Texas rules the West this year
- The West fell back to Earth this summer. Will it pick itself up? For the first time this millennium, everyone is penciling in an Eastern Conference team Pistons or Pacers to win it all.
Out West, one dynasty has crumbled (Lakers). A couple of more standards are on shaky ground, and a number of young upstarts are looking to end a stranglehold on the top four spots in the conference.
Parity is the name of the game out West. Top to bottom, it's tough to remember a time when the conference has been stronger. Every team in the West even the Warriors, Clippers and Sonics would be in the hunt for the playoffs in the East this season were they to switch conferences.
Picking the top eight playoff seeds is still impossible at this early juncture.
The Spurs and Timberwolves clearly have the best shot. But as many as 12 teams probably deserve a playoff seed this year.
NBA training camps opened Monday. Over the course of the next few weeks, some of our assumptions here will have to be changed, but if you want a sneak peak into who, on paper at least, looks good and who doesn't going into camp, Insider provides a primer.
Also see: Eastern Conference pre-season preview
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider
We see that you are not an ESPN Insider. Upgrade today and gain access to our exclusive coverage.
MORE NBA HEADLINES
- Spurs breeze past Heat with Duncan in form
- Clippers rout Lakers by record 48
- LeBron says sleeved jersey partly to blame
- Noah recruits Melo to join Bulls, sources say
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
- NBA Home
- Boston Celtics
- Brooklyn Nets
- New York Knicks
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Toronto Raptors
- Chicago Bulls
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Detroit Pistons
- Indiana Pacers
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Atlanta Hawks
- Charlotte Bobcats
- Miami Heat
- Orlando Magic
- Washington Wizards
- Heat Index