I’d say the Spurs should still be considered the favorite to come out of the West in the playoffs.

The Hornets have the most wins in the conference, but they’re new to being this good, and when things get turned up in the playoffs their lack of experience, both individually and as a team, could limit them.

The Lakers are winning more than expected, and although they’re armed with Kobe Bryant and loads of fun to watch because they play brilliant team basketball, it’s tough to say they’d beat a healthy Spurs squad when it counts.

The Jazz showed flashes of greatness in the playoffs last year, but it’s tough to say they’re any better this season.

The Suns are a bit underrated. They could be a true force in the post-season, especially since they’ve gotten used to playing with Shaquille O’Neal these past few weeks.

I have a tough time believing in the Rockets as far as a championship goes. Their giant winning streak was awesome, but I’m just not convinced they’ll go more than a round in the postseason.

The Mavericks, like the Suns, also may be slightly underrated. They have just as good a chance to reach the Western conference finals as anyone else.

Assuming that Dallas makes the playoffs and either the Nuggets or Warriors do, both Denver and Golden State are offensive teams that don’t play defense, and that can shock an opponent or two, but you don’t win a championship that way, ever.