Top NBA Teams in the Western Conference
The 2013-14 season in the National Basketball Association has seen a lot of the same motif. The defending champions are picking up steam in the Eastern Conference, followed by a few other serious contenders that include the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks. Most basketball fans expect one of the big Eastern teams like the Miami Heat to win the Eastern Conference. The Western Conference remains up for grabs. This list will cover the top 5 teams in the Western Conference as of today.
The Portland Trailblazers have largely flown under the radar to 16 wins in 19 games played. They've won 9 of their last 10, and look to be a contender in the playoffs. The Trailblazers have often done well in the first half, but they face stiff competition from the Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggers. The Trailblazers shouldn't sleep on any other teams in the Western Conference either.
Los Angeles Lakers
Under Mike D'Antoni, the 2013-2014 Lakers have struggled their way to a respectable .500 mark with 18 games played. The best piece of new that they're getting in recent times is the return of Kobe Bryant. If Kobe was to remain healthy throughout the season, and he is allowed to produce at the standard that all of basketball holds him to, expect the Lakers to sneak their way into a middle tier seed. A roster full of youth and potential could see their way to the Finals.
The Houston Rockets have been decidedly underwhelming to start the season. With an offense keyed by James Harden, the Rockets have made their way to a 14-7 mark in 21 games played. Dwight Howard has been much more productive for the Rockets than he was for the Lakers in the 2012-2013 campaign. That being said, the Rockets still need to put together a starting 5 with good synergy if they want to see the Finals.
Oklahoma City Thunder
With the return of Russell Westbrook, the Thunder have made their way to a 14-4 record in 18 games played. The Thunder will probably see themselves at a higher seed in the Western Conference. The question is whether Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook can lead the young Thunder through the playoffs. Additionally, if the young squad makes the Finals, can they beat the likes of seasoned veterans LeBron James and Dwayne Wade?
San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs are perennially a great team. However, the Spurs stars are showing signs of wear and tear, and there is concern whether or not they can last in the playoffs. The veteran squad outlasted the young teams in the Western Conference, and then lost to the dynamic Miami Heat in the 2012-13 campaign. Can the Spurs win it all this year?
The wild Western Conference promises to be an intriguing race to the finish. There are a lot of excellent teams with the potential to go deep into the playoffs. I believe that the San Antonio Spurs, with their mix of veterans and new players, still remain the favorite to claim the Western Conference for a second year.