USA TODAY Sports
The Warriors look like legit playoff contenders out west, while the Kings continue to struggle.
Basketball has been down in the Bay Area the past couple of years. Neither the Golden State Warriors nor the Sacramento Kings have been serious playoff contenders in half a decade, and sketchy ownership and arena situations have cast a dark cloud over the franchise.
Fortunately for the Warriors and their fans, they are off to a great start in 2012. They are 15-8 so far, and they've won eight of their last 10 games. Golden State currently sits in fifth place in the Western Conference.
As for the Kings, their struggles have continued. Despite seemingly having a lottery draft pick every year, little-to-no progress has been made yet again. Sacramento is 7-15, which is the second-worst record in the West. They're four games back of the final play spot, and there are numerous teams ahead of them.
The Oklahoma City Thunder now sit atop the conference. Kevin Durant has led his squad to 10-straight wins, and OKC is 19-4 this year. The Spurs are right behind them a 18-6, while Blake Griffin and the Clippers are 16-6.
Here is a full look at the Western Conference standings as of Saturday, Dec. 15:
|1||Oklahoma City||19||4||0.826||-||Won 10|
|2||San Antonio||18||6||0.750||1 ½||Lost 2|
|3||LA Clippers||16||6||0.727||2 ½||Won 8|
|4||Memphis||14||6||0.700||3 ½||Lost 3|
|5||Golden State||15||8||0.652||4||Lost 1|
|6||Minnesota||11||9||0.550||6 ½||Won 3|
|7||Utah||13||11||0.542||6 ½||Lost 1|
|8||Denver||12||12||0.500||7 ½||Won 1|
|9||Houston||11||11||0.500||7 ½||Won 2|
|11||Portland||10||12||0.455||8 ½||Won 2|
|12||LA Lakers||10||14||0.417||9 ½||Won 1|
|13||Phoenix||9||15||0.375||10 ½||Won 2|
|14||Sacramento||7||15||0.318||11 ½||Lost 3|
|15||New Orleans||5||17||0.227||13 ½||Lost 6|