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51 Questions: Who will win the West? Plus NBA Finals predictions.

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MIAMI, FL - JUNE 25: The Larry O’Brien Trophy sits on display during a celebration for the 2012 NBA Champion Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on June 25, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

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With the season tipping off tonight, this is the final installment of our 2015-16 NBA season where we tackled 51 big questions that we can’t wait to see answered once play tips off. Today we get to the ultimate question:

Which teams make the playoffs, then who wins the West? Then who wins the NBA Finals?

Here are our staff predictions:

Kurt Helin:

1. Warriors
2. Thunder
3. Clippers
4. Spurs
5. Rockets
6. Grizzlies
7. Pelicans
8. Jazz

Western Conference Finals: Thunder over Warriors

NBA Finals: Cavaliers over Thunder

As has been said by anyone and everyone trying to project the West, those top five teams could finish in any order and any one of them could make it to the Finals and it wouldn’t be a surprise. However, I think this is the season the Thunder finally stay healthy, I think Billy Donovan makes just enough coaching tweaks to help them, and I like the idea of a team playing with the desperation knowing this could be their final season together. I think Oklahoma City gets back to the NBA Finals, but there runs into the best team in the league and falls to the Cavaliers.

Dan Feldman:

1. Warriors
2. Clippers
3. Spurs
4. Rockets
5. Thunder
6. Grizzlies
7. Jazz
8. Pelicans
Western Conference Finals: Clippers over Warriors

NBA Finals: Cavaliers over Clippers

Pick any of those top five teams to win the West. I have no idea, really. All five are loaded and capable of winning a title. I went with the Clippers because they’re talented, deep, well-coached and hungry. Yesterday, I was leaning Warriors and then Spurs. Tomorrow, I might pick the Thunder or Rockets.

But I think whoever emerges from the West falls to the Cavs in the Finals. They were absolutely awesome -- on the Warriors level (Why didn’t I pick them to repeat? Second-guessing myself already) -- with everyone healthy after the trade deadline.

Sean Highkin:

1. Warriors
2. Rockets
3. Thunder
4. Spurs
5. Clippers
6. Grizzlies
7. Jazz
8. Pelicans
Western Conference Finals: Rockets over Warriors

NBA Finals: Rockets over Cavaliers

Any of the top five teams in the West I could easily see making it to the Finals. The Warriors have to be considered the favorite — they’re coming off a 67-win season and a historic point differential with no major injuries. But I’m going to be bold and make Houston my title pick. I love their depth — they added Ty Lawson for nothing, James Harden will have a chip on his shoulder from not winning the MVP award, and he won’t have to dominate the ball as much having a real offensive point guard. Patrick Beverley and Terrence Jones are healthy, and Dwight Howard is in a contract year. There’s a lot of incentive for everybody to make this work, and they have the talent.