Community Shootaround: Who Will Win The West?

The Celtics currently hold a 14-game lead for the top seed in the Eastern Conference, making them a very strong favorite to reach the NBA Finals, though that outcome is far from assured.

The standings are much more competitive in the West though. The seedings are still up for grabs, but the top 10 teams are all but secured after Golden State beat Houston on Thursday.

The Timberwolves are currently the No. 1 seed due to a tiebreaker over the defending-champion Nuggets, who hold an identical 53-24 record. The upstart Thunder are one game back at No. 3, followed by the Clippers, Mavericks and Suns.

The Pelicans, Kings, Lakers and Warriors are currently the Nos. 7 through 10 seeds, meaning they’d be in the play-in tournament if the season ended today. Only two games separate Phoenix and the Lakers, however, so things could certainly change between now and April 14, when the regular season concludes.

Each of the top teams in the West has question marks ahead of the postseason, mostly due to injuries. Minnesota may not have Karl-Anthony Towns back before the first round, and the team has only advanced past that stage one time in franchise history. Denver, which went 16-4 in last year’s playoffs en route to its first title in 2023, has been playing without star guard Jamal Murray of late, though he may return soon.

Oklahoma City is young and is not playoff tested, plus MVP candidate Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has been sidelined recently with a quad injury. Kawhi Leonard is currently dealing with a knee injury for the Clippers.

The Mavericks have dealt with injuries to rotation players throughout the season, though they’re the hottest team in Conference at the moment. Phoenix’s “big three” has only played in 36 games together in 2023/24. New Orleans, Sacramento, the Lakers and Golden State have all been inconsistent throughout the season.

With so many unknowns, it makes it difficult to pick a favorite. That leads us to our question of the day: Who do you think will advance out of the West and make the NBA Finals? Head to the comments and let us know what you think.

View Comments (14)