3. Los Angeles Clippers
The Los Angeles Clippers are a tough team to predict. If they can remain healthy, they should be able to fulfill this spot.
But health will be the key for the Clippers.
Injuries ruined their chances in the playoffs last season, as the Clippers were defeated in the playoffs by the Portland Trail Blazers. The Clippers lost Blake Griffin and Chris Paul in the Blazers series, and there have been questions about Griffin’s health this offseason.
If the Clippers are healthy, they have the talent to make it to the Western Conference semi-finals, and perhaps the Western Conference Finals as well. Paul is still a top point guard when he is healthy, and likewise, Griffin is a top forward when he’s on the floor. DeAndre Jordan is coming off of a successful run with Team USA Basketball, and should be confident going into the season.
The Clippers also bring back Paul Pierce, Jamal Crawford, and JJ Redick, and they have added a former Warrior as well. Los Angeles signed Marreese Speights away from Golden State. Speights can serve as a stretch-four for the Clippers.
This is a veteran team that’s been together for years now, and the Clippers, provided they are healthy, should be one of the top teams in the Western Conference.
Next: No. 2