NBA Playoffs 2023 Western Conference Preview

NBA Playoffs 2023 Western Conference Preview

Mark off your calendars for the next two months as we get ready for the NBA Playoffs.  While it feels like the longest postseason in pro sports it always delivers with excitement. It’s been an incredible year for the league as some new blood is in the playoffs this year – looking at you Sacramento Kings after a 17-year absence.  We also saw some colossal swings and misses.  After making the conference finals last season, the Dallas Mavericks will be sitting at home watching this postseason even after acquiring Kyrie Irving at the trade deadline. Here’s our NBA Playoffs 2023 Western Conference Preview.

It’s a totally different look at the top of the standings this year with new teams emerging and some holding on for dear life despite battling some crazy circumstances to make the postseason in such a great position. Here are the seeds 1-10:

  1. Denver Nuggets (53-29)
  2. Memphis Grizzlies (51-31)
  3. Sacramento Kings (48-34)
  4. Phoenix Suns (45-37)
  5. Los Angeles Clippers (44-38)
  6. Golden State Warriors (44-38)
  7. Los Angeles Lakers (43-39)
  8. Minnesota Timberwolves (42-40)
  9. New Orleans Pelicans (42-40)
  10. Oklahoma City Thunder (40-42)


The play-in games were created to make the league more competitive and encourage teams not to tank. It did not work out that way for the Dallas Mavericks. They most definitely tanked their last two games of the season when they had a chance to be the #10 seed.  In the first play-in game Tuesday, the LA Lakers beat the dysfunctional Minnesota Timberwolves for the right to face the #2 seed Memphis Grizzlies in the first round.  Two months ago, I would have laughed at anyone who had Lebron and team in this position, but here they are with the best record in the conference since the All-Star break.  In the other play-in game Wednesday, the Oklahoma City Thunder earned the right to face off against the Timberwolves Friday night for the final playoff spot.  The winner of that game gets to face the #1 seed Denver Nuggets while the loser goes home.

Best Series

Sacramento vs Golden State

The Kings have been the best story in the NBA this season. They broke a playoff drought, reinvigorated their fan base, and showed that a great head coaching hire can make all the difference. The Warriors have really struggled on the road this year and with Sacramento getting home court advantage for the series, I see an early exit for the reigning champs.

Potential Second Round: Denver vs Phoenix

When the Suns marched to the Finals in 2021, this was one of the more fun playoff series to watch and now we can get a rematch of that. Phoenix has arguably the most talented roster when healthy while Denver has the man who should win MVP. I like Phoenix to move on and pull the upset of the 1-seed.

Conference Finals: Phoenix vs Sacramento

KD, Chris Paul, Devin Booker, and Deandre Ayton all have deep runs in the postseason and have a lot going right for them. As much as I love this story out of Sacramento, it’s hard to argue with that Suns roster and how well they can score on a nightly basis. Depth doesn’t concern me, but the Suns will just have to work efficiently. Phoenix in seven games here.