10 NBA Western Conference Team Predictions
For the past few years the Western Conference of the NBA has been the dominate side of the league. The player and the teams have consistently won awards and championships. Last year the Eastern Conference won the game breaking a streak of wins that the West held on to. This year the NBA All-Star Game will be in New York. Some speculate that this is an advantage for the east but considering that the eastern conference is not as strong as the west it may create a game worth watching. Check out the best of the West and who we feel should make a cross country trip to New York for All-Star Weekend.
The Golden State Warriors are a running a strong campaign which is gaining many votes. Stephen Curry is their number one candidate for a starting position on the Western Conference All-Star roster. With the way Curry has been playing, there is no doubt he will be on the roster despite the slight dip in his averages. He still gets 23 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 steals a game. His defensive game is increased now that he is allowed to play defense. Currently the Warriors have the best record in the league so that’s also a plus.
It is undeniable that Kobe Bryant is one of the best basketball players to touch a ball. Many people have different feelings towards Kobe, but the only way he won’t be on this roster is if he gets injured or opts to not play. He’s getting up in age and the Laker’s are a shadow of the team they once were, but Kobe is staying loyal to the team that he has won all his championships with. On top of his 25 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 steal per game, Kobe just became the number 3 all-time leading scorer. If that’s not All-Star worthy, I don’t know what is.
One of the most formidable big men in the league, Blake Griffin brings the boom to the Western Conference All-Star team. He’s shooting jumpers and getting to the line at a career-low rate but is generally playing a more well-rounded brand of basketball. In December Blake’s production took a turn for the best. This has helped the Clippers go on a winning streak as of lately. Last year he started in the All-Star Game and this year it will most likely be the same.
Despite all of the missed games and shaky long-range shooting numbers, Kevin Durant is the league’s reigning MVP. On top of that fact his team the Oklahoma City Thunder have won seven out of eight games since his return from an off season injury. By the time the All-Star game rolls around Kevin Durant should be back to full strength. Averaging 21 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 block per game OKC’s poster child is leading them on the track to the playoffs. Kevin Durant is on a roll straight to the NBA All-Star Game.
Anthony Davis has been one of the best players in the league for the past few seasons. His stats of 24 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks per game can back that statement up. Currently he has a player efficiency rating of 33.0. He is on track to beat Wilt Chamberlain’s PER of 31.8, a record that has stood for over half a century. If the season ended today he should be the MVP, regardless of his team’s performance. Anthony Davis is still a rising star and that makes it exciting to see how good he can be. Making the All-Star team this year will be a plus for him and the Western Conference.
Like his teammate Durant, Russell Westbrook lost some time to injury. The teams record may keep him from making the team. Still, Westbrook has never scored this much or this efficiently. He’s shooting better than ever from long range, also he is going to the foul line more often. In other words he’s scoring a lot more points. It is arguable that if Westbrook had not broken his hand, he would be a contender for a starting position.
Physical injuries are one thing that can threaten a chance to go to the All-Star game but a biological illness can effect ones life. Ask DeMarcus Cousins. The center for the Sacramento Kings battled with viral meningitis, which caused him to miss a considerable amount of games. If it wasn’t for his career-best season averages of 23 points, 12 rebounds per game and 51.2 percent shooting Cousins might not have made this list. There hasn’t been anyone this physically dominant inside the paint since Shaquille O’Neal.
Part of the wrecking crew, Damian Lillard is securing his spot on the strength of Portland’s 18-6 start. His 21.9 PER is a helping factor also. It’s his best yet. This is only his second year in the league and he averages 22 points, 6 assist and 4 rebounds. That sounds like a promising candidate for the point guard position on this All-Star team.
The second half of the NBA’s most potent two-man wrecking crews, LaMarcus Aldridge is on pace for his fifth straight season with at least 21 points and eight or more rebounds. His Blazers have quieted doubters who thought their hot start last year was a fluke. I guess they proved them wrong with help from LaMarcus Aldridge. A power forward like LaMarcus Aldridge could be put to use in multiple ways especially if he is there with his partner in crime Damian Lillard.
Chris Paul is in there like swim wear. He’s healthy and he is scoring 17 points per game with 10 assist. Chris Paul is having a great year hitting 50.3 percent of his shots from the floor. I doubt that he will get snubbed this year and if he does the West All-Star team will regret it. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better point guard in the NBA better than Chris Paul.