04/18/2013 10:54 am ET Updated Apr 18, 2013

NBA Western Conference Playoffs 2013: How To Win In The West

Getty Images

It only took the Western Conference the entire season to sort out the playoff seeding, but that just makes them that much better. Kobe Bryant has suffered the worst injury of his career, but the Lakers -- led by the assertive play of Dwight Howard -- have still reached the postseason for the 16th time in the 17 seasons of Bryant's tenure in the league.

Meanwhile, James Harden and Houston lead the NBA in scoring, as the Spurs try for their fifth championship under Gregg Popovich, despite the injury concerns to All-Star Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

The playoffs begin Saturday, so here's a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each team in the West.

Email me at or ask me questions about anything sports-related at @Schultz_Report.

NBA Western Conference Playoffs 2013