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The LA Lakers are the favourites from this division and can never be ruled out. Nick looks at the news affecting them and all the other teams in the Western Conference...


NBA WESTERN CONFERENCE

The opening tip in the 2010/11 season is a few days away. Below is a preview of the teams in the Western Conference.


Los Angeles Lakers

The defending champions have made very few changes to last year's rotation. The original starting five is back for another crack at the title. Matt Barnes and Theo Ratcliff were added to strengthen the bench.

The Lakers are still the team to beat in the Western Conference.

Current price to win the NBA championship 4.1


Oklahoma City Thunder

This young team gave the Lakers all they could handle in the playoffs last year. Kevin Durant leads this talented team along with Russell Westbrook and James Harden. I think the Thunder are legitimate contenders for the NBA championship.

Current price 22.0


Dallas Mavericks

The Mavs signed Dirk Nowitzki for four more years during the summer. The team also acquired Tyson Chandler and Alexis Ajinca to add some size to the squad.
Dallas came up short in the playoffs once again last year. This is a talented team that always finds a way to beat itself.

Current price 32.0


San Antonio Spurs

This team is not getting any younger but they always manage to compete. The great Tim Duncan is back for another tilt at the championship along with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

They should make the playoffs at the very least.

Current price 40.0


Utah Jazz

Carlos Boozer signed with Chicago over the summer after six turbulent seasons. His departure has weakened the rotation and I think they will struggle without him. They are a hard team to fancy.

Current price 55.0


Portland Trailblazers

The great Brandon Roy will do the heaving lifting for the Trailblazers again this year. LaMarcus Aldridge and Greg Oden will ensure they make the post-season at the very least.

Current price 60.0


Houston Rockets

The Rockets missed the playoffs last year due to a mountain of injuries.Yao Ming has recovered from ankle surgery which is great news for this team. I think they have an outside chance of making the post-season.

Current price 60.0


Denver Nuggets

Carmelo Anthony is not happy in Denver and wants to leave. This news could not have come at a worse time. Coach George Karl spent the summer recovering from throat cancer and did not have the time or the energy to deal with team politics. I think they will struggle this year.

Current price 60.0


Phoenix Suns

The high octane Suns signed Hedo Turkoglu and Josh Childress during the off-season. Veteran point guard Steve Nash returns for another season but I think they are in for a bumpy ride.

Current price 95.0

 
Golden State Warriors

The Warriors are set for another losing year but there is hope on the horizon. David Lee joined the team from New York in the summer as an unrestricted free agent. He is a quality forward and is considered to be the future of this team.

Current price 220.0


Memphis Grizzlies

The cash strapped Grizzlies are slowly building a team for the future. Rudy Gay is one of the bright stars in the NBA and is the leader of this team. They have an outside playoff chance.

Current price 300.0


New Orleans Hornets

Chris Paul has fully recovered from injury which is great news for the Hornets. The talented Trevor Ariza was signed from Houston which should strengthen them. I think the Hornets could have a fair year.

Current price 300.0


Los Angeles Clippers

The Clippers have been in rebuilding mode for the past 20 years. They have a new coach in Vinny Del Negro who has an impossible task. Another losing year is a certainty.
Current price 300.0


Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves only won 15 games last season. Former general manager Kevin Mchale drove this team in to the ground and it may take years to recover from the mess he left behind.

Current price 300.0


Sacramento Kings

Tyreke Evans is the star of this team and has a very bright future. The Kings signed rookie DeMarcus Cousins who looks like a good low post prospect. They still have a long way to go.

Current price 410.0


By Nick Shiambouros

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