Golden State of Mind Consensus Ranking: Western Conference

Best buddies. New teammates.February 26, 2012; Orlando FL, USA; Eastern Conference center Dwight Howard (12) of the Orlando Magic and Western Conference guard Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers (24) battle for position during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center. The Western Conference all-stars defeated the Eastern Conference all-stars 152-149. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Fact: The West is loaded. With Dwight Howard going to the Lakers and Andre Iguodala going to Denver, my bet is those two teams just got significantly better. OKC is already on the verge of a championship, and the Spurs are probably still going to be the Spurs. Memphis had a bit of an off-year, but they still have a lot of talent. Dallas still has Dirk. Utah is a young team on the rise. So is Minnesota. The Warriors roster has undergone massive changes since the beginning of last season, almost all positive ones. And I didn't even mention the Clippers yet. They have arguably the best point guard and power forward in the league now. (If you don't like that assessment, note that I said "arguably".) Even New Orleans could be a tough win on many nights with Eric Gordon re-signed, newly acquired Ryan Anderson, and oh, just the number one pick in the draft and potential superstar in Anthony Davis.

With that said, the West is not only going to be tough to win, it's going to be tough to predict the winner. So I thought why not let's get started on that here. Like we did for the consensus draft a while back, we'll rank the West one team at a time. I'm looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

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