We are a little more than a quarter of the way through the season. Let’s take a look at where the western conference stands. The conference appears to be a two team race and unless injuries or trades come about it looks like it will stay that way.
Best Of The West
1. Golden State Warriors – They appear to be a tad better than Phoenix and will only get better when Thompson returns. Steph Curry continues to amaze and Wiggins has become comfortable as a second scorer. The hidden factor that most don’t realize is how good a defensive team they are.
- Phoenix Suns – Chris Paul is ageless and a great leader. Bridges and Crowder are great role players and if Booker stays healthy a true star. Ayton is great diving to the basket and their bench is good. This group is right there with Golden State.
A Notch Below The Best
- Utah Jazz – An interesting team that seems to be missing something to vie with the top two. They have offense, fair defense and a team that relies on the three. The negative to that is, if you live by the three you can die by the three.
Best Of The Rest
- LA Clippers – Paul George is legit and his cast is good. The X factor is if Kawhi comes back. After watching the coaching job Lue did against Utah last year in the playoffs, you can’t count them out.
- Dallas Mavericks – Luka is great but some of the rumblings coming out indicate he’s not easy to coach. They need a healthy Porzingis, who has played well in the last two weeks before getting injured, to continue producing.
Play In Candidates
- Denver Nuggets – It’s a shame how the injuries have hurt them. Any team with Jokic is still dangerous but without his supporting cast not good enough.
- LA Lakers – Something is definitely not right in LA and that may be defense. The Lakers traded some of their better defenders in the trade for Westbrook. They also didn’t re sign Caruso. Lebron isn’t healthy and not what he once was. They need to make some changes (trades) if they want to compete.
Definite Play In Teams
- Memphis Grizzlies – If Ja comes back they’ll be okay. Memphis seems to be on the NBA treadmill of being good enough to be around the playoffs but not good enough to be a good team.
- Portland Trail Blazers – The only thing you can say is that this is a team in desperate need of a breakup.
- Minnesota Timberwolves – Coach Finch has done a good job in convincing his players to defend thus the improvement. Anthony Edwards continues to be one of the most extinguisher players in the league.
- Sacramento Kings – On the edge of the playoffs but not quite there. You never know which team will show up on a given night.
- San Antonio Spurs – Never count out a Popovich coached team. If he can get this team into the playoffs it would be a remarkable achievement.
New Orleans, Houston and Oklahoma City
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Western Conference Quarter Pole Western Conference Quarter Pole