With the 2017-2018 NBA season getting underway, here are the teams that I believe will make the playoffs from the western conference. Unlike sports such as baseball, hockey, and football, in which you can win championships without having the best player in the league on your team, basketball is much different. In order to compete and be successful in the national basketball association, you must have a superstar on your roster. Currently, the Warriors are poised to run the table for yet another year, with players such as Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry ready to play in their second season together coming fresh off an NBA title.

However, here are the seven other teams that I believe will give them a run for their money come the western conference playoffs.

Playoff contenders

1) Golden State Warriors - The reigning champs look to repeat and win their third title in four years. The core of Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green should be almost impossible to beat making them my favorite to win the title this year.

2) Oklahoma City Thunder - Oklahoma City was incredibly busy this offseason trading for superstars in Paul George and Carmelo Anthony. Unfortunately for the Thunder, basketball is only played with one ball and having three ball dominant players on the same team could be trouble.

3) Houston Rockets - Houston, like Oklahoma City, also went out this off-season and got themselves another superstar to go along with James Harden in Chris Paul.

The Rockets ruined the Warriors opening night celebrations with a huge comeback win showing fans that they are legit.

4) San Antonio Spurs - The Spurs dynasty enters another year with rising superstar Kawhi Leonard at the helm. However, if the Spurs want to have a fighters chance at ring number six, LaMarcus Aldridge needs to play like the all-star he once was.

In fact, the Spurs doubled-down on their investment in Aldridge and signed him to a three year, 72.3 million dollar extension according to ESPN.

5) Minnesota Timberwolves - With the addition of all-star Jimmy Butler, the young wolves look to bring postseason basketball back to the land of 10,000 lakes. In order to do this, budding star Andrew Wiggins needs to play up to his all-world potential and Karl-Anthony Towns needs to continue to dominate offensively from anywhere on the court.

6) New Orleans Pelicans - The Pelicans season begins and ends with 24-year old superstar Anthony Davis. Davis is arguably the best big man in the league and is an absolute force on both sides of the court. After underachieving last season even with the addition of DeMarcus Cousins the Pelicans should turn a few heads and be able to make some legitimate noise in the playoffs. If not, look for the team to blow it up and rebuild by trading both Davis and Cousins for high draft picks.

7) Memphis Grizzlies - The Grizzlies will try to pull an upset in this year's Western Conference playoffs, as last year they took the Spurs to six games. Mike Conley and Marc Gasol return without power forward Zach Randolph.

The Grizzlies are always a tough out in the playoffs as they grind out every game. The biggest question for the Grizzlies this year is how healthy will small forward Chandler Parsons be, and if he is healthy, how well will he perform?

8) Denver Nuggets - The Nuggets made a push for legitimate contention this off-season with the signing of all-star small forward Paul Millsap. Millsap will give the team some extra offense to go along with budding star Nikola Jokic. Guard Jamal Murray looks to take another step with his offense and lead this team into the playoffs which is no easy task in the tough Western Conference.

On the cusp

Here are some of the teams that I think could potentially make some noise and steal a spot in the playoffs from the eight teams listed above.

Portland Trailblazers: Portland certainly underperformed last season leaving many fans with a sour taste in their mouth, but look for this team to be outstanding offensively if they can manage to stay healthy. Any team with the back-court of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum has a chance to compete for the title.

Utah Jazz: With the loss of Gordon Hayward to the free agency market this off-season, the Jazz definitely took a step back. This team is still loaded with talented young players like Derrick Favors, Alec Burks, and Dante Exum. With a core of veterans in Joe Johnson and Ricky Rubio, the Jazz could find their way back to the playoffs.