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NBA Western Conference preview for 2022-2023 season

Steph Curry vs Memphis
Photo: Scott Strazzante/The Chronicle

The Warriors returned to the top of the NBA last season as Steph Curry led the team to its fourth championship in 8 years. There will be plenty of competition for the Dubs next season in the Western Conference which should provide lots of great basketball games for basketball fans.

Golden State kept its core of Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Andrew Wiggins and Jordan Poole remained on the roster as well. In addition, James Wiseman is set to comeback. The experience and the talent is there for the Warriors to at least have a go at defending their title.

Memphis posed a challenged to Curry’s team in the playoffs last season and will be even more motivated to go further into postseason this year. Ja Morant turned into a superstar and with a young and ambitious squad hungry for success surrounding him, the Grizzlies is definitely a team to look out for.

The Suns topped the West last season but were eliminated in the second round by the Mavericks. It was a disappointing end a season full of hopes as Phoenix was coming off a year where they played in the Finals. Although Chris Paul will be one year older, it doesn’t seem to affect him much. There might be an ownership change in store for the team, but it should remain an elite team nonetheless.

Luka Doncic finally carried the Mavericks among the elite teams in the Western Conference. After finishing fourth in the regular season, Dallas went all the way to the Western Conference Finals where they lost to the Warriors. This year’s squad, if healthy, should be even stronger with a healthy Tim Hardaway Jr. and new addition Christian Wood.

It will be another attempt for the Clippers to compete for a championship. Having failed to do that in previous seasons, the team is not slowing down and now has the highest payroll in the league. With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George both being fully healthy, the Clippers may finally be a true contender.

Having a two-time NBA MVP on your roster is always a good thing. Nikola Jokic will have more help with Jamal Murray returning to action after a year out. The Nuggets should compete for a top four seed in the West next season.

Minnesota improved its roster by adding Rudy Gobert this offseason. After barely making the playoffs last season, the Timberwolves could be a threat for many teams in the Western Conference this year.

The Lakers missed the postseason in what was one of the most disappointing years in the history of the franchise. Los Angeles has eyes set on the James Naismith Trophy, but few regard them as a real contender. It might be another difficult year for LeBron James’ team.

Damian Lillard showed his loyalty by staying with the Trail Blazers after the team traded his co-star CJ McCollum. Dame missed the second half of last season as Portland failed to reach the postseason. He will be back healthy next season and that alone could be enough for the team to qualify for the playoffs.

Another big name that will be coming back in the Western Conference is Zion Williamson who is reportedly in fantastic shape. If he is as dominant as he was before, with Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum next to him, the Pelicans could make some noise in the West.

The Kings failed to reach the playoffs last season, despite adding two-time All-Star Domantas Sabonis. With Mike Brown taking the head coach position, Sacramento could be a dark horse next season.

The Spurs, Thunder, Jazz and Rockets are more likely to miss the postseason. Even though San Antonio jumped into the play-in tournament just before the end of the regular season last year, they traded their sole All-Star Dejounte Murray to the Hawks and will likely face another tough year.

The Warriors are currently installed as favourites to finish top of the 2023 Western Conference, with the Clippers a close second. You can see the latest Eastern Conference odds below:

  • Warriors – 4.00
  • Clippers – 4.50
  • Suns – 5.00
  • Lakers – 7.50
  • Nuggets – 10.00
  • Mavericks – 11.00

Odds provided by NBA odds site Betway.

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