Preview NBA 2014-2015 Western Conference
The young Utah Jazz have not had recent success.They have a young nucleus that can create a match-up problem for teams that may have not been there before.The combination of Exum and Burke in the backcourt makes them more explosive. If Favors and Hayward can grow they will have a competitive team this year. They have added much needed bench help with Novak and Dahntey Jones creating more experience.
Who to Look For: Rodney Hood if he can provide a much needed offensive boost they can be a much better team
The Lakers start and end with one man as they have since he came it the league. Kobe Bryant is going to be the catalyst that can bring a competitive Laker team and up for a 1st round pick. The additions of Boozer and Lin can create much needed help scoring wise for Kobe. A strong front court with Ryan Kelly growing up a little last year and Jordan Hill and Ed Davis leads to a chance the Lakers might make the playoffs
Who to Look out for: Kobe Bryant Enough Said
New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis could grow into the best player in the league real soon. A healthy Ryan Anderson and Asik will take much pressure off of him letting him grow into that player. A crowded backcourt will need to be resolved in order for them to be successful. Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordan, and Jrue Holiday must find a combination in which all players can be used to their up most potential.
Who to Look For: Austin Rivers and the bench how will Pelicans use their players
The Kings have not been good since the early 2000's. That could change this year with a healthy Demarcus Cousins who is slowly growing into one of the best big men in the league. If he can keep a healthy attitude he should be an all star. Two guards like Stauskas hopefully a great shooters and Sessions a serviceable guard can get Cousins the ball in space. Rudy Gay along with Darren Collison must play strong and become leaders for the Kings this year
Who to look for: Ben McLemore will he grow into his potential
The Winner Is
Who will Win the West
The Biggest Question for the Nuggets are will they stay healthy. Javale Mcgee one of the original laughing stocks in the NBA was finally growing into a good player. Ty Lawson is one of the best PGs in the league if he can stay healthy. Kenneth Faried is coming off an All World Cup team accomplishment this off season which should motivate him. Chandler, Affalo, and Gallinari must all play well for the Nuggets to make a return to the playoffs.
Who to look for: Gary Harris the kid can play but how well will he play his rookie season
The Timberwolves might not be good this season, but I promise I will be watching them. The two new products of this will be the #1 pick Andrew Wiggins and Zach Lavine. Ricky Rubio passing the ball could lead them to be the most exciting team in the NBA. The team preseason opened with a dunk contest. The question is how will the other players such as Kevin Martin, Anthony Bennet, and Jose Barea will all be veteran keys.
Who to look for: Shabazz Muhammad I don't think he will be vital, but if he steps up due to competition he can cause a stir good or bad
A loaded maybe too loaded backcourt is a blessing or a curse. We expect Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic to start, but where will that leave the new addition of Isiah Thomas a great player in his own right. I want to watch how Gerald Green and the twins grow into the offense and if they can continue to grow into great players.
Who to look for: The Bench How will they improve off of last season or will they be a team who can only surge while the starters are in
Dirk has gotten some help on both sides this year. The Mavs have reverted back to championship form with the added dimension of a defensively dominate center in Tyson Chandler. They had two big losses also in Vince Carter their clutch player, and Jose Calderon which was traded for Chandler. They made up for it with the addition of Chandler Parsons a great third option to Monte and Dirk. Will the Mavs click fast enough to overtake the West.
Who to look for: Tyson Chandler will he be the player he was 2 years ago or the one he was last year
The Grizz are back with the same in your face style they always had. The dominate front court will give every team in the league trouble. Mike Conley is the best pace pg in the league controlling the style of play the Grizz opponents must play. They added Vince Carter to add more scoring to a team that needs it badly.
Who to look for: Tony Allen Is age catching up to him
Golden State Warriors
The warriors have very few questions except for the change between Mark Jackson to Steve Kerr. We know about the splash brothers and their continued growth in the league. Andre will be a two way player that will give teams trouble stopping him and getting good looks. David Lee is a former 20 12 guy who is still a double double machine. Bogut is the key to the team needing him to stay healthy in order for them to compete for a championship. The bench is improved due to the fact that players like Jor. Crawford and others have gotten use to the offense
Who to look for: Steve Kerr will the players accept him and his style
The Trailblazers have one of the best starting line ups in basketball. You add a stunning backcourt of Wesley Mathews and the closer Damian Lilliard, and you have a playoff team. Aldridge might be one of the best PF in the game today as we saw against the Houston Rockets. They have a strong Center with Robin Lopez growing into his game. Portland has so many two way players that they should be strong this year.
Who to look for. C.J. McCullum with Mo Williams leaving can he take over most of the scoring for the bench
The best offensive team in the league should still be one of the best in that category. James Harden might be the best offensive SG in the game by far. Dwight Howard looks to have his athleticism back after some time for his back. The Rockets lost an offensive juggernaut in Parsons but added Trevor Ariza to hold players that last year they had no answers for.
Who to look for: Harden and Dwight this offseason rumors have spread about the two leading many to question their locker room and leadership
The Clippers started off and ended as one of the best teams in the entire league. Chris Paul is the best floor general in the league. Blake Griffith must keep improving the way he did last year in order to be successful. The addition of Spencer Hawes will help the Clippers in the 4th quarter giving stress relief to Jordan who must improve on offense. Jamal Crawford must step up with the loss of Dudley becoming a better two way player.
Who to look for: The Bench like many teams in the West the Clippers are one dimensional how will they improve this year
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder have two of the best players in the league. The MVP Kevin Durant has probably improved his game this off season leading to a scarier all around player. Westbrook has a whole off season to improve instead of just getting healthy. If he can increase his shooting percentage from outside the paint, they will be much stronger. Perkins still useless but intimidating in the paint to players like Dwight Howard. Jeremy Lamb must step up due to losing Thabo.
Who to look for: Anyone who can score because outside of Westbrook and Durant most teams will not even focus on anyone else
San Antonio Spurs
The champion Spurs are still the leading candidate to win it all. They did not lose anything except for an extra year to all of their players. Kawhi Leonard the MVP has most likely gotten better and is ready to take over as the best player. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli, and Tony Parker are getting older but with the depth can rest most of the season and still be successful. Boris Diaw is a big component to playing the more fast pace teams while Splitter for the bigger teams
Who to look for: Nick Anderson a team loaded with talent you add another 6'9 PG you have the chance to be better this year scary
The West seems to still be the more veteran and stronger conference. The parity in the conference will make it interesting with most of the best starting lineups in basketball. The thing to look for is who outside of the Spurs can develop a strong bench. The lower teams will also be a big topic of discussions like will the Lakers make the playoffs, and I can't wait to watch the young wolves play. What are your thoughts? Who will win it all