Western Conference Predictions



By David K.

1. L.A. Lakers- Teaming a healthy Andrew Bynum with Pau Gasol up-front will make the Lake Show the clear cut favorite in the West.  The big question will be if Kobe can finally shake that whole “tasting how Shaq’s ass tastes” and win a title on his own. 

2. New Orleans- As the Game raps in his latest single, “My Life”… “I got a Chris Paul mindset; I’m never out of bounds.”  Enough said.

3. Utah- TSB.net founder Paul M. Banks’ man-crush, Deron Williams, will only get better this year.  Factor that in with Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur both being free agents after the season and therefore wanting to play their way to a big payday and it adds up to the Jazz likely running away with the Northwest Division.


4. Houston- With the addition of Ron Artest, the Rockets are a true point guard away from being a very dangerous team.  Then again, Houston is one Artest uppercut of Yao Ming away from falling out of the playoff picture.  Pick your poison…

5. San Antonio- Manu and his bald spot will miss the start of the season which should affect the Spurs early on.  Much like the Pistons, I keep waiting for this team to finally take a step back, but Tim Duncan and Tony Parker keep carrying San Antonio. This fact always puts them in the championship picture once the post-season rolls around.

6. Portland- If Jerryd Bayless can develop into the point guard that the Blazers so badly need and Greg Oden is worthy of his #1 overall pick, the Blazers should quickly rise up the ranks of the Western Conference.  Adding Rudy Fernandez, who was impressive for Spain during the Olympics, will give Brandon Roy another weapon on the wing.

7. Phoenix- The combination of Mike D’Antoni’s exit to New York and an aging roster makes the Suns a team on the decline.


8. Dallas- The Mavs continue to get older, but not better.  I’m guessing Mark Cuban immediately regrets his decision to trade for Jason Kidd last season.

9. Minnesota- I think the T-Wolves could be a sleeper out West.  The acquisition of Kevin Love should serve as a great compliment to Al Jefferson up-front.  Mike Miller gives Sota a deadly long-range shooter.  If Randy Foye can take the next step as an NBA point guard and Corey Brewer develops into a defensive stopper, this team could make some noise.


10. Golden State- The Warriors signed G Monta Ellis to a six-year, $66 million deal this off-season.  Ellis then injures his ankle while driving a moped, but then lies to management claiming he was hurt during a pick-up game and gets suspended for the first 30 games of the season.  What great return they’ll get on their investment!  FYI, this team won 48 games last season and DIDN’T make the playoffs.

11. Denver- The Nuggets allowed the second most points in the NBA last season and then pretty much gave away their only good defensive player, Marcus Camby.  Hoping to fill his void are Nene and Kenyon Martin, who have combined to miss 68% of their games the last three years due to injury.  Don’t be surprised if A.I., who is a free agent after the season, ends up being traded midway through the season.

12. L.A. Clippers- The Clips lost Elton Brand via free agency, gave Baron Davis a HUGE contract this off-season, and signed Ricky Davis and Jason Williams.  Then they fired their GM, Elgin Baylor, a couple weeks before the season began.  You can’t feel good about the up-coming season if you’re a Clippers fan, all 17 of you out there. 

13. Sacramento- Now that Ron Artest is gone, how many players can you name on the Kings?  One?  Maybe two?  Exactly. That’s why they’re 13th on my list.

14. Memphis- How randomly multicultural is the Griz depth at center: Serbian Darko Milicic, Spaniard Marc Gasol, and Iranian Hamed Haddadi. Their post is a model UN club. I like the young trio of Rudy Gay, O.J. Mayo, and Mike Conley, but they still need a couple years to find that chemistry and brush up on their foreign languages before they can be legitimate playoff contenders.

15. Oklahoma City- The Thunder will not roll this season in their new home.  And for the record, that will be the only time you ever read a country music reference from me, unless it’s about my future wedding to Carrie Underwood.

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  1. OMG, this was awesome. both b-ball geeky and hilarious. one of your best Dave. Worthy of the Ghetto party picture from ’02

  2. plus there was a you/D-Will man-crush comment which is always enouraged

  3. OMG is Paul looked like a total baby in that pic!

    Are you guys forming your own rap label or going to see John Cena at a WWE match?

    I agree Houston looks like they can be a pretty tough team if Ming’s bones stay intact.

  4. paulmbanks says

    It’s from a ghetto themed party at Marquette University in 2002. hard to believe I aged that much in just 6 years. Indeed. mentionign me and man-crush is always encouraged. a lot of people have found the site by searching for “deron williams”

  5. Peter Christian says

    Dallas still has three play-off teams? OK I guess I can get behind that but how many of them make it out of the first round?

  6. Looking death in the eye and saying “I don’t think so…SUCK IT” Will do that to a person. :)

  7. paulmbanks says

    Its what I’ll be saying to republicans on nov 5th too

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