The Western Conference Isn't As Strong As It Seems To Be!

The Western Conference Isn’t As Strong As It Seems To Be!

With the NBA pre-season coming up soon, a lot of focus is on how the teams will be looking on paper. The Eastern Conference is filled with championship favorites and the level of competition has increased compared to last season. But what about the Western Conference?

Bleak off-season changes

Looking at the Western Conference, although not much trades have happened during the off-season, the highlight remains the Jazz-Timberwolves trade which saw Rudy Gobert heading to the Minnesota Timberwolves. This is an important trade for the Timberwolves as they have given their intentions of contending for the title.

A few small trades have also gone through and have improved teams but not to the level of the Eastern Conference. The Warriors were the NBA champions last season and even they are facing problems when it comes to retaining their players mainly due to their huge luxury tax bill.

But this is just scratching the surface when there are other factors to consider. Some teams in the West have become stronger simply because of the return of some of their major players who had to sit out due to injuries.

Returning from injuries

The East also has those players but not as compared to the West. Kawhi Leonard has been cleared to play for the Clippers which is a huge bonus considering how they performed without him in the previous season. The addition of John Wall further makes them a championship contender.

The Denver Nuggets have two of their players returning after a seasons’ layover. Last season Jokic led the team to the 6th seed and finished as MVP. With the return of Jamal Murray, who has come up clutch in closing minutes and Michael Porter Jr., who has proved his scoring abilities, the Nuggets will be close to unstoppable for the next season.

Zion Williamson’s return to the Pelicans is an announcement for the NBA that the new generation is going to take over. He has proved his potential in just one season that he played and with how much the Pelicans powered up, they will be a menace in the West.

Anthony Davis’ return to the Lakers is also marked by good news with how fit he is. Damian Lillard will be stepping on the court after a whole season. These changes are surely going to be exciting for the fans to watch.

Teams not ready yet?

However, this doesn’t change the fact that the West has fewer contenders. Realistically speaking, the ones who are championship ready are, the Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets.

Teams like the Grizzlies, Lakers, Timberwolves, Mavericks and Pelicans have powered up but their team lacks the depth needed to contend for the title. Although the Lakers have brought in young players, they still don’t have much chemistry within the team. The Dallas Mavericks are in need of another ball-handler with the absence of Jalen Brunson.

The Pelicans and the Grizzlies are relatively young teams. It is questionable whether they will be able to cover their low playoff experience with their athleticism and wits. The Timberwolves have given a lot for the sake of Rudy Gobert and it is going to haunt them if they fail to make the playoffs.

The teams in the East had some unanswered questions but their teams are a lot more stable. The Western Conference will have their unpredictability of their own but in hindsight only three or four teams are seriously in contention for the title. Once the season starts there will be clarity. But it is important to have fun with whatever comes out at the end!

“Ladies and gentleman you have witnessed the 2nd greatest performance in NBA history.” That’s the way Soham was introduced to the world of Basketball. He is an ardent fan of the game capturing every moment, whether it be the long and turbulent regular season or the nail-biting playoff series. His perspective as a player provides valuable insight to the game. A follower of Kobe Bryant, he brings his mamba mentality in gathering every piece of information of the NBA.