The Western Conference is still shifting and shaping every game, and it is getting more and more exciting, as teams are moving up and down, and a few more teams are starting to emerge as well. Let’s see which Western Conference teams are poised for big runs in the second half, and which teams might hold some great value for your NBA picks?
- San Antonio Spurs (39-11 SU, 28-20-2 ATS, 1st in West standings)
Last week the Spurs made their debut in the top spot after they had gone on a nine game winning streak, and after a short week, that number is up to 11 SU wins. They have leveled off a bit ATS, but over their last five games they are 3-1-1 ATS. Not too bad for a team that is leveling off.
Many had feared that age would be the Spurs biggest opponent in 2013, but San Antonio is looking strong heading into the second half of the season.
San Antonio won their first of nine straight road games, a trip that will stretch to and after the All Star Break. Usually they are pretty good on the road, going 15-11 ATS. However, this team is still mending, and nine games is a long time on the road, even if it is more like a five and a four game road trip because of the week of in between.
- Oklahoma City Thunder (37-12 SU, 28-18-3 ATS, 2nd in West standings)
While I can’t explain their amazing ATS record this season, I will say that this team is very good, and they could also very well be above the Spurs. However, going into the All Star break, I’m not convinced this team is as good as they were last season. Despite the fact that NBA odds makers are favoring them in the West, OKC's road woes are something to be cautious of. Oklahoma City has been great ATS at home this season, but away from there is where you have to be cautious. They are only 12-10 ATS on the road. They have a home and home against the Suns and games against the Jazz and Heat before the break, and the game against the Heat will be a nice closing to the 1st half.
- Los Angeles Clippers (35-16 SU, 28-23 ATS, 3rd in West standings)
Like the Bulls in the East, the injury bug bit the Clippers as well over the last few weeks, although VERY early reports out of LA claim that three of four of the guys for Clipp Nation might be back Friday night. Chauncey Billups, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin all look like they could make their return, while sixth man Jamal Crawford is likely still questionable. Their injuries hurt them both SU and ATS. They have lost three of their last five ATS, but if their line against Miami tomorrow is favorable, I might take points with them in Miami.
- Denver Nuggets (Up one spot, 31-18 SU, 29-20 ATS, 4th in West standings)
The Nuggets have been climbing steadily in my power rankings, and shooting up the NBA playoff standings. They have won seven straight games SU, and four of their last five ATS. I said at the beginning of the season that I thought they would be undervalued, and I was right. However, after tonight, they have a tough stretch of road games, where they are only 13-12 ATS this season. I might lay off the Nuggets until after the All Star Break if things go south in their first couple of games against the Cavs and Celtics.
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Golden State Warriors
- Houston Rockets
- Portland Trailblazers
Review last week's Western Conference Power Rankings to see how things have shaken up.