The Western Conference does not need power rankings because we know that the Warriors will win it. I just cannot see it happening any other way, but I would be very interested in the factor that the west will be muddle once you get below the Warriors. There are a lot of teams that could be competitive, flailing, or just stagnant. I think the Warriors have made every other team take a long look in the mirror.

Just below the Warriors

The Spurs, Thunder, and Rockets are just below the Warriors, but this is not a surprise. The only real surprise would happen if the Thunder are able to get Carmel Anthony to not be selfish.

There are a lot of reasons why he could ruin their season, and it would come down to an overestimation of his skills as an older man. He is getting older as much as he does not want to admit it, and he needs to defer to Westbrook and George. The Rockets will probably still see James Harden acting like a baby, and the Spurs will be really close without actually beating the Warriors.

The Jazz

The Jazz have nothing left. They spent all that time with Gordon Hayward, but he left for the Celtics. They will simply have to start over and hope that they can find someone else. That also means that they will get a much higher pick that would have once been reserved by the Lakers or perhaps the Kings.

The Clippers

The Clippers are going to have to hope that they can win enough games to make the playoffs with only Blake Griffin. They have made an effort to give Doc Rivers more help by making sure that they have hired the right people to assist him, and they are not allowing him to serve as the GM. He gave his own kid a huge contract, and that is probably what the team is thinking about when they are losing.

The combination of DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin is not good enough to be competitive in this conference, and they just cannot make their team any better by hiring Jerry West and getting him to consult. It is much deeper than that.

The Mavericks

Dallas has to do a complete rebuild in much the same way that the Lakers are, but they will not get Magic Johnson name and press to come along with the rebuild.

It is very important for The Mavericks to start now so that they can be competitive in a few years. They have no chance at the moment, and they are a whole year behind the Lakers in this department. It would make much more sense for the Mavericks to stop using Dirk Nowitzki so much so that they can get the fans ready for the day when he is gone.