-- After winning an NBA-record 73 games during the regular season, the Golden State Warriors battled back from a 3-1 deficit to overcome Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference finals.
Now with Durant on their side, is a third consecutive trip to the NBA Finals a foregone conclusion for the Warriors? Or could teams like the San Antonio Spurs or LA Clippers give Golden State a run for its money?
We asked our ESPN Forecast panel to predict which team will emerge as Western Conference champions in 2016-17. Then we totaled up the ballots, with a first-place vote receiving five points, a second-place vote receiving three and a third-place vote receiving one. ( Here's how ESPN Forecast works.)
So who will be best in the West? Read on.
Western Conference champ projections