Jun 17, 2012; Miam, FL, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) against the Miami Heat during the third quarter in game three in the 2012 NBA Finals at the American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

NBA Western Conference Contenders

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers had a great off season with picking up Steve Nash and trading for Dwight Howard.  Kobe Bryant may be another year older this coming season, but he’ll still be Kobe.  Having Nash available to run the offense will help this team out a lot, and they should be right there in the Conference Finals come playoff time.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder were able to bring back their Sixth Man of the Year in James Harden.  Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook will get another year to play together and show that they’re a dynamic duo.  This team probably feels a bit slighted by everyone talking about the Lakers, and that should be good fuel for them to use.

San Antonio Spurs

Everyone talks about the Spurs’ demise, so I’m not predicting them dead, but rather alive and well.  They put together a great season last year with some names that no one knew.  They should be able to get those guys going again, and they do have their leader Tim Duncan back for a few more years.  Tony Parker can put together another MVP worthy season, and we’ll be talking about how the Spurs just put together a season the way they always do.

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