2008-2009 NBA Southwest Division Preview
2008 Southwest Division preview from the Maddux Sports experts. Before you leave grab unbeatable nba picks from our NBA handicappers.
The Southwest Division of the Western Conference is the home of the always-dangerous San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs tend to win a NBA title every other year or so. Watch out for them in 2008- 2009. Three other teams, the Houston Rockets, New Orleans Hornets and Dallas Mavericks, could certainly be in the post-season, making the Memphis Grizzlies the odd man out in this division.
San Antonio is coached by 13-year vet Gregg Popovich, who has had only one losing season with the Spurs. That was his first. How could this team not be good with the likes of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili on the court every night. Duncan is a major double-double threat and Parker and Ginobili make-up one of the best backcourts in the league.
So much of New Orleans success depends upon Chris Paul at point guard and Tyson Chandler at center. Paul is a dynamo who is apt to give you a double-double on points and assists any given night. Peja Stojakovic offers some solid scoring too but you’d like to see more depth and “D” on this club. Head coach Byron Scott, who has been with the team since 2005, seems to have found his stride with the Hornets.
Yao Ming is back with the Houston Rockets, and as long as he stays healthy, he’ll continue to be an important force on the court. Ron Artest needs to have a solid year as does Tracy McGrady. Point guard Rafer Alston has good hands on offense and defense. In 17 NBA seasons as a head coach, Rick Adelman has over 1,300 victories. He’ll get a bunch more this season.
The Dallas Mavericks have come close to winning it all recently but have been unable to capture the big prize. Jason Kidd is still darn good, but he’s also getting darn old and Dirk Nowitzki, who is now 30, has proven to be more of an asset in the regular-season than in the playoffs. Rick Carlisle, who coached the Pacers for five seasons and the Pistons for two, is the new helmsman for the Mavs. He’s a solid basketball guy.
The Memphis Grizzlies have some talent but not enough and their bench is weak. Rookie O.J. Mayo, at shooting guard, may be the best player on this club. But he’s certainly inexperienced. Center Marc Gasol, also a first-year guy, also has a lot of potential. Young point guard Kyle Lowry is good but needs to show marked improvement in his third season.
2008 NBA Southwest Division Predictions
Projected Order of Finish: Click on team name for individual in-depth team outlook.