That's incorrect man, the Spurs were well ahead of the Thunder. Keep in mind that Harden was the difference between the two teams last year, after he left, OKC looks pretty mediocre on offense.
OKC was the 1 seed in the west, 2nd best record in the league and were 3rd in the NBA in scoring. They were the clear cut #2 in the league until Westbrook went down.
Your trick is lumping the Rockets and NOLA together. They aren't on the same level.
IDK, they snuck in as an 8 seed and lost to a Westbrook-less OKC team. What are we looking at here? Harden and Parsons as your main cogs with Asik and Lin playing important roles. After that you have an upcoming Montejunas and that's about it. Granted, they have moves to be made but so does the Pels.
To me, it boils down to the core of these teams. Who are the best 3 or 4 players and what guys do you have to compliment them? I feel the Pels have that core in place and now all Dell has to do is plug and play.
I see it as a four team race(Memphis,OKC,SA,LAC),so yeah kind of open. If Houston/Dallas land Howard then watch out. Spurs are going to have some cap room to, btw. Also, the Wolves if Love and Rubio are healthy-(with Pek) are as good as any lower tier team in the West.
The top 3 or 4 teams are rock solid. The Howard watch is important to the balance of the West. And I agree about the Wolves, they could be dangerous. I put them in the NOLA/HOU category of teams.