The Western Conference has been the more powerful of the two in the NBA for several years now. This current season is no exception. Apart from the powerhouses, which were expected to dominate and they eventually did, we also saw several underdogs making their presence felt. The San Antonio Spurs, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Oklahoma City Thunder are considered as the three elite teams in the West, but the Portland Trail Blazers and the Golden State Warriors are also powerhouses, emerging ones. We could even say that the Los Angeles Clippers are an emerging powerhouse, given that it’s been just a couple of seasons since Lob City has made it to the top. Let’s examine each emerging power in the West.
The Warriors are definitely an emerging powerhouse. Although the Dubs experienced several ups and downs this season, they also showed their potential. The Warriors entered the 2013-2014 campaign as one of the strongest championship contenders in the Western Conference, and the truth is that it took them a while to showcase their abilities. Playing without their starting centre, Andrew Bogut, the Dubs did manage to drag their first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games. They eventually fell to Lob City, but the future seems to be bright for Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee, Andre Iguodala and the rest of the crew. Every core member of the team is under contract for at least one more season.
Rip City made it to the second round of the playoffs this year and but it also managed to made its presence felt across the NBA world. The Blazers have now found their new face of the franchise, in Damian Lillard. The second-year point guard as already reached a superstar level and although he is just 23, he seems to be ready to make it to the list of the elite point guards in the NBA, together with Chris Paul, Tony Parker and Russell Westbrook. On top of that, LaMarcus Aldridge has managed to revamp his career, and although he had some cold streaks during the playoffs, he seems to be capable of being the second-star pillar, alongside Lillard. Nicolas Batum is the third member of Rip City’s Big Three and things in Portland now look better than ever in the recent history of the team. Look for the Blazers to continue emerging in the seasons to come.
Forget about the Lakers. The next big thing in LA is the team called “Los Angeles Clippers”, also known as Lob City. The Clips possess every single element a true powerhouse; an elite team needs to have. They’ve got two megastars, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, an emerging star, in DeAndre Jordan, the best sixth man in the NBA, in Jamal Crawford and also one of the handfuls of guru coaches in the league, Doc Rivers. The Clippers have already emerged as a powerhouse in the West, but they are continuing their upward course. If they don’t win the NBA Championship this year, they will certainly have the chance to do so in the seasons to come.