The Western Conference At The Halfway Point

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The Favorites

Phoenix Suns – The Suns are a solid deep team that is well coached. They play the game the right way and would be difficult to beat in a series.

Golden State Warriors – The Warriors are similar to the Suns, deep and well coached and when healthy difficult to beat.

Almost There

Memphis Grizzlies – The Grizzlies are the new face. Ja is great but the beauty of that team is they are balanced and play hard. Earlier in the season when Morant went out they discovered defense and that has been an integral part of their success. They had the success without Dillon Brooks, one of their three best players who has missed a great deal of time.

Utah Jazz – The Jazz are an interesting team because they seem to live by the three. They have a wealth of shooters but don’t seem to use Gobert on offense at all. Their defense is suspect and more so when Gobert is out.

The Next Tier

Dallas Mavericks – The Mavs have had their share of injuries but seem to be hanging in there. Jalen Brunson has emerged as a future star. If Luca and Porzingis can stay healthy they become dangerous. Jason Kidd has done a good job keeping them competitive with those injuries.

Denver Nuggets – Jokic is fun to watch and enables them to compete with anyone. They need Murray and Porter to become competitive with the top teams though and it’s questionable if they will return this year.

The Play In Battle

Los Angeles Clippers – Somehow the Clippers stay in the playoff hunt with their two best players injured. Much of the credit goes to Tyrone Lue who keeps this team playing hard and focused.

Los Angeles Lakers – Everybody has an opinion about the Lakers but the facts are they have three high paid players with a bunch of older minimum salaried players. Though Lebron and Pelinka picked the team ultimately it’s Vogel who will pay the price.

Minnesota Timberwolves – The Wolves are a nice story because it seems Towns is beginning to realize his potential on both ends of the floor. Towns along with Edwards and Russell make a good offensive trio. Give some credit to Chris Finch for getting them on the right track.

Playing For The Last Play In Spot

Portland Trail Blazers – The question for Portland is, do you play for the tenth spot or blow it up and start over.

Sacramento Kings – Sacramento is the classic underachiever. They seem to have enough talent to do better but something always holds them back. Could it be management and ownership.

New Orleans Pelicans – You have to like Brandon Ingraham however only the lack of depth in the Western Conference keeps them in the conversation. If Zion ever returns they become a playoff team.

San Antonio Spurs – They have Popovich and a few nice pieces but need more.

Lottery Time

Oklahoma City Thunder – The Thunder have put together some nice pieces. Alexander, Dort and Giddey give them help them stay competitive. Couple that with all the draft picks they have amassed and it looks like they are on the right track.

Houston Rockets – It will take a while before they can become competitive.

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