NBA playoffs 2023: How the Western Conference turned upside down

Nikola Jokic and Ja Morant have helped their teams go from the bottom of the West to the top. Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

This is not your older brother's Western Conference. Or your uncle's. Maybe not even your father's.

The West has never looked this way in the history of the NBA. From the Denver Nuggets earning their franchise's first No. 1 seed to all four California teams making the postseason for the first time (while all three Texas teams were sent home), this season has been unlike any other.

Which prompts the question: Is this flipping of the Western Conference a true changing of the guard or a one-off anomaly?

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets are deeply invested in a roster in which the average age is 27 -- right in its prime. All of their core players are signed to long-term contracts -- including the defending two-time MVP Nikola Jokic, signed through 2028.