NBA Power Rankings: Top 5 Western Conference teams ahead of opening night 2019-20
While the Toronto Raptors took home the 2019 title, there is no doubting that the Western Conference is currently significantly stronger than the Eastern Conference.
Heading into the new season, only the Phoenix Suns and Memphis Grizzlies are unlikely to contend for a playoff spot. Several teams will be hoping to replace the Golden State Warriors as the new dominant force in the division after Steve Kerr's team lost Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala during a turbulent off-season.
While the two teams from Los Angeles received the most attention during the summer, the likes of Houston Rockets, Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers and Sacramento Kings have all strengthened.
Nevertheless, only five teams can make our power rankings ahead of the new season. Here we take a look at the teams best equipped to dominate the Western Conference this season.
#5 Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets finished the 2018-19 season with the NBA's best home record, and Michael Malone's team will once again be difficult to beat on their own court. The Nuggets didn't pull off a significant off-season move like many of their Western Conference rivals, although the acquisition of Jerami Grant is underrated considering the 25-year-old enjoyed a breakout season with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
While Jamal Murray and Gary Harris have important roles to play this season, much of Denver's hopes will once again rest on the shoulders of Nikola Jokic. At 24, Jokic is entering his prime, and he enters the season as one of the favorites to take home the MVP award.
If he can stay healthy and build on his excellent performances from last season, the Nuggets will be among the best teams in the crowded West.