It’s time for part two of our NBA restart. In part one we broke down the Eastern Conference now it’s time to examine the 13 teams in the bubble from the West. Jannelle Moore brings her talents to The Baseline to discuss:
General thoughts on the restart
- Jannelle warns that anything can happen
- Will players stay in the bubble now that the games officially matter?
Best individual player storylines
- James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Chris Paul and Damian Lillard top Jannelle’s list of players with something to prove
- Anthony Davis has caught the eye of Cal with championship aspirations on the line for the Lakers
- Paul George makes Warren’s list as a guy who should finally be in the best position of his career to make a run at the title
The Race for 8
- Can Memphis hold on to capture the 8 seed?
- Are they the most disrespected team entering the bubble?
- How formidable is Portland with “Skinny” Melo, C.J. McCollum and the return of Jusef Nurkic flanking Lillard?
- Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram have a chance to enter the playoff picture as the league angles for TV dollars
- With both L.A. teams leading the pack we question if others in the West can be formidable
- Are the Rockets ready to small ball their way into the conference finals?
- Despite all their team chemistry, the Nuggets seem to be considered pretenders. Is that a mistake with a slimmer Nikola Jokic leading them into the playoffs?
- Utah’s fractured locker room is still healing but despite personal conflicts with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert–it’s the injury to Bojan Bogdanović that ultimately will be their undoing.
- Cal thinks the Thunder are ill-equipped to make much noise while Warren thinks it’s all about matchups for Paul, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Steven Adams?
- Is it possible the Mavericks are being overlooked with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis?
- Ultimately it appears that the Clippers and Lakers are on a collision course and all three analysts think this will be the year of the Klaw with the Clippers representing the West.