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NBA NBA Editorials

Pick Your Poison in the Wild West Conference

Spurs, Thunder, and Warriors – oh my! The Western Conference is a scary place. Sure, it’s been this way for a while, but there are three teams that are blocking out almost every other team in the Western Conference. Those three teams are the San Antonio Spurs, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Golden State Warriors.

We will try to help you make sense of who to pick as your favorite in the Western Conference. Before we help however, please remember what we’re talking about here. One of these three teams won’t make it to the Conference Finals.

San Antonio Spurs

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

The Spurs are all in for a chance to win the trio of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, and Tim Duncan to win their sixth ring. They’ve also brought along LaMarcus Aldridge and David West to join the ride, and with five roster spots lift to fill, we can only imagine who is next. Here is the Spurs projected lineup.

PG: Tony Parker

SG: Danny Green

SF: Kawhi Leonard

PF: LaMarcus Aldridge

C: Tim Duncan

Now the bench:

PG: Patty Mills

SG: Manu Ginobili

SF: Kyle Anderson

PF: David West

C: Boris Diaw

On paper this team should be the favorites to be the best in the NBA, the best in the Western Conference, and the favorites to win the NBA Finals. They have the perfect balance of everything in their offense, which heavily relies on ball movement, and they also have the best coach in the NBA in Greg Popovich. Is it enough to win the Western Conference against one of the next two teams? We’re not convinced just quite yet.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Getty Images
Getty Images

Russell Westbrook made his mark in the NBA last season, and with Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka back at full strength, it could make things much harder for the favorite Spurs. Here is Oklahoma City’s projected starting lineup.

PG: Russell Westbrook

SG: Dion Waiters

SF: Kevin Durant

PF: Serge Ibaka

C: Enes Kanter (restricted free agent)

Now the bench:

PG: D.J. Augustin

SG: Anthony Morrow

SF: Kyle Singler

PF: Mitch McGary

C: Steven Adams

In addition to the second string unit, the Thunder have players like Perry Jones, Nick Collison, Andre Roberson, Dakari Johnson, Steve Novak, and Cameron Payne to help round out the bench. Kevin Durant is as hungry as anyone in the NBA to win a championship, but will he be able to beat the Spurs if he gets the chance is the big question. The Thunder have seen the Finals once, and can we see back-to-back rookie coaches lead their Western Conference teams to the NBA Finals? If all goes right, it could happen. We of course can’t forget about the team that is slipping everyone’s mind.

Golden State Warriors

USA Today Sports
USA Today Sports

It seems to be slipping most people’s minds with the rise of the Spurs and Thunder in the Western Conference, but how could we forget about the team that won 67 regular season games and the team that also won the 2014-2015 NBA Finals. The Golden State Warriors. Their projected lineup is listed down below.

PG: Stephen Curry

SG: Klay Thompson

SF: Harrison Barnes

PF: Draymond Green

C: Andrew Bogut

Now the bench:

PG: Shaun Livingston

SG: Andre Iguodala

SF: James Michael McAdoo

PF: David Lee

C: Marreese Speights

In addition to the projected bench, Kevon Looney, Festus Ezeli, and others are also going to be used throughout the Warriors system. It’s understandable why some NBA fans have forgotten about the Warriors. They haven’t made a big splash in NBA free agency, and most likely won’t make a big trade during the off-season, but this is one dangerous team. Unfortunately, one of these teams that we mentioned won’t make it to the Western Conference Finals for sure. So who is going to be the best in the West you say?

I like what the Oklahoma City Thunder bring to the table and I also can’t forget about what the Warriors also bring. I do however know that the Spurs are just going to make it harder and harder for me to pick against them. So for now, I am picking the Spurs to win the Western Conference. Maybe I will change by the end of the off-season, but for now, the Spurs are my pick.

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