The Southwest division have 4 out of 5 teams making the playoffs for the past two seasons. Are the teams as good as before? Memphis Grizzlies are full with young talents. Dallas Mavericks shape up its roster after a disappointing season. San Antonio Spurs improves on their aging squad to make another push for the title. New Orleans Hornets made some changes. Houston Rockets are once again without their two top players.
Will the Spurs trio of Parker, Ginobili and Duncan win another title?
San Antonio Spurs aging squad was defeated by the Mavs in the playoff last season. The Spurs knew that the team is not getting any younger and they make some very good moves. Trading for a athletic winger Richard Jefferson for spare parts, drafted DeJuan Blair in the second round was a steal, signing veteran big man Antonio McDyess and Theo Ratliff to strengthen the front court. Not to mention that Manu Ginobili is schedule to be back in time for the new season. The Spurs will be a very serious contender for the NBA title.
How well can Marion gel with the Mavs?
Just like the Spurs, the Mavs knew that they can't win a title with its current squad. Multiple moves were done during the offseason resulting in the Mavs will have 8 new faces to start the season. Shawn Marion is consider their best offseason signing alongside with the likes of Drew Gooden and Tim Thomas. Getting into the playoffs shouldn't be a problem, but going far will be. The face of the franchise, Dirk Nowitzki is at his prime now and the Mavs might as well do everything they could to challenge for the NBA title.
Okafor will be playing with one of the best PG
in the league, Chris Paul
The Hornets did not do much during the offseason, the only significant move is trading Tyson Chandler for Emeka Okafor. Okafor do give them health assurance as he didn't miss any game in the past 2 season while Chandler missed almost half of the 2008/09 season. Trading Antonio Daniels for Darius Songaila and Bobby Brown do strengthen the front court depth by a small margin. The backcourt rookies of Darren Collison and Marcus Thornton are not really NBA ready yet. Peja Stojakovic is not the sharp shooter he used to be. The scoring duty will once again depends on Chris Paul and David West.
Luis Scola and Aaron Brooks to lead the Rockets this season?
Injuries have been the Rockets worse enemy, the latest with Yao Ming most probably out for the season and Tracy McGrady having a very slim chance to recover and play the way he used to be. Not to mention that Ron Artest has signed with the Lakers. With the new signing of Trevor Ariza and David Andersen, defense shouldn't be a problem for the Rockets. However, the offensive end needs to work harder. Aaron Brooks and Luis Scola are the best candidates to fill in the scoring void left by Yao Ming and McGrady. The big question will be, can they score enough to win games?
Will the youngester gel in nicely with the new veterans?
The latest addition of Zach Randolph and Allen Iverson are very questionable. Both of them are well known to demands the ball all the time. OJ Mayo and Rudy Gay too need touches to create plays. The development of Marc Gasol and Darrell Arthur will be affected by veterans as well. There's other question that need to be solve within the team too. Mike Conley's performance is not really impressive for a lottery pick. Newly drafted Hasheem Thabeet's summer league play is a disaster. If the Grizzlies can stay out of the bottom 3 in the league, it will be a very big surprise for everyone.
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