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Winning the West: Can the Spurs reign again?

With the NBA season under way, there are lots of questions about each team. What better time to give a brief preview and playoff predictions for the 2013-2014 season. Here is my Western Conference and NBA Finals prediction.


Northwest Division

Denver Nuggets: Last year, the Nuggets went 57-25. With the arrival of new head coach Brian Shaw, the Denver Nuggets have a new leadership. With Wilson Chandler and Ty Lawson’s experience, the Nuggets should survive this season. If they were to make the playoffs, it would probably be a mid-level seed.


Minnesota Timberwolves: The Timberwolves added Kevin Martin to their roster, which should help them win more games this season. With Kevin Love healthy and Ricky Rubio learning more about the point guard position, I can see the Timberwolves fighting for the 8th seed.


Oklahoma City: Kevin Durant will lead this team to the playoffs. Though Russell Westbrook is coming off a knee injury, he should be back healthy and be Durant’s number two. Along with role players such as Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins, and Reggie Jackson, the Thunder will go deep into the playoffs.


Portland Trailblazers: This team is full of young and un-known players. They added Robin Lopez and have a few draft picks that made the team. LaMarcus Aldrige is the leader of this team, so don’t be surprised if he puts up big numbers this year. Also, Damien Lillard was a surprise last season. Don’t be surprise if he breaks out into an All-Star. The Trailblazers will fight for a low seed in the playoffs.


Utah Jazz: The Jazz lost Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap via free agency, making Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors the new players down-low. I don’t see the Jazz making the playoffs this season. They should look forward to getting a lottery pick for next year’s draft.


Pacific Division

Golden State Warriors: If David Lee and Andrew Bogut stay healthy, the Warriors have a shot to go far in playoffs. Sharp shooter Stephen Curry will rely on the 3-point game this season. This team will also get lots of offensive help from newly-acquired guard Andre Iguodala. Watch out for the Golden State Warriors.


Los Angeles Clippers: The Clippers are top candidates to be Western Conference champs. They signed Chris Paul to a long-term deal and Doc Rivers became the Clippers’ new head coach. There starting line-up is solid: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, J.J Reddick, DeAndre Jordan, and Matt Barnes. Jamal Crawford will probably be this year’s Sixth Man of the Year. This team will be dangerous come playoff-time.


Los Angeles Lakers: Last year, the Lakers had a roller coaster of a season. Kobe Bryant will be out for two months. The Lakers will go with Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, Nicky Young, and Chris Kaman. Will they make the playoffs? With Nash injury prone and Kobe coming off a terrible injury, I can see the Lakers yet again fight for the 8th seed.

Phoenix Suns: The Suns are far from the playoffs. It is safe to say that they are in rebuilding mode. Eric Bledsoe and Emeka Okafor are new to the team. But that’s about it for the Suns. I see them being dead last in the league.


Sacramento Kings: The city of Sacramento almost lost the Kings. Luckily, they were saved. Their new head coach, Mike Malone, is a Loyola University Maryland Alum. He is the first alum ever to be a head coach for a professional sports team. DeMarcus Cousins was signed to a long-term deal, so he should be interesting to watch this season. However, the Kings are not playoff bound; they still need to get better players. I can see the Kings being playoff contenders in the near future.


Southwest Division

Dallas Mavericks: There starting line-up looks like this: Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Samuel Dalembert. However, the Mavericks will not be a playoff team. They failed to sign an all-star player in the offseason to play aside Nowitzki. I can see them fight for the 8th seed, but it’s very unlikely they’ll get it.


Houston Rockets: The Rockets made a huge offseason move by getting center Dwight Howard. The Rockets will make the playoffs but does Linsanity still exist? Jeremy Lin’s play has deteriorated since his Knickerbocker days. We’ll find out.


Memphis Grizzlies: The Grizzlies proved to the world that they are a powerhouse in the West. They were in the conference finals last season. With a 56-26 record last season, Memphis looks to repeat a great playoff run. Starting line-up: Marc Gasol, Tayshaun Prince, Zach Randolph, Mike Conley Jr., and Tony Allen. Look for the Grizzlies to make a splash in the playoffs.


New Orleans Pelcians: Will a name change be enough for New Orleans to make the playoffs? Probably not. They got Tyreke Evens and Jrue Holliday, but the Pelicans still lack veterans. They will be in the running for trying to not get the worst record in the league. Former number one draft Anthony Davis should be exciting to watch. Fear the Brow!


San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs were last year’s Western Conference Champs. They are always a high seed in the playoffs. For this season, nothing has changed. With the leadership of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili, the Spurs will be in the playoff mix again. What more can I say? They never are out of the playoff picture. Look for them to make a deep run in the playoffs.


West Prediction: Spurs over Rockets in 6

Finals Prediction: Nets over Spurs in 6

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Winning the West: Can the Spurs reign again?