The NBA Season is ready to start on Christmas Day, the last couple of preseason games are being played as I write this up, and it's time for me to cater to every serious NBA fans love of season previews! The 2011 Geektastic Preview is going to be way too large for one article, so I'm dividing it up into divisions (and even so, it's going to be long, so get a cup of coffee!). I'm continuing the preview here with the Southwest Division, from worst to first.
Worst: The New Orleans Hornets
They'll certainly be last in the Division. In fact, if Stern has his way, they'll be close to last in the league and maximize their chances at that #1 overall pick. Expect to see Eric Gordon get a TON of burn, which will be great for my fantasy basketball league but won't get them into the playoffs.
Not Quite as Bad: The Houston Rockets
Even if the Pau Gasol trade had gone through, and the Rockets had a Gasol/Dalembert front line, I'm not sure this would have been a playoff team, but without that trade they are lottery bound. They won't be truly terrible, but they aren't good enough to make the playoffs.
The Middle: The Memphis Grizzlies
I'm not as excited about Memphis as others are, mostly because I'm not a huge Rudy Gay fan. We've written a lot about Rudy Gay before. I simply don't expect him to give this team anywhere near the boost that everyone else is awaiting.
Pretty Damn Good: The Dallas Mavericks
The Mavericks will still be pretty damn good, but the minutes Chandler played at center won't be replaced by slipping Dirk to the 5, so adding Odom isn't going to completely solve that problem. But they'll still be in the thick of it in playoff time, and how many teams can do that while boating huge cap space in 2012 to potentially sign Dwight Howard!?
First: The San Antonio Spurs
Everyone talks about the big three of Duncan, Ginobli, and Parker, but the reason this team continues to stay in contention is that the organization is great at drafting players that other teams pass on, the most recent of which is Blair, who's a beast. The Spurs won 61 games last year, why on earth would you pick against them to win this division again!?