2006 Southwest Division Predictions
Welcome to the 2006 Southwest 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 Southwest Division NBA Season Preview
The Southwest is a very competitive division with all five teams capable of getting into the second season. Plus, a few clubs possess the talent, skill and tenacity to scrape their way to the finals. There’s also been a slow shift in power in this division. Although the top two teams are still top, the final three are much closer than they’ve been in years, which means a major battle for the final few conference playoff berths.
The Dallas Mavericks were so close last season and then found themselves two victories short of the league championship. Look for Dirk Nowitzki to turn on all jets again this season. A major concern for coach Avery Johnson has to be the center position. There are three choices right now but none have all of the required tools.
The San Antonio Spurs, along with the Mavs, are a major power in this division and the conference. With a rich tandem at the guard positions and a healed Tim Duncan, the Spurs should be sound on both ends of the court. As with Dallas, the Spurs find their center position to be a primary concern. The other problem is the bench—very talented and experienced but aging. Coach Gregg Popovich is a determined competitor, who won’t stand for second-rate play.
The final three teams offer a real dilemma for any prognosticator. The Houston Rockets have the names—Ming and McGrady. But both sustained major injuries last season and if that happens again this year, don’t expect to see this team battling in a playoff game. Jeff Van Gundy, a good tactician, always gets the most out of his team. The Rockets have added some defense, which they really needed. The bench is short and that’s worrisome.
Byron Scott coaches the New Orleans Hornets, who now have a home again. This club has fine, young talented players and a major upgrade through the signing of shooting guard Peja Stojakovic. Chris Paul, only in his second season, has emerged as a major player at point guard. The Hornets are still developing, but they have a shot at the second season in 2006-07.
Look for the Memphis Grizzlies to be contending for a playoff spot again. Last season they made it in, only to lose in the first round, 0-4. Coach Mike Fratello offers his club tough love. He has a penchant to play his veterans and has little patience with rookies. Jerry West, President of Basketball Operations, is demanding he change his philosophy. If Fratello doesn’t, he may not last the season.
Possible upheaval in the Grizzlies’ coaching ranks, the two top teams without a quality center, the Hornets prepped to buzz the competition and the Rockets perhaps poised to crash and burn—that’s the NBA’s Southwest Division.
Projected Order of Finish: Click on the team link for a break down of the basketball team.