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BY KERRY EGGERS/PORTLAND TRIBUNE/Which teams are likely to have a shot at the NBA playoffs

TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO: DAVID BLAIR - Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors are favored in the NBA Western Conference.If there's a sure bet in professional sports these days, it's the Golden State Warriors, who threaten to dominate for the time being, and then some.

But what about the rest of the Western Conference for the 2017-18 campaign, which gets underway this week?

Houston, Oklahoma City and San Antonio would seem to be in the driver's seat for first-round homecourt advantage in the playoffs.

Then there are a half-dozen teams, including the Trail Blazers, who will likely battle for the final four postseason berths in the West.

A team-by-team look at the conference this season, with the Portland Tribune's don't-take-it-to-the-bank forecast.

1. GOLDEN STATE — Record last season: 67-15. Key acquisitions: F Omri Casspi. Key losses: G Ian Clark. Thumbnail sketch: The Warriors have everything going for them as they continue to work on their championship pedigree. Vegas line for wins in 2017-18: 67.5. Predicted record: 65-17.

2. HOUSTON — Record last season: 55-27. Key acquisitions: G Chris Paul, F Luc Mbah a Moute, G PJ Tucker. Key losses: G Patrick Beverley, G Lou Williams. Thumbnail sketch: Paul provides the ringleader who could pair with G James Harden to lead Rockets to conference finals. Vegas line for wins in 2017-18: 55.5. Predicted record: 54-28.

3. SAN ANTONIO — Record last season: 61-21. Key acquisitions: F Rudy Gay, C Joffrey Lauvergne. Key losses: F David Lee. Thumbnail sketch: The health of F Kawhi Leonard, who missed the preseason with quad injury, is critical for Spurs, who are moving closer from being experienced to just plain old. Vegas line for wins in 2017-18: 54.5. Predicted record: 52-30.

4. OKLAHOMA CITY — Record last season: 47-35. Key acquisitions: F Paul George, F Carmelo Anthony, F Patrick Patterson, G Raymond Felton. Key losses: C Enes Kanter, F Taj Gibson, F Joffrey Lauvergne, F Doug McDermott. Thumbnail sketch: Addition of George and Anthony make Thunder the most interesting team in league. They'll be good — but how good? Vegas line for wins in 2017-18: 50.5. Predicted record: 50-32.

5. PORTLAND — Record last season: 41-41. Key acquisitions: F Caleb Swanigan, C Zach Collins. Key losses: G Allen Crabbe. Thumbnail sketch: Defensive improvement, and C Jusuf Nurkic's health, will be integral to how much improvement Blazers show this season. Vegas line for wins in 2017-18: 42.5. Predicted record: 47-35.

6. MINNESOTA — Record last season: 31-51. Key acquisitions: G Jimmy Butler, G Jeff Teague, F Taj Gibson, G Jamal Crawford, Key losses: G Zach LaVine, G Brandon Rush. Thumbnail sketch: With Butler and other veterans aboard, could be most-improved team in the NBA this season — but we've said that before. Vegas line for wins in 2017-18: 48.5. Predicted record: 45-37.

7. DENVER — Record last season: 40-42. Key acquisitions: F Paul Millsap. Key losses: F Danilo Gallinari. Thumbnail sketch: Led by Millsap and C Nikola Jokic, Nuggets should be one of best offensive teams in league. Vegas line for wins in 2017-18: 45.5. Predicted record: 43-39.

8. L.A. CLIPPERS — Record last season: 51-31. Key acquisitions: F Danilo Gallinari, G Milos Teodosic, G Patrick Beverley, G Lou Williams. Key losses: G Chris Paul, G JJ Redick, G Jamal Crawford. Thumbnail sketch: The Chris Paul era ends, and the Clippers will be hard-pressed to return to the playoffs. Vegas line for wins in 2017-18: 43.5. Predicted record: 41-41.

9. MEMPHIS — Record last season: 43-39. Key acquisitions: G Tyreke Evans, G Ben McLemore. Key losses: G Tony Allen. Thumbnail sketch: Grizzlies still have C Marc Gasol and G Mike Conley, but the supporting cast is underwhelming. Vegas line for wins in 2017-18: 37.5. Predicted record: 40-42.

10. UTAH — Record last season: 51-31. Key acquisitions: G Ricky Rubio, G Donovan Mitchell, G Thabo Sefalosha, C Ekpe Udoh. Key losses: G Gordon Hayward, G George Hill, G Shelvin Mack. Thumbnail sketch: Jazz will still be an excellent defensive team, but the loss of Hayward will leave them short at the offensive end. Vegas line for wins in 2017-18: 41. Predicted record: 39-43.

11. DALLAS — Record last season: 33-49. Key acquisitions: G Dennis Smith. Key losses: None. Thumbnail sketch: With same cast as last year besides promising rookie Smith, Mavericks will be hard-pressed to show significant improvement. Vegas line for wins in 2017-18: 35.5. Predicted record: 36-46.

12. NEW ORLEANS — Record last season: 34-48. Key acquisitions: G Rajon Rondo, G Tony Allen, G Ian Clark. Key losses: G Tim Frazier. Thumbnail sketch: Two great posts in C Anthony Davis and C DeMarcus Cousins, but challenged everywhere else. Vegas line for wins in 2017-18: 39.5. Predicted record: 35-47.

13. L.A. LAKERS — Record last season: 26-56. Key acquisitions: C Brook Lopez, G Lonzo Ball, G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Key losses: C Timofey Mozgov. Thumbnail sketch: Lakers will be improved with Lopez and rookie Ball, but still young and not ready to contend for playoffs. Vegas line for wins in 2017-18: 33.5. Predicted record: 34-48.

14. SACRAMENTO — Record last season: 32-50. Key acquisitions: F Zach Randolph, G George Hill, G De'Aaron Fox, G Bogdan Bogdanovic. Key losses: F Rudy Gay, G Darren Collison, G Ty Lawson, G Arron Afflalo. Thumbnail sketch: Kings remain overmatched in virtually every area. Vegas line for wins in 2017-18: 27.5. Predicted record: 28-54.

15. PHOENIX — Record last season: 24-58. Key acquisitions: G Josh Jackson, G Mike James, G Troy Daniels. Key losses: None. Thumbnail sketch: Great player in 20-year-old G Devin Booker, but still the dregs of the West. Vegas line for wins in 2017-18: 29. Predicted record: 21-61.

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