View Full Version : SI - Ranking the Western Conference

08-15-2008, 03:16 PM
We've already evaluated the Eastern Conference based on the offseason moves to this point. Now let's assess the West.

The West has been remarkably quiet so far -- at least among the top clubs. Other than the Rockets (who have acquired Ron Artest from the Kings), no elite team has really made a big move yet. It will be interesting to see if a top contender with tradable assets such as the Lakers or Jazz makes a deal to try to bolster its chances now or whether it stands pat.

At any rate, here's how we see the conference at the moment:

1. Lakers:
2. Rockets:
3. Hornets:
4. Jazz:
5. Spurs:
6. Mavericks:
7. Trail Blazers:
8. Suns:
9. Nuggets:
10. Clippers:
11. Warriors:
12. Kings:

13. Timberwolves: Mike Miller (formerly of the Grizzlies) and rookie forward Kevin Love headline the big offseason changes. Beleaguered team vice president Kevin McHale also picked up a future No. 1 pick and cash, as well as reserves Rodney Carney and Calvin Booth, from the Sixers without having to give up any bodies in return. The Timberwolves still have a long way to go to get back to respectability, but the presence of the veteran Miller should join with rising star Al Jefferson to at least keep them moving in the right direction.

14. Oklahoma City:

15. Grizzlies: They tried to appease fans still angry over last season's giveaway of Pau Gasol by signing ... Marc Gasol. Pau's 7-foot younger brother, who had been playing professionally in Spain, is actually a solid prospect who should be able to contribute right away. Memphis also obtained rookie guard O.J. Mayo on draft night (in the deal with the Timberwolves for Miller). With Gasol and Mayo joining Mike Conley and Rudy Gay, the Grizzlies have an exciting young core around which to build. But look for more growing pains in '08-09.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/marty_burns/08/15/west.rankings/index.html?eref=T1 ("")


08-16-2008, 03:55 PM