Kevin Durant may be in the Eastern Conference this season, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have an opinion on who will win the Western Conference this season.
As we enter the 2019-20 season, the Western Conference is a wide-open race for the first time in six years. That would be because the Golden State Warriors are no longer the domineering team they’ve been over the past five years. With Durant now gone from Golden State, a number of teams could represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals this season.
As Durant conducted an interview with Peter Rosenberg, the 31-year-old veteran didn’t hold back in who he believes will win the Western Conference this season — and it’s not the Warriors or the Los Angeles Lakers.
It’s the Los Angeles Clippers.
Entering the season, the Clippers and the Lakers are the two favorites for the Western Conference crown. While other teams such as the Russell Westbrook-led Houston Rockets, the new-look Utah Jazz featuring Mike Conley and the returning Denver Nuggets obviously pose threats, none of those teams feature the star power from top to bottom that both the Clippers and Lakers feature.
Kevin Durant Praises Kawhi Leonard
As if the Clippers couldn’t receive enough love from Durant, the two-time Finals MVP also bestowed further praise — this time on the Clippers’ Kawhi Leonard.
Leonard is coming off of the finest season of his career, leading the Toronto Raptors to their first NBA title in his lone season with the franchise while winning Finals MVP honors. Leonard’s Raptors also just so happened to knock off Durant’s Warriors in his final season in Golden State in the 2019 Finals.
Chris Webber Predicts Warriors Will Miss Playoffs
And in other interesting news, Chris Webber — a former Warrior — made the most interesting observation of the night during the TNT telecast featuring the Lakers and Warriors on Saturday night.
While LeBron James and Anthony Davis were lighting it up in the first-ever NBA game at Chase Center, Webber made an even bolder prediction than Durant — the former NBA All-Star believes the Warriors won’t even make the playoffs.
That’s right. During his playoff seeding bracket for the Western Conference playoffs, Webber predicted the following final standings for the 2019-20 season.
- 1. Los Angeles Clippers
- 2. Houston Rockets
- 3. Denver Nuggets
- 4. Los Angeles Lakers
- 5. Portland Trail Blazers
- 6. Utah Jazz
- 7. San Antonio Spurs
- 8. Dallas Mavericks
In case you didn’t notice, the Warriors are not even on that list. If you don’t believe me, check out this graphic from the telecast below.
Webber’s shocking prediction that the defending Western Conference champs — still led by Stephen Curry and Draymond Green — won’t make it back to the postseason dance prompted criticism from Warriors starting center Willie Cauley-Stein. The veteran center responded on Instagram in one of the comments below the graphic, going under the name of “proofessortrill.”
While Webber and Durant don’t think very highly of their former team, the Warriors will have to prove the doubters wrong — all over again.
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