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Brad Botkin, senior NBA writer for CBS Sports and co-author of Olympic gold medalist Dan O' Brien's memoir, "Clearing Hurdles," has strong opinions about this season's Western Conference and he's unafraid to share them.

Timing will vary due to dynamic advertising, but here are the approximate time stamps of some of our favorite clips (so many good ones to choose from):

7:06-7:28: "I've heard a lot of people say, 'Well that's how Kobe led. That's how Jordan led. He forced the best out of his guys.' Listen, come talk to me when Jimmy Butler is Kobe or Jordan. Jimmy Butler is not the kind of guy that singlehandedly transforms your team. He certainly makes the Timberwolves better. They're in no way a championship contender with him, nor do I think any team is a championship contender with him as a best player."

14:42-15:15: "All these big-picture numbers about the Rockets, they're going to look great on paper. Look, [in] playoff games, certainly against the Warriors, if they match up, or the Jazz, if they're in a Game 6 and there's three minutes left in the game, I don't care what you did all year long. The Warriors are going to isolate Carmelo Anthony every single possession, and he can't guard his lunch. And they're going to force the ball into his hands and take it out of Harden and Paul's hands on the other end, and he's not going to make enough shots to beat you in those situations. So, I do not think he's in any way the answer."

23:08-23:35: "Everybody's just going to err on the side of 'Well, they're the Spurs. They always make it [the playoffs].' Well some year, they're not going to make it, and if you just wait until it happens before you say it, then you're not saying anything. I don't think they're going to make it. I'm ready to say that...I know it. I don't need any more time to know if the Spurs are going to the playoffs. They're not. They're not good enough. They don't have good enough players, period."

31:19-31:37: "In terms of two-way players, it's hard to argue that Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis aren't the best two-way combo in the league. They're both elite on both sides of the floor. And by and large, that's what will determine what the Pelicans become this year: how far can their two best players take them."

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