2021 NBA Western Conference Preview

2021 NBA Western Conference Preview

The NBA is celebrating its 75th season in 2021 and with Covid restrictions relaxed it is back to an 82 game schedule.  This year there will also be a play-in tournament for teams ranked 7-10 which will add a bit of extra interest. Of course, the downside of this is that effectively 2/3 of the teams will make the playoffs which sort of rewards failure. Still, we will not complain about four extra “win & in” games. Plus the likelihood is that the 8th seed will be done in four anyway. So how have the divisions shaped up after the flurry of trades and acquisitions?

NBA Western Conference

Northwest Division

The Northwest looks brutal this year and this could affect the division’s chances of winning the conference. With the exception of the Thunder who have traded everyone who could throw a ball for future draft picks there is a case for every team. Ultimately we think the Jazz and Nuggets will fight out the division while the Trailblazers should also make the playoffs.  The Timberwolves are also in with a chance of making the play in places but Thunder fans will likely have to console themselves with the knowledge that there are happier times ahead. They have enough draft capital to pretty much get any player they want in 2022.

Pacific Division

The Lakers sort of disappointed last year, however with the addition of Russel Westbrook it’s hard to look past them both for the division and as No 1 seeds. Their main challengers are likely to be the Phoenix Suns who still have both Chris Paul and Devin Booker and should make another deep playoff run. The Deandre Ayton situation might prove a distraction though if they can’t get the extension sorted soon.

We would be higher on the LA Clippers had Kawhi Leonard not been injured. It is doubtful if he will see the court this year and they could end up in the play in places at best. Similarly, Golden State’s prospects hinge to an extent on how soon they can get Klay Thompson back. If he returns before the year is out they could be contenders. That’s is a big ask though. The Kings look destined to finish last but might not be awful.

Southwest Division

The Southwest looks by far the weakest of the three divisions and we expect Dallas to win it with some ease. They have a genuine star in Luka Doncic but after that, the roster is more workmanlike. They will get a decent seeding just because of this but might struggle when they face better opposition in the playoffs. The Grizzlies and Spurs should scrape into the play in places, not because they are good but because only 5 out of 15 miss out!

Anyway here is our Western Conference Predicted Finishing Order.


Utah Jazz

Denver Nuggets

Portland Trail Blazers

Minnesota Timberwolves

Oklahoma City Thunder

Pacific Division

Los Angeles Lakers

Phoenix Suns

Golden State Warriors

LA Clippers

Sacramento Kings


Dallas Mavericks

Memphis Grizzlies

San Antonio Spurs

New Orleans Pelicans

Houston Rockets

Predicted Seedings

1 Utah Jazz

2 Los Angeles Lakers

3 Phoenix Suns 

4 Dallas Mavericks 

5 Denver Nuggets 

6 Portland Trail Blazers

7 Golden State Warriors

8 Memphis Grizzlies

9 LA Clippers

10 San Antonio Spurs

Play in Round One

Warriors over Grizzlies

Clippers over Spurs

Round Two 

Grizzlies over Clippers

Western Conference Round One

Jazz over Grizzlies

Lakers over Golden State

Suns over Trail Blazers

Nuggets over Mavericks


Nuggets over Jazz

Lakers over Suns

Western Conference Final 

Lakers over Nuggets 

So after what we hope is a vintage playoff series our tip for the West’s place in the final is the LA Lakers. That would be Lebron James 11th Finals appearance and as we expect them to win it, his 5th ring.


While you are here why not check out our Eastern Conference Predictions.

Comments 1

  1. NBA 2021 Eastern Conference Preview | NBA Basketball

    […] While you are here why not check out our Western Conference Predictions. […]


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