2012 NBA Western Conference Playoffs
In the 2011 Western Conference Playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks became my favorite NBA team when they knocked off the Los Angeles Lakers. Then they continued their roll and beat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. However, 2012 is a new year and there are several young NBA teams that will be looking to advance in the 2012 Western Conference Playoffs. Take a closer look at an early prediction for the 2012 NBA Western Conference Playoff teams.
8. New Orleans Hornets
Last year, nobody thought the Hornets would make the NBA Western Conference Playoffs either. However, Monty Williams is a great coach and the ex-Clippers will play inspired ball in 2012 to show up their former NBA team.
7. Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have taken a step (or two) back at the outset of the 2012 NBA season. Also, it will take time for L.A. to learn a new offense in 2012. A trip to the Western Conference Playoffs may be the only goal for the 2012 Lakers.
6. Portland Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers played well in the 2011 NBA Western Conference Playoffs. LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews are emerging stars in 2012 and they should get Portland back into the Western Conference Playoffs.
5. San Antonio Spurs
Every year, people say the Spurs are too old and every year, they return to the NBA Western Conference Playoffs. Their experience should land them in the Western Conference Playoffs one more time in 2012.
4. Memphis Grizzlies
I may have been the only person outside of Memphis who was not surprised when the Grizzlies upset the Spurs in the 2011 NBA Western Conference Playoffs. Look for deja vu in the 2012 Western Conference Playoffs.
3. Los Angeles Clippers
As a Hornets fan, I know how great Chris Paul is. The duo of Paul and Blake Griffin will dominate the NBA in 2012. The era of the Lakers is over in the NBA. 2012 is the dawn of the Clippers dynasty in the City of Angels.
2. Dallas Mavericks
Although the Mavericks will be the best NBA team in the 2012 Western Conference Playoffs, their brutal Southwest Division schedule will cost them the top seed. However, anything can happen in the Western Conference Playoffs.
1. Oklahoma City Thunder
In my opinion, Kevin Durant is the best player in the NBA heading into the 2012 season. I also predict he will win the 2012 NBA MVP Award. It remains to be seen if the young Thunder are ready to take the next step forward in their NBA evolution and advance through the 2012 Western Conference Playoffs.
Patrick Michael was born in New Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. A loyal New Orleans NBA fan, Patrick was a diehard New Orleans Jazz fan and now cheers for the Hornets. Patrick was in the New Orleans Arena the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals.
“2010-11 NBA Season Summary,” basketball-reference.com
More from this contributor
The top 5 NBA centers for 2012
The top 5 NBA shooting guards for 2012
The top 5 NBA small forwards for 2012
The top 5 NBA power forwards for 2012
The top 5 NBA free agent signings in history