The New West Order

The NBA Western Conference is getting better, even if Dallas and Phoenix aren't.

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The rest of the Western Conference is full of teams that are starting to move in the right direction. The Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves have rosters full of talented young players. The Oklahoma City Thunder have a future all star in Kevin Durant to build around. The Sacramento Kings would have made the playoffs last season if they were in the Eastern Conference, but that's how tough life is on the left side of the NBA. It doesn't look like it will get any easier soon.

Martin Johnson is a regular contributor to The Root.

Martin Johnson writes about music for the Wall Street Journal, basketball for Slate and beer for Eater, and he blogs at both the Joy of Cheese and Rotations. Follow him on Twitter.

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