WESTERN CONFERENCE: NORTHWEST DIVISION
- Oklahoma City Thunder — 49-33
- Utah Jazz — 48-34
- Portland Trail Blazers — 46-36
- Minnesota Timberwolves — 45-37
- Denver Nuggets — 40-42
Don’t laugh. Russell Westbrook is going to have an amazing season and the Thunder are going to be good. Really good. Westbrook still has plenty of talent surrounding him even with the loss of Durant.
Despite the injury to Gordon Hayward, the Jazz will have the breakout season the league has been counting on. The addition of George Hill gives them the starting point guard they needed and Joe Johnson provides scoring to a bench that finished 25th in the league in that category in 2015-16.
Tom Thibodeau’s hiring in Minnesota has made them a playoff team in the West. In five seasons with the Bulls, he didn’t miss the playoffs once. The Twolves are loaded with young talent that Thibs will get the most out of every night.
Denver will compete for the eight seed and might even surprise and sneak into the playoffs. They have talented players like Nikola Jokic and Danilo Gallinari, but their backcourt isn’t good enough to make them a serious threat.