4. Golden State - Monta Ellis broke the cardinal rule of riding a Vespa and in the process screwed over G-State. What's the cardinal rule, you ask? Well, riding a Vespa is like nailing a fat chick - fun to do, but you can't let your friends see you. Unfortunately for the Warriors, Monta got busted and that secret love of his is going to cost him a couple of months on the sideline. This team has a few decent pieces in guys like Harrington, Maggette and Jackson, and will try to play some uptempo Nelly Ball, but they just aren't on par with the class of the Western Conference.
3. Clippers - Not sure if you saw this on your sports ticker over the summer, but Elton Brand stabbed the Clippers in the back and jumped ship to the 76ers. Personally, I have no idea why Elton would do it. Have you ever been to Philly in the winter? Have you ever been to LA in the winter? MLB just had to postpone the World Series clinching game in Philly for 2 days because of inclement weather involving a mix of snow and rain, while I'm sitting here looking out my office window at 73 degree weather and constant sunshine in SoCal. Elton is an idiot. With that said, the Clips have some talent in Baron Davis, that handsome fella Chris Kaman and an angry Marcus Camby, and I would have put this team second in the division if Brand hung around, but he didn't so they're getting the #3 spot. Oh, and here's my obligatory reference to Baron Davis making movies in Hollywood.
2. Phoenix - They should rename this team the PHX Sunsets, because this is a group that is on the brink of going down. Nash, Shaq and the walking infirmary known as Grant Hill are on their last legs as players, and seem to be more interested in owning the Suns these days
1. Lakers - Pretty simple pick. Much to my own personal chagrin, the Lakers are the consensus favorite not only in the division, but also in the Western Conference after the robbery of Pau Gasol and a trip to the NBA Finals last year. With Kobe, Pau, Bynum, Lamar and co. on the roster, its hard to justify picking against this team, ASSuming of course Kobe doesn't rape anyone this season. Actually, as much I want this team to lose, there are some real questions, such as Kobe's stamina and injured pinkie finger after a trip to the Finals and playing in the Olympics all summer, Bynum's ability to sustain the high level of play he showed in all 6 of those famous games he played last year, as well as Phil's ability to appease Lamar in a contract year (hint: he's going to sulk if he's coming off the bench all season and not playing a key role). Unfortuantely for me, Phil will probably give these idiots a text from some ancient French philosopher and this team will go on to win the title. FML.