Hoopsworld ranks the NBA Western Conference

Here is the link- HoopsWorld ranks Western Conference

It has Portland ranked 8th-

8. Portland Trail Blazers (2012: 11th – 28-38)

Key Additions: Damian Lillard, Meyers Leonard

Key Subtractions: Jamal Crawford, Raymond Felton

Key Draft Additions: Damian Lillard (6th overall), Meyers Leonard (11th overall), Will Barton (40th overall)

After an injury-riddled 2011-12 produced the Portland Trail Blazers’ first lottery season since 2007-2008, the Blazers rearmed with a purpose this summer in the 2012 NBA Draft. Already featuring one of the best scorers in the NBA at power forward in LaMarcus Aldridge, the Blazers added the top point guard in the draft in Lillard and then took the second-best center on the board in Leonard.

The Portland reserves could be a little shaky but the Blazers’ starting five is going to be tough to compete with on a night-in, night-out basis. Even though it’s a difficult choice with the Minnesota Timberwolves looking much improved, it’s hard to see the revamped Blazers not returning to the postseason in 2013.

Here is what it says for Minnesota-

9. Minnesota Timberwolves (2012: 12th – 26-40)

Key Additions: Brandon Roy, Andrei Kirilenko, Chase Budinger, Alexey Shved

Key Subtractions: Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson

Key Draft Additions: N/A

Minnesota has set itself up with an excellent combination of veterans and up-and-comers to make sure this team competes at a high level next season.

How he is able to play after returning from retirement is huge but the addition of Roy, along with proven vet Kirilenko, will be paramount in the Timberwolves improvement.

Combine that with the return of rookie sensation Ricky Rubio, the continued emergence of All Star Kevin Love along with third-year center Nikola Pekovic ‘s maturation, and Minnesota looks to be a formidable squad in 2013. Both the T-Wolves and Blazers will be vying for that final playoff spot in the West all season but Aldridge and Portland finish the regular season on top.

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