NBA-Profiles of Western Conference teams in playoffs

Reuters

Fri, 27 Apr 14:56:00 2012

Brief profiles of the eight Western Conference teams that qualified for the National Basketball Association (NBA) playoffs:

SAN ANTONIO SPURS

Regular-season record: 50-16

How they qualified: Western Conference champions

Head coach: Gregg Popovich

Top scorer: Tony Parker (18.3 points per game)

Top rebounder: Tim Duncan (9.0 rebounds per game)

NBA titles: Four (2007, 2005, 2003, 1999)

(Age no deterrent to best in the West a season after losing in first round of 2011 playoffs) - -

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

Regular-season record: 47-19

How they qualified: Second in West, Northwest Division champions

Head coach: Scott Brooks

Top scorer: Kevin Durant (28.0 points per game)

Top rebounder: Durant (8.0 rebounds per game)

NBA titles: One (1979 as Seattle SuperSonics)

(With scoring champion Kevin Durant, Thunder hope to rumble in playoffs after missing top seed) - -

LOS ANGELES LAKERS

Regular-season record: 41-25

How they qualified: Third in West, Pacific Division champions

Head coach: Mike Brown

Top scorer: Kobe Bryant (27.9 points per game)

Top rebounder: Andrew Bynum (11.8 rebounds per game)

NBA titles: 16 (2009-10, 2000-2, 1987-8, 1985, 1982, 1980, 1972 as Los Angeles Lakers; 1952-4 and 1949-50 as Minneapolis Lakers)

(Kobe and crew have something to prove after being swept by eventual champion Dallas in 2011 second round) - -

MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES

Regular-season record: 41-25

How they qualified: Fourth in West

Head coach: Lionel Hollins

Top scorer: Rudy Gay (19.0 points per game)

Top rebounder: Marc Gasol (8.9 rebounds per game)

NBA titles: None

(Depth, defense could make hot Grizzlies a first-round winner after clinching home court advantage) - -

LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS

Regular-season record: 40-26

How they qualified: Fifth in West

Head coach: Vinny Del Negro

Top scorer: Blake Griffin (20.7 points per game)

Top rebounder: Griffin (10.9 rebounds per game)

NBA titles: None

(Early season glitter gone, Clippers could be in trouble after letting division title slip away) - -

DENVER NUGGETS

Regular-season record: 38-28

How they qualified: Sixth in West

Head coach: George Karl

Top scorer: Ty Lawson (16.4 points per game)

Top rebounder: JaVale McGee (7.8 rebounds per game)

NBA titles: None

(League's top scoring team faces tough challenge opening with Lakers) - -

DALLAS MAVERICKS

Regular-season record: 36-30

How they qualified: Seventh in West

Head coach: Rick Carlisle

Top scorer: Dirk Nowitzki (21.6 points per game)

Top rebounder: Shawn Marion (7.40 rebounds per game)

NBA titles: 1 (2011)

(Reigning champions could be first-round casualty after struggling in regular season) - -

UTAH JAZZ

Regular-season record: 36-30

How they qualified: Eighth in West

Head coach: Tyrone Corbin

Top scorer: Al Jefferson (19.2 points per game)

Top rebounder: Jefferson (9.6 points per game)

NBA titles: None

(Young, inexperienced Jazz hope to continue late surge that earned them postseason berth)

 

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