Re: What are your expectations for next season?
I think, if they don't have the play the Lakers in the first two rounds, they can easily make the western conference finals. I don't see another strong contender for the "2nd place throne." The thunder get a lot of hype, but outside of Durant and Westbrook they're weak. The Spurs can be good if Ginobli, Duncan, and Splitter all play to maximum potential, but I find that hard to fathom.
Outside of those two teams, no one else seems especially mentionable. The Jazz added Al Jefferson but lost a bunch more. The Hornets improved a bit but not a jarring amount. Mavericks seem solid but not dangerous. People keep saying the Suns will miss the playoffs, but I just don't see where they're coming from.
They lack interior scoring but whatever. The league is changing. I'm not saying interior scoring isn't important, but you can make the WCF finals with a swing-heavy line up. Where are all these bigs that are supposedly going to punish the Suns? Al Jefferson, David West, and who else that isn't on the Lakers out west? Those guys aren't going to single-handedly win a series. Tim Duncan's too old.
I usually don't feel like depth is a great asset once the playoffs roll around, but the Suns have so much of it that it really matters. Being able to have two starting line-ups basically kills the other team. The Lakers are obviously still better than the Suns, but all these other teams are way overhyped in my opinion. But I could be wrong, we'll have to see what happens.