Saturday, October 25, 2014

2014 NBA Preview: Western Conference Top 8 Teams Playoff Seeding Predictions

In my previous post, I shared with you my 2014 NBA Preview: Eastern Conference Top 8 Teams Playoff Seeding Predictions. Some of you were agreed with a lot of my rankings. There was definitely some controversy with my rankings, in particular my prediction regarding the Washington Wizards. Such is the fun of predictions!

Today I share with you how I believe the Western Conference is going to shake out. The defending champions, the San Antonio Spurs are back and ready to defend the title. Their team is pretty much intact so the question is will they be able to repeat as champs?

Here is how I see the Western Conference playing out:

Western Conference Top 8 Playoff Teams For 2014-2015 Season

8. Houston Rockets - The Rockets struck out big time in free agency not only losing out on the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes, but losing and/or trading away Parsons, Asik and Lin as well. However, they still have two solid All Stars in James Harden and Dwight Howard. With talent like that, it's tough not to at least make the playoffs even in a conference as stacked as the Western Conference.

7. Dallas Mavericks - The Mavericks definitely got better trading for Tyson Chandler and signing Chandler Parsons. They think their team is good enough to make it to the finals and they just might be. However, if they do, it's going to be because of how they play in the playoffs because in the regular season, I don't see them cracking the top 4 playoff seeds. The other teams are just too good.

6. Memphis Grizzlies - This is not a knock to the Grizzlies as I think they are a very good team. The problem though is the Western Conference is stacked and I think that there are a lot of other teams that are going to simply win more games. The main problem with this team is they simply lack offensive firepower and that's something that you're going to need in this conference if you want to get a top seed in this conference.

5. Portland Trailblazers - I like the chances of ANY team with two of the best youngest stars in the NBA as their one two punch. Damian Lillard has the clutch gene ALL over him. Steve Blake is a good piece to add and if LaMarcus Aldridge can make that next step up in the evolution of his game, I absolutely like this team's chances and would not be surprised to see them finish even higher than what I have them at.

4. Golden State Warriors - This team was already very good led by arguably the most dominant and explosive back court in the game with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Signing Shaun Livingston is going to be huge for them as that will help bring stability when Curry is turning the ball over too much. If Steve Kerr can make the successful transition to coaching and I believe he can, this is a team I would NOT look forward to playing on any given night.

3. Los Angeles Clippers - Some people may say that I have this team too low and that's a fair argument to make especially when "Lob City" has arguably the best point guard in the NBA (Chris Paul) and the best forward in the NBA (Blake Griffin) as well as the strong defensive presence of DeAndre Jordan. They definitely look stacked on paper and if they can translate that paper into action, those people who say I have them too low could be 100% correct.

2. Oklahoma City Thunder - Even though KD is out for several weeks, this team is STILL a problem in every way, shape and form when you look at them over the course of an entire season. Russell West "Beast" isn't exactly who I would go to if I'm looking for fashion advice. However, there are VERY few guards IF ANY in the NBA that I would rather have than him. This team is going to win a lot of games and I would be SHOCKED to see them finish anything lower than the top 3 seeds.

1. San Antonio Spurs - So the Spurs not only win the NBA Championship, but they absolutely DESTORY the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals only allowing the favorite team to win 1 game. They bring back practically EVERYBODY from last years team. Yet people are STILL doubting this team? I don't get it. The Spurs have without question the best coach in the NBA right now and arguably one of the best coaches to ever coach the game! The only team I could see personally finishing higher than them is the Thunder and with Durant out, I don't see that happening anymore. Definitely my pick for the #1 seed in the West.

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