You HAVE to watch this season’s Western Conference playoffs. HAVE to. Even if you haven’t watched a second of an NBA game since Jordan hit his shot against the Jazz–you still need to watch this season’s NBA Western Conference playoffs.

There are more good teams this year than there have ever been in the league. You could also make the case that there are more superstars this season than any other in league history. It is really unbelievable.

I think the Lakers have what it takes to win the whole thing, and a first-round series between them and the Nuggets would be as exciting as any first-round series.

Even the Mavericks, who clinched the 7-seed yesterday, are looking strong. Luckily my blog that I wrote last week worked. That was really just a reverse jinx, no way do I really want the Mavs to lose…. And if they play the Hornets in the first-round, the Mavericks could win. Even a series against the Spurs looks almost winnable.

I suggest drawing up a bracket, march madness style, and bet money on it. That will make it even more exciting.

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Before I tell you why I am a terrible Mavs fan, let me explain something. I have followed this team my entire life. I went to games back when Jason Kidd played for the Mavs. Wait, I mean back when Jason Kidd originally played for the Mavs. However, with the Mavericks dangling on the edge of not making the playoffs, I find myself doing something I never thought I would ever do: I am cheering for them to lose.

I know, who am I? I am cheering for a team that currently is in the middle of a playoff race to lose enough games that it misses the dance. While this may sound crazy to a lot of people, especially fans of teams that aren’t close to making the playoffs, I do have my reasons for this insane turn of events.

First, there is no way that the Mavericks could win a first-round playoff series against any of the teams they would likely meet. If they face the Hornets, done. Lakers, see ya. Spurs, don’t kid yourself. Even the Rockets would beat the Mavericks in the first round and T-Mac has never won a first-round series in his life. I don’t know if I could handle another early exit by the Mavs, considering last year’s debacle.

The main reason, though, is the future is brighter for this team if it misses the playoffs. One, the only way that the Mavericks would have a first-round pick in the NBA draft is if it is in the lottery because of the Kidd trade. So, if the Mavericks lose in the playoffs, they don’t get a draft pick either. If they don’t make the playoffs, they at least get the 14th pick in the draft. Hello Ty Lawson! Lawson would make a perfect understudy to Jason Kidd and would allow Mavs fans forget about Devin Harris for a while. Furthermore, Mark Cuban would not let his team miss the playoffs and then not make drastic offseason moves. A good shakeup is exactly what the Mavericks need. Whether that is firing Avery Johnson and bringing in a coach who can utilize Kidd and Dirk more effectively in a half-court set, or if it is making another big trade to bring in another scorer, anything now could be an improvement.

Don’t crucify me yet and don’t question my fanhood. I am only saying that the Mavs and their fans may actually be better off missing the playoffs this year. Considering the disappointments that the playoffs have meant for Dallas fans of all sports, maybe taking one off wouldn’t be that bad of an idea. I foresee fewer broken remote controls and healthier marriages in Dallas could also be a byproduct of this situation.

Wow! When I miss, I miss big. If you read my NBA preview, you will notice that I did not have many good things to say about the Lakers. Now I would like to take back all the things that I previously said, or thought about the Fighting Kobes.

Andrew Bynum has come on to be a force. He is now one of the top centers in the West. If he continues to play like a young Hakeem, the Lakers will be the team to beat in a few years. This year, I would not be surprised if they make it super far in the playoffs. If they were to make the finals, it would not startle me.

Luke Walton is becoming a vital role player for them and is learning to be more of a passer. His ability to find open cutters makes him useful when playing good defensive teams like the Spurs. Jordan Farmar and Derrick Fisher give Kobe players he can trust at the Point.

There is no chance that we will hear Kobe ask for a trade again any time soon. This young, talented team is exactly what he wanted. They are impressionable enough that he will still be the leader, but he trusts them enough to not have to take every shot. This is the team that could challenge the Spurs for Western dominance.