expect to happen as the new NBA season unfolds. Now let's take a look at the West and how the major changes within it this offseason will affect it.
1: Los Angeles Lakers - Come on, you weren't expecting anything else were you? Be on the lookout for rookies Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter to make a bigger impact for the Lakers than initially expected.
2: Dallas Mavericks - Jason Kidd finally shows a sign of old age and loses minutes to both Jason Terry and spark plug Rodrigue Beubois.
3: Oklahoma City Thunder - Russell Westbrook emerges as a top five point guard, James Harden scores a ton off of the bench, and still no one will be able to pronounce Thabo Sefolosha correctly.
Oh, and that Durant kid wins the MVP.
4: Houston Rockets - Chase Budinger becomes everything Adam Morrison was supposed to be.
6: Portland Trailblazers - Sam Bowie, oops, I mean Greg Oden, finally plays a full season. The Blazers make the playoffs despite having every small forward in the league on their roster with an extreme lack of depth in the front court.
7: Los Angeles Clippers - You saw it here first. Eric Gordon, not Blake Griffin, reveals himself as the best young player on the team. Still Griffin wins rookie of the year with a stellar campaign of his own.
8: Utah Jazz - Al Jefferson is a much better, and much less hairy-chested version of Carlos Boozer. Both good things. Deron Williams continues to dominate, making it even more clear he is better than CP3.
Extra Note: JR Smith and Chris Anderson open a tattoo shop together and give up basketball.
10: Phoenix Suns - With the golden days well behind them, Steve Nash loses interest and signs a contract with Manchester United.
11: Memphis Grizzlies - Both Mike Conley and O.J. Mayo will find themselves in new cities this year.
12: Golden State Warriors - With Don Nelson gone, the Warriors finally find steady minutes for Anthony Randolph. Then realize he now plays for the Knicks, thus revealing how poorly run their franchise is.
14: New Orleans Hornets - Chris Paul leaves, Peja Stojakovic continues to disappoint, Marcus Thornton averages 18 points per game—all for a team nobody will be watching.
15: Minnesota Timberwolves - Putting all jokes aside, simply put...the most embarrassingly run team in sports. They have no direction whatsoever.