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2012-13 NBA Season Preview: Western Conference Playoff Picture

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2012-13 NBA Season Preview: Western Conference Playoff Picture

Western Conference
Derick Hingle-US Presswire

Now that I have provided a breakdown of each team’s year during the 2012-13 NBA campaign it’s time to focus on how the playoffs will shape up in each conference. There may be some surprises in both the Western and Eastern Conference as far as seedings and possible omissions but hey this is how I see the playoff picture shaping up with the season set to begin just one week away.

Now sure there is a chance that these predictions won’t come true as there is anytime any person puts their self out on the line to make bold statements however I truly feel barring major injuries to any of these eight teams in each conference then this is how it will all play out. I for one can’t wait for the season to begin and then see how these predictions shape up. In these playoff pictures I won’t make any predictions as far as to which teams will win in each round, they’re just overviews as to which teams will make the postseason at the conclusion of the year and where they’ll be seeded. I will have Conference Finals (for both the East and West) and NBA Finals predictions coming in the next few days to breakdown who I think will advance to those series and ultimately who I feel will win the NBA Championship this year.

So without further ado I present to you my NBA Western Conference Playoff Picture as a part of my 2012-13 NBA Season Preview Series. I hope you enjoy!

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#8 Golden State Warriors (43-39)

Steve Dykes-US Presswire

The Golden State Warriors seem as if they are ready to join the ranks of a playoff team this year. Mark Jackson proved to be a good coach trying to lead a bad team last year that had several injury issues now if they can stay healthy, mainly Stephen Curry then the Warriors will be coming out to play in the postseason.

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#7 Memphis Grizzlies (48-34)

Thomas Campbell-US Presswire

The Memphis Grizzlies will have an even tougher time advancing this season out of the first round of the playoffs with their roster seeming to regress while the rest of the West seems to be getting better around them. They have got to figure how to get their front court all balling together.

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#6 Denver Nuggets (52-30)

Troy Babbitt-US Presswire

The Denver Nuggets are as deep as they come in the NBA and could be a first round nightmare for any team that is pit up against them. If I was on the team that had to face off versus them come playoff time I would bring my A game each and every night because they could be a sleeper out West.

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#5 Los Angeles Clippers (54-28)

Kyle Terada-US Presswire

The Los Angeles Clippers were just one game away from winning the Pacific Division last season but now thanks to some renovations made by their cross-gym rivals they'll be stuck in second place again and probably only earn a fifth seed come playoff time which means once again they'll draw a tough match up during the opening round.

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#4 Dallas Mavericks (55-27)

Jerome Miron-US Presswire

The Dallas Mavericks will be much improved this season than last and that will show with their playoff seeding however it's going to be difficult for them to advance to far in this gauntlet of a Western Conference which may just be the best group of teams we've seen in quite a while. Dirk Nowitzki and company are going to have to play much better than last season when they were swept out of the opening round.

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#3 San Antonio Spurs (56-26)

Kevin Jairaj-US Presswire

The San Antonio Spurs seemed as if they were ready to advance to yet another NBA Finals last season until they lost four straight in the Western Conference Finals to a team that wanted it just a little bit more than them last season. This year will they be able to embark on another deep postseason run in hopes of gaining Greg Popovich and Tim Duncan their fifth NBA Title.

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#2 Los Angeles Lakers (60-22)

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US Presswire

Anything less than reaching the Western Conference Finals for this newly assembled super team called the Los Angeles Lakers would be considered a failure. It's not going to be that simple however because this playoff bracket in the Western Conference will create plenty of challenges for Kobe Bryant and his Los Angeles Traveling All-Stars.

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#1 Oklahoma City Thunder (60-22)

Bredan Maloney-US Presswire

Have the Oklahoma City Thunder rebounded from last year's disappointing loss in the NBA Finals? That question won't be answered until April, May and possibly June but if history has anything to say about it then I think they will be ready to make that next step as they have each and every season since Scott Brooks has been at the helm in Loud City. This might just be Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden's final year together as teammates and I'm quite sure if it is they'll want to go out with a bang.