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  1. #1
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    Lakers, Clippers, Jazz, Nuggets, Suns: One of these teams will miss West Semis

    With most of the offseason completed we have a pretty good idea of what the league will look like next year. The West is extremely loaded as always, and as the title states one of those top teams will be out in the 1st round next year. The Jazz were the #1 team in the NBA this past season, Denver has the reigning MVP, Phoenix just won the Western Conference, and the two LA teams have the most start studded rosters in the Conference, yet one of them will lose early in the playoffs.

    Health is obviously going to be key, and we don't know who will make it through next season before we get to the 2022 playoffs, but Kawhi is going to miss most or all of next season because of his new injury. If he doesn't come back at all then it would seem pretty obvious that the Clippers will be the team to miss out, but Murray is in the same boat as Kawhi, tearing his ACL in April. Usually an ACL tear takes 12 months to fully recover, 11 in some cases, but that's going to take most of next season. Even if Murray comes back in March, 11 months after his injury, Denver is going to play most of the season without him and that's going to cause them to slide in the standings. A couple extra losses in the West can be the difference between the 2 seed and the 7 seed, which could give them a really ill-favored 1st round matchup. Due to Kawhi and Murray both missing most or all of next season, I find it much more likely that Clippers and/or Nuggets be the teams to be out in Round 1 as opposed to the Lakers, Jazz, and Suns.

    And that's to say nothing of Portland, Dallas, Golden State, and Memphis, of which one will probably not make it out of the play-in tournament next year, who are the next best teams. Even without Kawhi and Murray, I would still like the Clippers and Nuggets to make it out of the play-in tournament and be one of the final eight teams, but they very well could finish lower in the standings than some of these other playoff teams which would ruin them in the playoffs.

    In the end I just find it pretty astonishing that one, and possibly more, of these excellent teams will be out after the 1st round next year. You can't have five teams from the same Conference make it so there's no way. I guess my money would be on the Clippers missing it because they'll probably also lose Reggie Jackson. Denver is also no lock, but we just watched them easily beat Lillard's Blazers without either Murray or Monte Morris to make it into the West Semis this year. I think the Nuggets are a better bet than the Clippers at this point.

    As for the Lakers, Jazz, and Suns, injuries is the only thing that could stop them IMO. What do you guys think?

  2. #2
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    Will depend on health

  3. #3
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    Too mnay things can happen. If I was a betting man though, it's probably the Nuggets.

  4. #4
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    Dam the west is so top heavy now

  5. #5
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    You make valid points.

    Anyone remember the 2014 Suns? They went 48-34 and missed the playoffs. It's just a meat grinding gauntlet out West.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by smith&wesson View Post
    Will depend on health
    It REALLY will. The healthiest team will likely cruise to the finals.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by smith&wesson View Post
    Dam the west is so top heavy now
    Clippers, Lakers, Suns, Jazz, Warriors, Nuggets, Blazers, Mavs all look pretty good ... not sure 8 good teams is "top heavy".

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NBA all the way View Post
    You make valid points.

    Anyone remember the 2014 Suns? They went 48-34 and missed the playoffs. It's just a meat grinding gauntlet out West.
    2008 Warriors missed the playoffs with the same record.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoots View Post
    Clippers, Lakers, Suns, Jazz, Warriors, Nuggets, Blazers, Mavs all look pretty good ... not sure 8 good teams is "top heavy".
    I have Lakers, Clippers, Suns, Nuggets, Jazz as the likeliest to come out the west line op said. I donít think the Mavs did enough in the off-season to put them among those teams.

    Warriors will be a dark horse. If Klay regains form theyíll be right up there too. I agree there

    Blazers will be the Blazers if they keep Dame. Likely a 2nd round exit. They havenít really done anything to improve at all.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoots View Post
    2008 Warriors missed the playoffs with the same record.
    That's tough because 3 teams with a .500 or worse record made it in the East in 2008.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by smith&wesson View Post
    I have Lakers, Clippers, Suns, Nuggets, Jazz as the likeliest to come out the west line op said. I donít think the Mavs did enough in the off-season to put them among those teams.

    Warriors will be a dark horse. If Klay regains form theyíll be right up there too. I agree there

    Blazers will be the Blazers if they keep Dame. Likely a 2nd round exit. They havenít really done anything to improve at all.
    Still a lot of "good" teams in the West. Of course they can all fall apart through injury too.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NBA all the way View Post
    That's tough because 3 teams with a .500 or worse record made it in the East in 2008.
    Believe me I know

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoots View Post
    Still a lot of "good" teams in the West. Of course they can all fall apart through injury too.
    I don't know there's a lot of question marks around some of those teams. I just think that the east and west are evening out where as years prior the east was significantly weaker. The west have 5 serious contenders and the east have 4. Both having a dark horse in their conference.

    Lakers, Clippers, Nuggets, Suns, Jazz - Dark horse Warriors

    Nets, Bucks, 6ers, Hawks - Dark horse Heat
    Last edited by smith&wesson; 08-04-2021 at 12:18 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by NBA all the way View Post
    You make valid points.

    Anyone remember the 2014 Suns? They went 48-34 and missed the playoffs. It's just a meat grinding gauntlet out West.
    Thats what I meant also, in years past the west was always a dog fight 1 through 8 where as now I see a clear 5 at the top.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by smith&wesson View Post
    I don't know there's a lot of question marks around some of those teams. I just think that the east and west are evening out where as years prior the east was significantly weaker. The west have 5 serious contenders and the east have 4. Both having a dark horse in their conference.

    Lakers, Jazz, Nuggets, Suns, Jazz - Dark horse Warriors

    Nets, Bucks, 6ers, Hawks - Dark horse Heat
    The actual list of title contenders on paper is probably

    West: Lakers
    East: Nets & Bucks

    Obviously via injury and luck teams like the Suns, Hawks, Nuggets (bubble) can rise to the top but in reality they're nothing more than pretenders, imo.

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