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NBA 2019-20 Western Conference: 5 underrated teams to watch this year

  • The Western Conference is stacked with talent and some sides could be dark horses in the race for the playoffs this season.
Suryaraj Jain
Modified 21 Oct 2019, 18:10 IST

New Orleans Pelicans
New Orleans Pelicans' Zion Williamson.

With the 2019-20 NBA season just around the corner, it is a good time to look at some teams to watch throughout the season looking for a post-season opportunity. There are several top teams that are likely to make it into the playoffs, such as the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets to name a few.

Before the season starts, however, we should look at some sides that have the potential based on their offseason moves (or lack of) to be dark horses in the race for the playoffs. In an earlier article, we discussed the top five underrated teams in the Eastern Conference. Now we will look at their top five counterparts from the Western Conference.

#5 Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks
Dallas Mavericks' Kristaps Porzingis.

Have we forgotten about the Dallas Mavericks in recent times? When we think about the Mavericks, retired power forward and all-time great Dirk Nowitzki comes to mind. Now that his career is done, who is up next to bring this team back? For starters, the Mavs picked up Luka Doncic in the 2018 NBA Draft who performed well in his rookie season, showing the skills that he can develop. Doncic's performance was good enough for him to earn the NBA Rookie of the Year title in 2019.

However, a second-year player isn't enough for the Mavericks to be considered underrated. That is why they pulled off a big trade at the end of January in 2019, trading for then-New York Knicks power forward Kristaps Porzingis. That trade sent multiple players to each team, but most say the Mavericks won that trade. With a healthy Porzingis, an up-and-coming Doncic and several great shooters such as Tim Hardaway Jr. and Seth Curry, the Mavs can certainly make some noise in the West.

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Published 21 Oct 2019, 18:10 IST
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