Staff Writer: Ryan Ward
Coming into this NBA season everyone in the Western Conference and the entire league for that matter have his sights set on going after the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers will be looking to repeat as NBA champs like they did twice back in the beginning of the last decade.
The comparison between the current Los Angeles Lakers squad and the team that was able to win three consecutive NBA titles have been starting to come up ever since the Lakers won the title last season. Of course Kobe is much older, more mature an up or all around player than he was back then, but he no longer has Shaq or a dominant center in the paint. Andrew Bynum as an up and coming center and improve his skills tremendously over the next few years he might be able to play with some of that dominance in the near future.
Unfortunately, as of right now, the Lakers can’t be compared to a great team of the past just yet as they need to repeat once again in order to even get close to that category, but it is not beyond the realm of possibility that they could be an even better team than when Shaq and Kobe were the deadliest one-two punch in the NBA.
This season the Los Angeles Lakers are a very good team, perhaps even better than last year, but the competition has gotten better as well with teams like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic and the Dallas Mavericks all grading their rosters in order to compete with the likes of the Lakers when the time comes.
In the Western Conference there are few teams that can be considered title contenders. But the majority of the teams in the West a legitimate playoff teams, unlike the Eastern conference whether seems to only be a handful of playoff teams a couple title contenders.
With that being said, the competition in the Western Conference is as good as it gets in the NBA and will be tough for the defending champs to deal with in the postseason this time around.
Last season the Denver Nuggets where the team that look like they could compete with the Los Angeles Lakers as they had all the right tools and were jelling at the right time, but when the two teams met in the Western Conference finals Carmelo Anthony company were able to give Kobe squad a run for their money, but in the end Lakers were just too much with all their experience and raw talent both in the starting lineup and coming off the bench.
This season the Denver Nuggets are a very good team once again and will be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs, but the one team that a lot of buzz right now in the Western Conference as the Dallas Mavericks who have won 13 straight games and are looking like a legitimate title contender once again.
Before the NBA trade deadline went down on February 18th, Mavs owner Mark Cuban made perhaps the most substantial trade in Mavericks history by bringing Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson and Brendan Haywood to Dallas.
Was these three players made it to Dallas and the Mavericks are to get some much needed team chemistry going, there seem to be no stopping them as they have now NBA best win streak and have jumped to the number two seed in the Western Conference passing the Denver Nuggets.
The still uncertain whether or not the Dallas Mavericks who builds stand the test time second half of the regular season, but things are looking very good right now as they have gone from just another playoff team to a legitimate title contender in the West.