NBA Northwest Division Preview
The Northwest Division is not the toughest part of the NBA West, but it does offer some fine play on the offensive side of the court. The two top teams are the Utah Jazz and the Denver Nuggets with the three others making moves to improve their lot.
The Utah Jazz frontcourt is great under the basket, grabbing rebounds, creating second chances and controlling the boards. They also possess some fine scoring chops. With center Mehmet Okur and forward Carlos Boozer dominating the inside boards and posting up points galore, this is a tough team to stop. Add ultra-talented point guard Deron Williams to the mix and you’ve got a team that will contend for the conference championship.
Allen Iverson has talent and more, but he also has attitude and you’ve got to wonder about how much his attitude will offset the positives he brings to the court. Still, the superstar is on the Nuggets and if they can exploit his talents, they’ll win more than they lose. The duo of Iverson and Carmelo Anthony are virtually unstoppable.
Rookie swingman Kevin Durant joins the Supersonics and depending upon how quickly the former Texas standout can mature, he could prove to be a difference maker. Durant is only 19 years old. Going into this season, Seattle has lost some big talent, but they’ve also done well in the draft and acquired some solid players in the Ray Allen trade. Still, they lost more than they got and their scoring will suffer while fans will see an up-tick in the club’s defense.
The Portland Trailblazers drafted Greg Oden first overall and then just prior to the preseason the potential franchise player went down with a season-ending knee injury. With that the team’s apparently bright future went suddenly dark. Still, the Blazers managed to acquire some fine rookie talent that should help them win a few games in the future. But right now, Oden’s injury really hurts Portland’s chances of breaking out.
The Minnesota Timberwolves like the Seattle Supersonics lost a key player during the off-season. That happened when they traded Kevin Garnett to the Celtics. The Minnesota brass are stressing the future and basically admitting that the present doesn’t look very good. Still, the Wolves are rebuilding and will have a different look with eight new players on board and three gone to other teams.
The Northwest has two dominant clubs and three others that are looking to improve. This is probably the weakest division in the conference but give it a year or two and it may prove to be the strongest.
2007 NBA Northwest Division Predictions
Projected Order of Finish: Click on team name for individual in-depth team outlook.