FanShot

Sorting out the Western Conference

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Which is the most dangerous dark horse in the Western Conference? Kevin Arnovitz, ESPN.com: Portland. It delivered a stinker at the Clippers the other night, but there's a lot to like about the simple, refined game the Blazers run in the half court. Everyone on that team understands his role. LaMarcus Aldridge is mastering the art of finding his shot. Gerald Wallace and Nic Batum are cutting machines. And the team comes out with a workable defensive game plan every night. Rob Mahoney, The Two Man Game: The Trail Blazers. They are a fun, versatile squad with all kinds of intriguing lineup possibilities, and they finally have the defensive efficacy to match their typically efficient offense. The Blazers were considered a dangerous team coming into last season's playoffs, and with even more time to grow together, a fully integrated Gerald Wallace and the addition of Jamal Crawford, Portland will be even more formidable this time around.

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