The reigning NBA champions reside in the Western Conference and will be hoping to begin their path to repeating on the right foot when the 2023-24 NBA season tips off Tuesday, October 24. The Nuggets, Lakers, Suns and Warriors are all set to be in action that day and represent the four teams in the West many see as true contenders. Here’s how we see the Western Conference playoff and play-in tournament field shaping up when the regular season ends.
Western Conference Playoffs predictions
1. Denver Nuggets
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Phoenix Suns
4. Golden State Warriors
Western Conference Play-in predictions
10. Dallas Mavericks
The Pelicans will likely have better injury luck with Zion Williamson, which gives them a nice boost into the top 6. The entire Pacific division will be featured in the 10-team field after all five teams made the playoffs a year ago. The Grizzlies will have to overcome a 25-game absence from Ja Morant but they’ll get to the play-in tournament. The Kings will make it back-to-back playoff appearances after ending a 16-season drought last year.