2010-2011 NBA Predictions: Western Conference Preview: Can the Los Angeles Lakers three-peat this NFL odds season? With Kobe, anything is possible, but the challengers are already lining-up for the NBA basketnball betting season.
The gang is back intact and primed for a repeat. An argument could be made that Kobe Bryant is the best player, not only in the NBA now, but maybe ever. Pau Gasol made a huge difference in the playoffs and is a force at center. Ron Artest and Lamar Odom provide scoring depth and Matt Barnes and Steve Blake come off the bench. Can the Lakers three-peat? With the Bryant, the Vegas odds are in their favor.
The Thunder is a young and dynamic team poised to make a run at the Western Conference title this season after a break-out 50-32 record a year ago. Scoring 30.1 ppg, Kevin Durant is already one of the best players in the NBA. Young point guard Russell Westbrook and forward Jeff Green each scored over 15 points per game a year ago and Westbrook could be a star. The Thunder have a deep bench and can score. They may still be a year away but they will be exciting to watch.
The Mavericks re-signed Dirk Nowitzki in the off-season, providing a foundation for players such as Shawn Marion, Caron Butler, and the ageless Jason Kidd. Now at 37, Kidd still averaged 36 minutes a game but 22-year old Rodrigue Beaubois is waiting in the wings to run the team. Does Dallas have enough guns to knock-off the Lakers? Probably not, but with Nowitzki, they have a chance.
Will Melo be traded? If not, Carmelo Anthony could lead coach George Karl to places he has never been. Anthony, who scored 28.2 ppg, 6.6 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game, is an all-round player that can take his team on his shoulders. Al Harrington was signed for additional scoring depth and Chauncey Billups can still score at age 34.
Other teams capable of making noise in the deep western conference include the Portland Trailblazers, San Antonio Spurs, and Utah Jazz. All teams, though, are challengers until someone wins 4 games against the Lakers in the playoffs.
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