DAR Sports: 2015-2016 NBA Western Conference Predictions

The NBA is almost back now, as the season begins October 27th. This is the best time of the year, as both the NBA and NFL are in motion at the same time, a great thing for true sports fans. Today, we talk our Western Conference predictions, and rank the top 8 teams who will make the playoffs in the conference and some of us even provide our predictions for their records. Let's get right into it.

The Western Conference. I think it will feature some new teams in the race, while other teams not in the race this year. Some teams like the Blazers, lost players, and will probably suck. Oh well.

1. Golden State Warriors (62-20)
-Defending champs. They will make another deep run in the playoffs, will most likely go back to the finals.

2. Houston Rockets (60-22)
-They will make a stronger statement this year. They can make the finals this year IF they want to.

3. Los Angeles Clippers (56-26)
-They probably won't go past the 2nd round, however Paul Pierce is a great addition.

4. San Antonio Spurs (54-28)
-LaMarcus Aldridge. A great addition for the Spurs. They have my pick on making it to the WCF this year.

5. Memphis Grizzlies (52-30)
-I don't see them making a deep run in the playoffs.

6. Oklahoma City Thunder (50-32)
-A sleeper. They can also go back to the finals if everyone stays healthy.

7. New Orleans Pelicans (48-34)
-I see them making it to the 2nd round. Let the players get some more playoff experience before we have finals discussions.

8. Phoenix Suns (45-37)
-A team with talent. They will beat out the Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings in a tight race for the 8th spot.

The Western Conference this year is stacked. Here are my predictions for the season.

1) Golden State Warriors (62-20):
-Duh. But seriously, they're pretty much the same team.

2) San Antonio Spurs (58-24):
-This is Kawhi Leonard's team now. and he's not going to disappoint his mentors in what could be their final season.

3) Oklahoma City Thunder (56-26):
-If the team meshes well with their new coach, they're going to go far. If not, #KDinDC will become a thing. I feel like it'll become a thing. Why? They're going to end up the same way they always go and Russell Westbrook will make it known that the Thunder are now HIS team, not KD's.

4) Houston Rockets (53-29):
-The Based God's Curse aside, the Rockets will make it to the playoffs. But, I feel Lil' B may be onto something. James Harden will pretty much lead the team in every statistic, but one man a championship does not make.

5) Los Angeles Clippers (51-31):
-Lob City lives. But, there's still something missing from the Clippers that'll keep them from achieving their full potential.

6) Phoenix Suns (47-35):
-They've dark horses. Everybody loves a dark horse.

7) Los Angeles Lakers (43-39):
-I know, you're laughing at this one. But, hear me out. They're a team that can be great. Kobe is probably going to be more of a point forward and the young boys of the team are hungry. Now if they could just keep Nick Young from being Nick Young.

8) Dallas Mavericks (42-40):
-Dirk. Nowitzki. There's my reason.

1. San Antonio Spurs
2. Oklahoma City Thunder
3. Los Angeles Clippers
4. Golden State Warriors
5. Houston Rockets
6. Memphis Grizzlies
7. New Orleans Pelicans
8. Minnesota Timberwolves

The Spurs will be the dominant team in the West.  With all their new roster moves, I just think there primed for a finals spot out the west. I still don't believe in Westbrook and Durant as a duo because they have all the talent in the world and still can't get over the hump. They still are learning how to play with each other and they been in the league for quite awhile. Golden State are to be respected as champions but they were extremely lucky to have everything go their way last year. They won't repeat. Actually I still think Houston and The Clippers are better teams than them. Memphis had been looking pretty good in preaseason, they should still be a solid team to make the playoffs. I still don't see New Orleans taking that next step yet but with Anthony Davis ascending, they should at least win a few games. I think Minnesota with this new talent will finally make the playoffs and have a great year in the honor of Flip Saunders.

1. Golden State Warriors
2. Los Angeles Clippers
3. Houston Rockets
4. San Antonio Spurs
5. Oklahoma City Thunder
6. New Orleans Pelicans
7. Dallas Mavericks
8. Los Angeles Lakers

No reason to believe Chef Curry doesn't lead the Warriors to the finals again. Lakers adding Metta World Peace, a vengefully healthy Kobe and getting Julius Randle back gives the Lakers some defensive juice that will be needed to hang with some of the younger teams. This will see them return to the playoffs. But not much more than that in what most likely will be Kobe Bryant's swan song.

Now, this is an interesting season to me. I see the Warriors once again being the no. 1 seed, while the Lakers will look a lot stronger than people expect and make the playoffs. I see the Mavs missing the playoffs this year and some other teams just falling short. Here are my 8 picks.

1. Golden State Warriors(61-21)
-While not quite as dominant as last season, the chemistry is there and the will is there to possibly go back to the finals. We'll revisit this when the playoffs come.

2. San Antonio Spurs(59-23)
-Despite the Spurs adding Lamarcus, I feel like they won't make the Finals this year and have yet another early exit from the playoffs this year. However, regular season will see them look great without a doubt.

3. Oklahoma City Thunder(57-25)
-KD and Westbrook are going to be focused and can make a possible run in the Finals.

4. Los Angeles Clippers(53-29)
-The Clippers have a strong team, but will see an early playoff exit again. Mark my words.

5. Memphis Grizzlies(51-31)
-The Grizzlies are going to look great this year, but they will not go too far. 2nd round.

6. Houston Rockets(50-32)
-The Rockets won't be as strong as they were last year, and I see a first round exit. Sorry James.

7. Los Angeles Lakers(48-34)
-I know this sounds crazy, but I have the Lakers taking the 7th seed and advancing to the 2nd round. Look at who is my no. 2 seed and yeah....

8. New Orleans Pelicans(44-38)
-The Pelicans will be good this year, but they are still not a true threat. They will be ready in another season or two to make a big splash.

What about you guys? What's your Western Conference predictions? Post them in the comments below.



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