It’s coming down to the wire as the NBA is inching closer to the playoffs. I play the fanalyst as I rank the WC teams and @mia_Heat_index plays the asshole fanatic as he gives the replies to said rankings. You can view the Eastern Conference rankings and my replies HERE.
1. OKC Thunder: Without a doubt, NBA fans alike will see the Thunder in the WCF, possibly against the Lakers or Spurs. Fans were able to view a NBA WCF preview when the Lakers and Thunder played, and while the Lakers owned the first half of that game, their shots weren’t falling and the brilliance that is Russell Westbrook came to life. If you missed the game, just to give you a taste of the Lakers, Andrew Bynum decided to shoot a three-pointer. No Typo. Bynum attempted a three-pointer.
MHI: I always KNEW you were a Closet Westbrook Fan… Injury is the only thing keeping the Thunder out the Western Conference Finals.
2. San Antonio Spurs: Although preseason, I didn’t think SA could do much damage, I have eaten my crow, and Popo is doing what Popo is doing best: Winning. Health is their number one priority, but the team could make a run if they keep up their health and performance.
MHI: Do you need some salt for that crow?
3. Los Angeles Lakers: I stood by my first notion that the Lakers benefited immensely from the Ramon Sessions trade, gave up the aging Derek Fisher for a youthful point guard that can attack the rim with ease. However, between Kobe’s MJ Wizards-esque performance, Bynum’s immaturity, and Coach Brown attempting to finagle all the egos, this is a real challenge for the legendary squad. However, it’s very possible NBA fans see a Thunder-Lakers WCF.
MHI: Lakers got NO SHOT of going to the Western Conference Finals. They’ve lost their last 3 games to the Thunder and play the Spurs 3 times in the last month of the season. You’ll see…
4. Memphis Grizzlies: There are a limited amount of teams in the west that want to see the Memphis Grizzlies first round of the playoffs. They are a ball-swiping, defensive-minded team, but the only question that remains can they make a deep playoff run??
MHI: Manu Ginobili’s elbow must be magical. It’s the only reason people think the Grizzlies are a legit threat in the playoffs. Let’s put the rabbit back in the hat and consider the facts: the Grizzlies were the only team in the Conference Semifinals last season that had a losing record against teams above 0.500. Their 2011 playoff run was a fluke, courtesy of Ginobili’s broken elbow.
5. Los Angeles Clippers: This team is a HOT MESS! They BARELY beat a defunct Portland Trailblazers team (Thanks Chris Paul). There is reported tension between Kenyon Martin (SHOCKER) and Reggie Evans in the locker room. This team WILL be exposed in the playoffs. Book it.
MHI: Another week of Clippers hate… smh. It’s not their fault Chauncey Billups’ Achilles tendon blew apart into fragments. Lob City has the fourth-best efficiency numbers in the West, once adjusted for strength of schedule. They’ve won 4 in a row, will win the Pacific Division and will advance to the Conference Semifinals.
6. Dallas Mavericks: Thanks to the trashy Orlando Magic for giving a win to the Dallas Mavericks, or they wouldn’t even be in this week’s fanayst rankings. Dirk tapped into his German thug-roots to get the job done during Friday night’s game, but could this be a one and done team??
MHI: Thank you, thank you very much. *Bows and waves to crowd*
7. Houston Rockets: Somehow the Rockets are still in the playoff talks, but that has more to do with Denver and Utah’s losing streak more than Houston’s chance at making a solid playoff run. Freaking floppers.
MHI: I’m no longer taking anything you say about the Rockets seriously. They’re not a playoff team so you must be joking.
8. Denver Nuggets: They beat the Bulls (without Rose), lost to the Raptors, but managed to beat the Bobcats playing TURRIBLE NBA basketball. Much like the Rockets, Denver is here because of Grant Hill being out, and Utah’s recent losing streak.
MHI: I’ll let you have your fandom, but you know deep down they won’t make the playoffs. The Jazz are 7-3 in their last 10 games and healthy while the Nuggets are 5-5 and hurting. ‘Nuff said