The NBA season is almost upon us and I am going to continue a fans opinionated preview of the NBA teams, with a look at the SouthWest in the Western Conference
SouthWest Division- 2012- 2013 preview
San Antonio Spurs- 1st in SouthWest in 2011-2012
Current players: Tony Parker, Dejuan Blair, Matt Bonner, Nando De Colo, Danny Green, Boris Diaw, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Patty Mills, Stephen Jackson, Cory Joseph, Kawhi Leonard, Gary Neal, Tiago Splitter
Preview- This Spurs looked unstoppable most of last year. They were unbeaten in the playoff for 10 straight games and they looked like they were well on there way to the NBA finals with a 2-0 lead over the Thunder. They next 4 games in that serious went very differently though and the Spurs looked like the old team they were predicted to be and the Thunder just tore them apart. This year San Antonio will still compete for the West crown because of there own big 3 and the genius Gregg Popovich, but i just don’t they have the goods to take out the Lakers or Thunder this year. No major additions and another year to add to the mileage of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined with there lack of depth at the 5 make this team fallout of the championship contender race in my opinion, but any team that believes the Spurs will be a pushover will get burned.
Memphis Grizzlies- 2nd in Southwest in 2011-2012
Current Players: Tony Allen, Rudy Gay, Darrell Arthur, Jerryd Bayless, Mike Conley, Michael Dunigan, Ronald Dupree, Wayne Ellington, Marc Gasol, Hamed Haddadi, Jerome Jordan, Ronald Murray, Qunicy Pondexter, Zach Randolph, Josh Selby Marreese Speights, Kyle Weaver, Tony Wroten
Preview- The Grizzlies had one of the most entertaining playoff series last year against the Clippers. Unfortunately they came lost that series in 7 games. The Grizzlies blew some big leads in that series and those games could have changed the series in there favour. Well Memphis’s biggest problem against the Clippers was there lack of offensive outside Rudy Gay. This year should be better for the Grizzlies in that aspect. Marc Gasol and Rudy Gay will provide the punch upfront. Zach Randolph should be back up to speed after his long injury and some rest in the summer and training camp should see him return to the role he played against the Spurs a year ago. They added some good role players in Jerryd Bayless who can score and Tony Wroten who is an interesting prospect to watch. The success of Memphis this year will largely depend on there hard-nosed defence with the 2 guards up front, Michael Conley and Tony Allen leading the way. This team will be interesting to watch and come playoff time, they will knock on the doors of some of the big contenders.
Dallas Mavericks- 3rd in Southwest in 2011-2012
Current Players: Dirk Nowitzki, Josh Akognon, Rodrique Beaubois, Elton Brand, Vince Carter, Darrent Collison, Jae Crowder, Jared Cunningham, Bernard James, Dahntay Jones, Dominique Jones, Chris Kaman, Shawn Marion, O.J. Mayo, Delonte West, Brandan Wright
Preview: The 2010-2012 NBA champs look very different this year. They lost key pieces over this summer in Jason Kidd and Jason Terry. In my opinion this team did a pretty great job of building on the fly this summer. The additions of Darren Collision, O.J. Mayo, Chris Kaman and Elton Brand definitely help this team move forward without losing a step from last year. Darren Collision and O.J. Mayo are a young tandem that should help the Mavericks moving forward with Rodrique Beaubois. Those 3 guards look sold but they can take the next step of Beaubois has a breakout year which many Dallas fans believe he will have. The addition of Chris Kaman and Elton Brand add experience up front for the Mavericks, but combined with Dirk it is one of the oldest front courts in the league, which obviously is a major concern. This team will compete in the West but I can’t see them making a push for a title run this year.
Houston Rockets: 4th in the Southwest in 2011-2012
Current Players: Kevin Martin, Omer Asik, Jon Brockman, Carlos Delfino, Toney Douglas, Kyle Fogg, Gary Forbes, JaJuan Johnson, Terrence Jones, Jeremy Lamb, Jeremy Lin, Shaun Livingston, Scott Machado, Demetri McCamey, Marcus Morris, Donatas Motiejunas, Chandler Parsons, Patrick Patterson, Greg Smith, Royce White
Preview: The Rockets are definitely in a rebuilding phase. Over this offseason they added some very nice pieces with a lot of potential into their fold. They added Jeremy Lamb, Donatas Motiejunas, Terrence Jones, Scott Machado and Royce White through the 2012 NBA draft. They have some very nice young pieces from last year in Chandler Parsons and Patrick Patterson. The team added Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik in free agency this year and Houston hopes these 2 players will be key pieces for them in the future. This team can only contend again if they gain a franchise players and they hope one of there pieces from the 2012 draft turn into a star. This years record will depend on how the rookies develop and how Jeremy Lin can fit into the mix. This year seems like a bit of a write-off, but this team have some great young pieces and the future looks bright.
New Orleans Hornets: 5th in the Southwest in 2011-2012
Current Players: Anthony Davis, Solomon Alabi, Al-Farouq Aminu, Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Xavier Henry, Robin Lopez, Roger Mason Jr., Darius Miller, Austin Rivers, Brian Roberts, Jason Smith, Lance Thomas, Greivis Vasquez, Hakim Warrick, Chris Wright
Preview: The Hornets are another rebuilding team in the Southwest. The added the #1 pick in the 2012 draft in Anthony Davis and another potential star in Austin Rivers. The Hornets started rebuilding last year after the loss of Chris Paul, but got some nice young pieces in return with Eric Gordon and Al-Farouq Aminu. This year should be a trail period for the new players to develop and see the direction that this team is heading. Many agree that Anthony Davis is definitely a franchise player and Austin Rivers has star potential. The Hornets are built for the future and it seems the team is headed in the right direction. New Orleans is a team built for the future and the Hornets have a very bright future.
This concludes the East and the next preview will be of the Central Division in the Eastern Conference.