You may or may not remember the frantic last two weeks of the regular season. Western conference teams could, depending on what happened in a single night, go from the #6 seed to the #10 seed, or vice versa. The margin for error was razor thin for some of the teams trying to make the playoffs. I think we can honestly say that our team was definitely one of those teams. I'm going to keep you all updated and appraised on just what the West has been up to. We've had some crazy things happen so far. Dallas let their two best guards from their championship (which was only 13 months ago) leave to go east (one to the Knicks, the other to the Celtics). Phoenix facilitated their two time MVP point guard moving to Hollywood with a trade. Houston is apparently playing 52 pick-up with their roster for maximum flexibility. Some predictable things did happen though, San Antonio looks to retain their bigman; and New Orleans got a lot of talent in the draft with their good picks.
For a more in depth breakdown . . . check out the "cool" table after the break.
|Western Conference||Off-Season Moves||Other||Better|
|Seed||Team||W||L||%||Major Addition||Major Loss||Moves||or Worse?|
|5||Clippers||40||26||60.6%||.||Lamar Odom||Trade||Mo Williams||Trade||1||.||Better|
|7||Mavericks||36||30||54.5%||.||Jared Cunningham||Draft||Jason Kidd||UFA||4||.||Worse|
|8||Jazz||36||30||54.5%||.||Mo Williams||Trade||Devin Harris||Trade||3||.||Better|
|9||Rockets||34||32||51.5%||.||Jeremy Lamb||Draft||Chase Budinger||Trade||11||.||???|
|10||Suns||33||33||50.0%||.||Kendall Marshall||Draft||Steve Nash||Trade||0||.||Worse|
|11||Trail Blazers||28||38||42.4%||.||Damian Lillard||Draft||Brandon Roy||UFA||2||.||Better|
|13||Warriors||23||43||34.8%||.||Harrison Barnes||Draft||Dorell Wright||Trade||4||.||Better|
|15||Hornets||21||45||31.8%||.||Anthony Davis||Draft||Emeka Okafor||Trade||6||.||Better|
There are really two things this chart needs to also point out: the first big one is that some teams that tanked may not tank this time around, the second is that some teams who had to shut things down due to injury may be quite good this year. Two teams that both of those situations may hit a little close to home to are Golden State (Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry) and Minnesota (Ricky Rubio). Those teams COULD be playoff teams depending on how the season plays out. Spooky.
I think it is safe to say that unless one of them bags Dwight Howard, then Utah should be better than both Houston and Dallas this year (maybe also Denver?). Of course, you never know what's going to happen. Utah barely made the playoffs this year. It would suck to be pushed out by some upstart team.
Here is a short list of players leaving the conference:
- Devin Harris (Traded to ATL)
- Jason Kidd (UFA to NYK)
- Jason Terry (UFA to BOS)
- Kelenna Azubuike (Traded to CLE)
- Marcus Camby (Traded to NKY)
- Samuel Dalembert (Traded to MIL)
- Trevor Ariza (Traded to WAS)
- Gustavo Ayon (Traded to ORL)
- Emeka Okafor (Traded to WAS)
- Rashard Lewis (Waived, going to MIA)
- Dorell Wright (Traded to PHI)
Yes, this is a partial list of some Jazz killers in previous years (especially guys who can knock down threes). I'm happy to see them go. That said, there are some guys switching conferences and joining the West that give us trouble too. Uh, like, Ryan Anderson I guess? Jon Leuer? Basically this is a 'net gain' for the Jazz in terms of inter-conference migration.
Better or Worse?
I think the Jazz will be better. Are we going to be good enough to move up? I think we're good enough to keep up with the Joneses, for what it is worth. What do you think?