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2023-2024 Western Conference Regular Season Prediction Contest

One Brow

Well-Known Member
Standings as of 2023-NOV-18 (Ties: DAL,DEN 1.5; NOP,PHX 8.5; SAS, POR 13.5):
42 sip
47 Jazz Traveler
48 TheGoldStandard
48 zags422
49 One Brow
50 David Hume
51 Ron Mexico
53 George W
54 JazzFever
55 MT Steve
55 Shad
57 Jazzmix
58 mcbsst
58 Ferguson_Mellochill
59 GG Jazz Cabbage
59 gandalfe
59 silesian
59 Handlogten's Heros
60 Keefe
60 oldtimer
61 dipship31
62 FrenchJazzFa
62 Brsn
63 Domino
63 hgb
63 Growlor
63 NBA.com Preseason Power Rankings
64 LogGrad98
64 SoberasHotRod
64 Vegas
67 underdog
67 NAOS_pt2
67 Saint Cy of JFC
68 JazzGal
68 Florinc Florin
70 LBird23
78 HermanG
88 Random

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Participants (let me know if I missed anyone):

Brsn
David Hume
dipship31
Domino
Ferguson_Mellochill
Florinc Florin (1 point penalty for "PHO")
FrenchJazzFa
gandalfe
George W
GG Jazz Cabbage
Growlor
Handlogten's Heros
HermanG
hgb
Jazz Traveler
JazzFever
JazzGal (1 point penalty for not listing Houston, which I put at 15)
Keefe
LBird23
LogGrad98
mcbsst
MT Steve
NBA.com Preseason Power Rankings (expected out tomorrow)
NAOS_pt2
One Brow
Random
Ron Mexico
Saint Cy of JFC
silesian
sip
SoberasHotRod
TheGoldStandard
underdog
Vegas (using the list reported by JazzFever)
zags422

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Rules 1-5 are the same as last year, 6 is new. Everyone should read #6 carefully.

1. Post your regular season prediction for all 15 teams.

2. All predictions are frozen at midnight 2023-OCT-22 (after the preseason, before the season). Any changes are okay before then. I will compile my list on OCT-22.

3. Your score is based on the net difference between your prediction and standings. For example, if you pick the Clippers to be first and they are in fourth, you receive 3 points for the Clippers. Low score wins.

4. Ranking is based on win% only.

5. Tied teams each receive an averaged score. For example, two teams tied for 5th/6th place are each scored as 5.5. Three teams tied for 10/11/12 are each scored as 11.

6. Order the teams with the following 3-letter abbreviations, without numbers, punctuation, etc.. I will add 1 point to the score each team in an entry (up to 15 points) that I need to fix.

DAL
DEN
GSW
HOU
LAC
LAL
MIN
MEM
NOP
OKC
PHX
POR
SAC
SAS
UTA

I expect to update on the third weekend of each month.
 
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MIN
DEN
OKC
PHX
LAL
NOP
GSW
SAC
MEM
DAL
LAC
HOU
UTA
SAS
POR
 
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DEN
PHX
LAL
MIN
GSW
LAC
DAL
MEM
SAC
OKC
UTA
NOP
SAS
HOU
POR
 
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The mid teams in the West is just a glob of IDK... so much will be determined by injuries.
 
SECOND DRAFT=- with Vegas rankings of total wins in parenthesis to see where I diverge from the conventional wisdom


DEN (1)
SAC (10)
LAC (5)
MIN (7)
PHX (2)
UTA (12)
GSW (4)
LAL (3)
OKC (8)
DAL (11)
HOU (13)
SAS (14)
POR (15)
MEM (6)
NOP (9)

Lots of good teams with not a lot separating them- may be deepest the conference has ever been. May be a good time for an expansion draft.

Obviously not thinking NO can maintain health and Ja isn't going to last with all the legal controversy around him. They're my big 'gambles' other than thinking Utah and SacTown will seriously outperform.

Down-ranking the Lakers should just be a given.
 
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I think that Denver is clearly the best team in the West. Phoenix is probably the second best team, but I don't think they are a very good regular season team since they have no depth.
 
What is clear is that there will be at least 2-3 very disappointed teams/fanbases. NOP, DAL, GSW (if injury bug gets them), MEM if those teams miss the playoffs... rough.
 
I still want to know why anyone thinks OKC is better than Utah.

They got no depth and Chet is coming off foot surgery as a rookie.
 
SGA might be like a top 7 dude... I think that's why. They are team hype doe.
Yeah, I get SGA, but for them to reach a top 6 status in teh West Chet would have to have an insane season. Coming off an injury as a rookie, with his body, I think he will struggle more than people think.
 
Yeah, I get SGA, but for them to reach a top 6 status in teh West Chet would have to have an insane season. Coming off an injury as a rookie, with his body, I think he will struggle more than people think.
Part of it though is they basically punted at center last year... so if he gives them 20-25 solid minutes over 50-60 games I think it is better than what they had.

Obviously they are factoring in a bunch of internal development with Willaims and Giddy. I still think they need to brink in some veteran help to make the leap some are projecting. Likely a play-in team with us.
 
I still want to know why anyone thinks OKC is better than Utah.

They got no depth and Chet is coming off foot surgery as a rookie.

Let me break it down for you.

1. For me SGA is clearly the best player between the 2 teams and is knocking on the door of being a top 5 player in the league.
2. I'm a huge Jalen Williams fan and expect a big year from him. Right now it is probably a toss between he and Giddey but as of right now I like both guys better than whoever is considered to be our 2nd and 3rd best players. So basically I like their big 3 better than whoever we would put in our big 3.
3. They have one of the best perimeter defenders in the league in Dort. For us hopefully Ochai progresses in that department but as of now we don't have anyone close to Dort.
4. I really like the addition of Vasilije Micic as a backup guard. He should be solid from the get go.
5. Tre Mann looked amazing in the summer league and we probably see a breakout season from him. If not Tre Mann then they also have Cason Wallace who I think is already an nba level defender and has nice upside offensively.
6. They have some solid role player wings in Isaiah Joe, Aaron Wiggins and Kenrich Williams
7. Their bigs are 100% a concern though and I think they made a mistake not trying to bring in a vet big. With that being said I love Chet's potential and wouldn't be surprised to see him top 3 in ROY voting this season. Jaylin Williams showed some potential as a rookie last year and looked even better in the summer league. If I had to guess I would think Giddey plays most of his minutes at the 4 spot as well. As the season goes on I think they are the team to look out for if we see some solid bigs hit the market. They have the assets to outbid anyone for any player.
 
Lot's of competition in the West again. I wouldn't be surprised to see teams like the LAC, NOP, and MIN blow up their teams if they underperform. So it's hard to guess the rankings. But I imagine something like this:

GSW
LAL
DEN
PHX
MIN
SAC
LAC
MEM
OKC
DAL
UTA
NOP
POR
SAS
HOU
 
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DEN
PHX

MIN
MEM

SAC
LAC
GSW

NOP
LAL

OKC
UTA
SAS

DAL
HOU
POR


Jazz should be competing for the Play-in. Utah's weakness is figuring out the PG position and on-ball creation in general. Without Mike Conley orchestrating last year, the offense got bogged down. Jazz probably also need Ochai to emerge as a volume shooter--like 8 3PAs a night with 3 makes. Jazz have a log-jam in the backcourt. If Keyonte starts to emerge, look for a trade to happen sooner rather than later, probably involving either Sexton or THT. Also, see if there are trade rumors involving Brandon Ingram this year and if the Jazz are mentioned.
 
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