By Sayo Jolayemi
For the third time in the past five years, the Western Conference walked away with the Larry O’Brien championship trophy. The new era Golden State Warriors have established themselves as one of the greatest teams of all time, so it is likely their winning traditions will carry on into next season as they look to repeat. It won’t come easily however, this season other teams have bolstered up their lineups in order to compete with this ‘super team’. Last years Warriors were able to steamroll their way into the finals without losing a single game throughout the first three rounds. Offseason moves made by western conference teams look to disrupt this ‘cake walk’ of a finals trip.
Los Angeles made some noise this offseason, both the Lakers and the Clippers. First off comes the Rookie of the Year favorite; second overall pick, Lonzo Ball. Ball offers the playmaking and leadership skills needed for a young but talented Lakers organization. He and the later drafted Kyle Kuzma lit up the scoreboard throughout the summer league, securing first place in the tournament for the Lakers. Whilst they likely won’t be going too far this year (given that a playoff push is unlikely) core pieces like Jordan Clarkson, and the newly acquired veteran Brook Lopez will prove to be a formidable force in upcoming years. Not to be outdone, Minnesota and Houston also improved their team composition, Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves, and Chris Paul being sent to the Rockets puts an interesting spin on playoff storylines.
Another story arc occurring in the Western Conference is the arrival of top three small forward, Paul George on the Oklahoma City Thunder. He and most recent Kia MVP Russell Westbrook are sure to provide a dynamic and eventful season for diehard Thunder fans, along with connoisseurs of the game. Golden State could not stand to be outdone however, adding veteran three point shooter Omri Casspi, and spark plug Nick Young adds to their strong, and deep team lineup. They will for sure look to “Run the Town” as the team to beat this year. Regarding recent league adjustments, Glenelg freshman Ben Heigh doesn’t think much will change however, “...at the end of it all, the Warriors are still gunna play the Cavs, and they’ll dominate.”
The NBA season is almost upon us, but until then all we can do is wait speculate about what we think (or hope!) will transpire this NBA season. Is your team ready to make the necessary push to elevate themselves? Make sure you tune in to the opening game on October 17th, featuring the Cleveland Cavaliers versus the Boston Celtics, and checkout our article on the Eastern Conference by clicking here,