San Antonio Spurs – So much for the Spurs getting old and their window closing. Yet again Parker, Ginobili, Duncan and company find themselves atop the Western Conference. Other than their big three, the Spurs are arguably younger and deeper than ever. They’ve had 5 straight years of tough losses in the playoffs. Will this be their year? I’m going to go out on a limb and say they’re hoping Memphis falls a spot as it’s a bad matchup for them.
Oklahoma City Thunder – No Harden no problem. Durant and Ibaka took big leaps forward this season and Kevin Martin has fit into the 6th man role flawlessly. With the largest point differential in the league at + 9.1, it looks like the Thunder successfully improved their long-term outlook without sacrificing in the short term, giving them a good chance for a finals rematch against the Heat.
Los Angeles Clippers – No doubt about it, the Clippers are the best team in LA. The only rough patch of the season came when Chris Paul went down for a few games. Griffin and Jordan have both improved significantly over last year and the bench has been amazing with Barnes, Bledsoe and Crawford all playing above expectations. Now that Grant Hill and Chauncey Billups are back, this team goes 12 deep.
Memphis Grizzlies – Looks like the hangover from losing Rudy Gay didn’t last too long. Seven wins in a row for a sneaky good team. Prince has fit in well for them, adding more defense and consistent shooting than Gay was providing. Let’s not forget the huge frontline of Randolph and Gasol is a matchup nightmare for most teams. Continue reading