NBA Season Preview: Can The Spurs Protect The Title?
October 24, 2014 - 6:26 pm
Fresh Faces: The Rookies Of The Southwest Division You Should Know
Kyle Anderson, San Antonio Spurs: We’ve been up on this kid for a minute now. Considered a poor man’s Magic Johnson, Anderson is a 6-foot-9 point guard in a small forwards body. Nicknamed “Slow Mo” for lack of speed, he’s actually able to use his pace to his advantage and fool defenses with his court savvy. WIth his team first attitude, a trait shared by the rest of the Spurs organization, Anderson and the Spurs might be the best match for any player and team pairing from this year’s draft.
Nick Johnson. Houston Rockets: The Rockets got a big time player in Nick Johnson. The nephew of late Boston Celtics great Dennis Johnson, Nick has NBA ability running through his veins. The combo guard from California was blessed with pro level athleticism and honed his skill at the University of Arizona. Don’t be surprised if you catch a few highlights from this guy on Sportscenter this season.
Jordan Adams, Memphis Grizzlies: The UCLA product was a prize get for the Memphis Grizzles. Known as a team that can score around the rim, Jordan Adams gives them more balance with his outside capabilities. Simply put: we may be looking at J.R. Smith 2.0 here and who doesn’t love J.R. Smith?
See Also: NBA Season Preview: Is The Pacific Division A Two Team Race?
Patrick Young, New Orleans Pelicans: Patrick Young has an old school, intimidating game. While drafted this year, he’d fit in fine with the 90’s big men like Charles Barkley and Charles Oakley and every other big bodied NBA player named Charles from back in the day. With Anthony Davis emerging as an NBA star, it doesn’t hurt for him to have some strong backup.
Russ Smith, New Orleans Pelicans: Everyone loves 76ers rookie Joel Embiid for his funny social media mayhem, but Russ Smith is right up there with him. The guy is like the Tyler, the Creator of NBA twitter. On top of that, he can ball — great scorer, better defender— so be on the lookout.
What’s Good With The Mavericks?
With the focus out west on the defending San Antonio Spurs, the Mavericks were able to make moves on the low. First, they singed one of the leagues best kept secrets Chandler Parsons. After things didn’t work out with the Rockets, team owner Mark Cuban met with Parsons in a Orlando night club and signed him on the spot. Then the Mavs brought back defensive anchor, Tyson Chandler from the Knicks. Real teams move in silence, huh?
See Also: NBA Season Preview: Can A Northwest Division Team Steal OKC's Thunder?
So Who Do We Need To Watch?
The New Orleans Pelicans. They probably wont make the playoffs, but they have a guy by the name of Anthony Davis who’s getting a major cosign from the likes of LeBron James and Kevin Durant as the next to join their elite club of NBA Superstars. So while you’re not watch the Pelicans because they’re going to win an NBA title, you can pretend to be down when they’re title contenders in the next 3 years and say ‘oh yeah, I been up on them’ and sound half-way convincing.
Overview/Predictions: There might actually be a chance that the Southwest division makes history by having every team make the playoffs. Seriously, 4 out of 5 teams made it last year and it isn’t a stretch to think the very young and talented New Orleans team could turn the corner into a good team this year. Like San Antonio, Dallas is always a team no one can count out. Dirk Nowitzki’s an all time great, Monta Ellis and Chandler Parsons are incredible scorers and Tyson Chandler is the best defender in the Western Conference.
Memphis is often overlooked, but refuses to be ignored. Their inside combo of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol is tough to beat, and Vince Carter is still, well.. he can still play like his former self on occasion. The Houston Rockets have the leagues best shooting guard (James Harden) and the best Center (Dwight Howard) but not necessarily the best chemistry. They seemed to have only lost players and team morale after it came out that Harden and Howard don’t interact with other members of the team that much. In sports, like in love, chemistry is everything.
Then there’s the Spurs. After back to back NBA Finals appearances, winning one out of two, no one would count them out this time if they made consecutive trip number 3. The tough part will be delaying father time to their aging greats, but it looks like they’ve figured out the formula for that.