2006 Northwest Division Predictions
Welcome to the 2006 Northwest Division NBA Preview page. At the time of publish preseason games are winding down and the regular season about to be begin. If you enjoy betting on NBA basketball be sure to use Maddux Sports for NBA Basketball Picks and visit the Live NBA Betting Lines page to increase your winning percentage this season.
2006 Northwest Division NBA Season Preview
The Northwest Division is the weakest in the NBA. Last season there was one team with a winning record—the Denver Nuggets at 44- 38. Second place Utah finished at 41 and 41. Look for more of the same this season. Although the order of finish may shake out a bit differently, there won’t be many victories in this division.
The question is who will finish first—the Utah Jazz or the Denver Nuggets? One thing to consider is that the Jazz are fundamentally a sounder team. Their roster has a lot of young players, so the addition of savvy veteran and mentor Derek Fisher was a good move. Coach Jerry Sloan is equipped to guide this team through a year that will be defined by frustration and improvement.
Nuggets have had and continue to have front office problems.
After firing GM Kiki Vanderwehe last spring, they still haven’t
filled that vacancy and simply may not. Vet coach George Karl
has been given a lot of power. Karl’s been through a bunch
of seasons and is a tough, no-nonsense type of guy. With some
players that’s just fine but with others it’s a
turnoff. Denver’s perimeter game is very weak. They may
have more trouble winning than most expect.
Last season, the Minnesota Timberwolves found a dependable presence in first-time head coach Dwayne Casey. With some talented, young players and the addition of breakout point guard Mike James, veteran superstar forward Kevin Garnett will start to get some of the support he’s lacked over the years. The question is have the Wolves secured enough good players to make a difference?
The Seattle Sonics are another team with inexperienced but potentially potent players. The club’s head coach, Bob Hill, doesn’t let anyone get away with anything. He works his team hard and expects total commitment. Shooting guard Ray Allen can score in batches and just about each position has two or three relatively young players ready to step up and produce. This could be the time this team starts to slowly make its move towards a potential division championship. But don’t expect it this year.
The Portland Trailblazers have really made major changes by adding various talented but inexperienced players. Coach Nate McMillan, who is well respected by his team, is a fine teacher who understands the nuances of the game. The Blazers won’t win a boatload of games, but they should do better than last year’s total of 21 wins.
Once again, the Northwest division may only put one team into the playoff mix. However, in a year or two this will be a much-improved division that’s capable of placing numerous teams into the second season.
Projected Order of Finish: Click on the team link for a break down of the basketball team.