Mar, 16, 2012; Oklahoma City OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) reacts during the first quarter against San Antonio Spurs at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

Best and Worst Case Scenarios for West Playoff Teams


We’ve taken a look at the current Eastern Conference teams and where they could go. Now it’s time to look at the Western side of things. A little more competition among these teams, and it could be a different look by the end of the season.

Oklahoma City Thunder 33-11
Best Case: Win the Western Conference, get the top seed, and make it to the NBA Finals. With this team and the expectations, it’s Finals or Bust.

Worst Case: Just like the Bulls and Heat in the East, getting defeated in the first or even second round would be a buzz kill for the Thunder.

San Antonio Spurs 29-13
Best Case: Being the second best team in the West is probably more than people expected, so I say getting to the Conference Finals would be the best case scenario for this team.

Worst Case: Somehow stumbling in the final couple of months, and losing out on the division to fall back into the pack of the West.

LA Lakers 28-16
Best Case: Overtaking the Thunder to earn the top seed and march to the NBA Finals.

Worst Case: Somehow losing to the Clippers or not making it as far as the Clippers team.

LA Clippers 24-18
Best Case: Winning the division and making it to the Conference Finals.

Worst Case: Stumbling down the stretch to fall towards the bottom of the West, and not faring well in the playoffs.

Memphis Grizzlies 24-18
Best Case: Somehow overtaking the Spurs, who have a five game lead in the division, and getting a good seeding for the playoffs. Making it to the Conference Finals again.

Worst Case: Falling a few games back and ending up in the bottom half of the West as they sit in fourth place right now.

Dallas Mavericks 25-20
Best Case: Sneaking into the top half of the Western Conference and earning a home playoff series.

Worst Case: Falling out of the playoff race all together and not defending their NBA title.

Houston Rockets 24-20
Best Case: Same scenario as the Dallas Mavericks. Rockets make a push and get a home playoff series.

Worst Case: Falling out of the playoff picture.

Denver Nuggets 24-20
Best Case: Somehow overtaking the Thunder for the division. More likely, making a run at the top half of the Western Conference.

Worst Case: Falling out of the playoffs with a stumble in these last months of the season.