Yesterday we looked at the NBA’s Eastern Conference and today we’ve turned our attention to the West. We’ve taken a look at some of the best markets on offer and provided a preview and our best tips. Good luck to all following!
Just when we thought the Western Conference couldn’t get any stronger LeBron James decides to join the Lakers. There are so many quality teams that will be fighting it out for a spot in the playoffs this season, let’s have a look at the best of them.
Golden State Warriors: Still can’t believe that a team that has been to the NBA Finals four straight years, winning three championships, has added Boogie Cousins to the roster. When he’s fit, the starting five for the Warriors comprises of five all-stars – wow. The question is, can they be beaten this season? If everyone’s healthy, probably not, but stranger things have happened. Think back to the Western Conference playoffs last season when the Rockets had the Warriors on the ropes at 3-2 before Chris Paul went down. Who knows what might have been.
Houston Rockets: As mentioned above, the Rockets gave the Warriors an almighty scare in the Western Conference Finals last season. The Chris Paul and James Harden experiment well and truly paid off and elevated the Rockets to genuine contenders. They’ve made a few interesting moves in the off-season, shipping off Trevor Ariza and Ryan Anderson, with 10x all-star Carmelo Anthony taking their place on the wing. With Harden and Paul running the show again they will definitely be a threat come April/May, but do they have what it takes to go all the way?
Oklahoma City Thunder: The Thunder were disappointing last season with the ‘big 3’ of Westbrook, George and Anthony not panning out. This season they’ve decided to mix things up again with Melo leaving and George staying. They will welcome back a healthy Andre Roberson to the starting line-up and now have a really nice backup point guard in Dennis Schroder. There’s plenty of talent on Billy Donovan’s roster, it’s just a matter of team chemistry and how bad they want it. The sky is the limit for OKC this season.
Los Angeles Lakers: As a general rule, when LeBron James joins your team, you’re automatically considered a contender and the Lakers this season are no exception to that rule. LA won just 35 games last season as an extremely young roster, but were able to add a few nice veterans in the off-season in Rondo, McGee, Stephenson and of course, LeBron. They have a lot of talent, but are they really going to be contenders in their first season together?
Obviously, the Warriors come into the season as heavy favourites. The bookies have left no meat on the bone for them to make it 5 Western Conference championships in a row, giving odds as little as $1.20 to take it out. Considering they probably would’ve lost last season if Chris Paul avoids injury, we are interested in making a couple of plays against them. The Rockets are your next best bet, but we also like a small play on the Thunder.
There’s another market that stands out for us in the Western Conference this season and it includes LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. As mentioned above, the Lakers are automatically considered as Championship contenders now that the King has joined the ranks. However, we’re not sold. Yes, James is the best player of this generation and yes, he’s been to 8 straight NBA Finals. BUT, he’s never played in the Western Conference, which is 10x harder than the East. We believe that LeBron knows this and will be content at the fact that the Lakers will more likely than not attract a Kawhi or George in the next offseason, when they will then truly become a contender.
For now, James is going to have to sit back and watch the likes of GSW, Houston and OKC fight it out in April/May this season. We have them failing to achieve a 50-win season.
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