Commentary

2010-11 Western Conference standings

Updated: August 16, 2010, 10:02 AM ET
By Royce Webb | ESPN.com

BryantAP Photo/Reed SaxonWill Kobe and the Lakers rule the Western Conference for a fourth straight season? Survey says ...

Once again, the West is best, according to our ESPN panel of 93 basketball experts, which expects the Western Conference to win about 53 percent of its games this season. (That's 633 wins versus only 597 for Eastern Conference teams.)

And once again, sitting triumphantly on the throne are the Los Angeles Lakers, the two-time defending NBA champs, going for the second three-peat of the Kobe Bryant-Phil Jackson era -- and a four-peat in the West. Worth noting: If the Lakers see the Heat in the NBA Finals, as many expect, the series will not start in L.A., according to our panel's crystal ball.

Where the West gets especially interesting is east (and north) of L.A., where teams such as Oklahoma City, Dallas, Denver, Portland, Utah, San Antonio and Houston are expected to battle it out for the right to be considered the Lakers' truest threat, while the Suns might be the odd men out.

So here we go with the West as we see it:

Forecast: 2010-11 Western Conference Standings


Click here for the complete list of voters

Royce Webb

Director, Content Analytics
Royce Webb is the director of analytics for ESPN Digital and Print Media.