Summer Forecast: 2016-17 Western Conference champions

— -- 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.)

To participate in the discussion, #ESPNForecast is the Twitter hashtag to use. 

So who will be best in the West? Read on.

Western Conference champ projections

2. San Antonio Spurs
Proj. record: 57-25
First-place votes: 0
Points: 108