Friday, September 25, 2009

Division by division preview: Northwest Division

The Eastern Conference is covered, and now it's on to the West. From top to bottom, the Western Conference is better than its counterpart, but without a doubt, the East continues to make strides of improvement. Today, I'll be previewing the Northwest Division, so without further adieu...

Denver Nuggets: By drafting Ty Lawson, the Nuggets add more youth, as well as a reliable back-up point guard when Anthony Carter retires. Yeah, the Nuggets didn't make any major summer moves, but so what? This is still the same Nuggets team that made the semi-finals last year. Don't fix it if it's not broken, right?

Portland Trail Blazers: The Blazers' young core continues to gel stronger, and it showed by the impressive #4 seed in last year's West. In 2009-2010, the Blazers will only be better, led by their man Brandon Roy whose emerging as one of the better players in the NBA. I also love the Andre Miller signing, because the Blazers needed a pure point guard. Not only will Miller fill that void, but he'll add a veteran leadership to an extremely young team.

Utah Jazz: Following the disappointing '08-'09 season for Utah, I realized something: The Jazz are just an average team. Considering Carlos Boozer's situation, I expect the same thing next year. Boozer's requests of leaving Utah weren't met, and I have a feeling he won't give his best effort for 82 games. Call me crazy, but I think the Jazz are just a small fish in a big pond.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Thunder GM Sam Presti reminds me so much of the Blazer's GM Kevin Pritchard. Neither worry about the short term, but rather build for the future. James Harden could very well win ROY, and I love the development of Russell Westbrook. I expect a monster year out of Kevin Durant in 2009-2010, who by the way just turned 21. I doubt the Thunder will be playing post-April 2010, but don't worry Thunder fans. Good things come to those who wait.

Minnesota Timberwolves: In what was supposed to be a successful 2009 NBA Draft for the Timberwolves, turned into a complete fiasco. Ricky Rubio, the 5th pick, will stay in Spain next year, leaving Jonny Flynn in complete control of the point guard position next year. While I love Flynn's game, the Wolves are still far away from the playoffs. But hey, the team's in rebuilding mode, so...look out for them in the future.

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