The books are pretty much unanimous so you need to do some due diligence if you are planning on placing any NBA action this season. You can start with this 5Dimes Review to see how they stack up against the rest of the crowd.
Western Conference Preview
The Golden State Warriors Shouldn’t be an After Thought
How long has it been since the preseason NBA favorite wasn’t the Golden State Warriors? Years. That said, they are still fairly high up on the odds boards and are not going to be easy to beat, despite the departure of Kevin Durant. We need to remember, the Golden State Warriors were winning championships together before Durant came into the picture. In 672 minutes without Durant, but with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green the Warriors were +14.8.
The Warriors lost their dagger, Andre Iguodala, but their core remains, and they even got some added offensive fire-power in the name of D’Angelo Russell. So, to immediately write the Warriors off would be unwise.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Rebuilt
Another thing to remember is the Lakers went from the very bottom of the NBA odds boards last year, all the way up to number four or number five depending on where you looked just before LeBron James signed. And what happened? The Lakers we a dumpster fire.
They made huge moves over the offseason, picking up Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, and Dwight Howard, though taking him over Joakim Noah may have been a mistake. They also grabbed Danny Green, who by all accounts could be a starter, but will add a serious measure of depth to their bench, along with Avery Bradley who finished last season out with the Memphis Grizzlies, putting up 16.1 points per game over 31.6 minutes played. Bradley also provides another key defensive element that the Lakers so badly need.
Yeah, the Los Angeles Lakers are deep. But there are management concerns – look at the whole deal with Magic Johnson tapping out of the organization – and there is also the perfect recipe for locker room issues.
The Los Angeles Clippers, a Team of Quiet Stars
Meanwhile, over in Clipper land, quiet Kawhi Leonard has shown that he can singlehandedly change the outcome of a season. Coupled with Paul George, the team will be led by two men who keep their heads down and work hard. The other LA might be packed with more marquee names, but stuffing James, Howard, Cousins, Davis, etc is like packing flash powder into a firecracker. In short, the Clippers are a team built around guys who will quietly get the job done. We are more likely to see great team work out of Doc Rivers’ crew which could go a long way towards a championship.
Don’t Discount the Portland Trail Blazers
The Portland Trail Blazers have always had a love affair with size but have never really seemed to be able to work it out. Well, it looks like they finally have some size and some depth in that area as well. Jusuf Nurkic, Pau Gasol, Hassan Whiteside, and Zach Collins to swing between Center and Power Forward. The Trail Blazers might finally be well-rounded enough in the paint that it isn’t completely overshadowed by their talented back-court. Now there even rumors sprouting about Rip City trading Whiteside for Tristan Thompson – which would stretch the defense. He’d also run the floor better will Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. That deal, if it goes down, would also include Matthew Dellavedova, which would bring Portland’s bench up a whole other level.
One thing is certain, the Western Conference is shaping up to be an exciting battle that we can’t wait to get underway.
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