Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sportz' Southwest Division Predictions


1-SAN ANTONIO SPURS (Parker, Ginobili, Jefferson, McDyess, Duncan): San Antonio added Jefferson to a talented group. This team looks very Spurs-like. The key will be if Manu can stay healthy and the continued developement of bench guys like Roger Mason and George Hill.

2-DALLAS MAVERICKS (Kidd, Terry, Howard, Nowitzki, Gooden): Not liking their center situation, but the rest of the lineup is loaded. Terry, Howard, Dirk and newly acquired Shawn Marion can fill up the bucket and Kidd is the perfect guy to dish out those assists. Defense won't be their friend and this kind of hinges on if Howard can get his act together.

3-NEW ORLEANS HORNETS (Paul, Posey, Stojakovic, West, Okafor): The Hornets underachieved a bit last year and nothing really was done to correct that. Okafor takes Tyson Chandler's spot but he isn't the offense presence. He will offer a steady defender and rebounder in the lane, which will help.

4-HOUSTON ROCKETS (Brooks, Battier, Ariza, Landry, Scola): It wasn't a good offseason in Houston. Injuries have already decimated this franchise. Tracy McGrady will miss a good while of the season and Yao Ming will most likely miss the entire season. Ron Artest is in LA. So, that leaves all their other guys to get the job done. They won't get anywhere near the success they had last season with a full crew, but this isn't a team that will run away scared.

5-MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (Mayo, Iverson, Gay, Randolph, Gasol): This is a team that will be a great social study. This was a team that started FOUR rookies last year. Now those guys have Iverson and Randolph around to bring veteran ... well, it isn't "leadership" ... but experience. I think Iverson mucks up what the Grizz wants to do. They need to have Mayo as the guy with the ball in his hands, while Gay, Gasol and the recently drafted Sam Young and Hasheem Thabeet develop into starters. This will be a very interesting team to watch, even if they don't win that much.

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