These are the Western Conference teams likely to place top 8 and make the playoffs. The obvious number 1 team in the West is the Golden State of course. However, there are a few potential teams that could challenge the champs. Here are the rankings for the 2018-2019 season in the Western Conference.
1. Golden State Warriors
When your starting five is only all-stars, there's really no argument to not have them as the top team in the West. The only thing that will make the Warriors some what vulnerable is there bench, but that shouldn't hurt them if they can manage the substitutions well enough. They're an unbelievably talented team with good coaching. They have the best odds by far to win the Finals.
2. Houston Rockets
The Houston Rockets have such a nice combination in Chris Paul, James Harden, and Clint Capela. This combination nearly lead them to a finals appearance and more then likely a finals win. People are quick to forget that Chris Paul was hurt in game 7 which ultimately changed the course of the series. Houston is one of two teams that have a chance at taking down the seemingly unstoppable Warriors.
3. Utah Jazz
Donovan Mitchell had an amazing rookie year. One of the best rookie seasons in the decade. The Utah Jazz were not only a power in the west because of his great rookie performance but they also had a great defensive center in Rudy Gobert. The Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert combination should put them at the top of the western conference, Especially if both these guys improve after their first season together.
4. Los Angeles Lakers
Lebron James is now on the Lakers. He'll make any team a playoff team. The Lakers are full of young talent with Lonzo, Kuzma, and Ingram. All these young guys will develop over the offseason. Add in the fact they'll be playing with the best player in the world, they'll be a contender in the West. They probably won't be able to contend with the warriors, but they'll definitely be able to fight for a playoff spot.
5. Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City could be a lot higher then 5, but Westbrook is a player that struggles to play with others. The addition of Schroeder will help the team if he can find a role along side Westbrook. If the Thunder can play as a team instead of trying to get Westbrook a triple double every night, they could be a serious contender in the Western Conference. A lot of "if's" though, and that is why they are rated 5.
6. Minnesota Timberwolves
Last year NBA fans were very high on the Timberwolves. They do have a very talented bunch of athletes in Jimmy Butler, Andrew Wiggins, and Karl Anthony-Towns. With that being said, they were plagued with some injuries last year that hurt the team. It was really hard to rate a team with so much talent down at 6, but if they can find a way to click this year, they could be a power in the West. With that being said, it is likely for Jimmy Butler to be traded, and that will change this team completely.
7. Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets have a nice young team in Jamal Murray, Nikola Jokic, and now Michael Porter Jr (of course, with his second surgery we might not even see him on the court this year). With that being said, they're young a team in a very strong west. It'll be hard to compete with so much talent. They did add Isiah Thomas, but who even knows if he'll be a factor this year. They will be a pretty good team this year, but in time, they'll be a great team.
8. New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis is a top 5 player in the league, and well there next best player is either Jrue Holiday or Julius Randle. They probably both crack the top 100. Look Jrue Holiday and Julius Randle are two very good players, but they're not going to be enough to help lift Anthony Davis to a contender in the west. A solid team that should make the playoffs, but nothing more.