NBA Standings Predictions 2012-2013 Southwest Division

1. San Antonio Spurs (57 wins)

they’re getting old…

the spurs always impress me (and everyone else) every year.  everyone says that they’re getting old, that they don’t have anything left in the tank, and then they make it to the western conference finals.  although i do believe that they won’t win another title with this core because of the other teams and how they’ve improved, they will be a very good team, one that will cause some teams to not win a championship.  as i’ve said before, the regular season is different from the playoffs, something that coach popavich knows well, and he does his best to prepare his team for that.  they also have a lot of good role players, one that fits their system really well.  their bench is a decent bench, although they don’t really have any above average players.  the closest is stephen jackson, but he’s past his prime and doesn’t score like he did in milwaukee.  if patrick mills can do what he did in the olympics, then they would be  in a great position to upset some teams.

this team should compete for the next 3 years at least, since duncan just signed an extension with them.  ginobili seems to be getting better with age and is able to stay on the court longer.  tony parker needs to have another MVP year if the spurs want a chance to compete.  but they will win this division.

starting 5: diaw, duncan, leonard, ginobili, parker

2. Memphis Grizzlies (52 wins)

the grizzlies kinda stayed put this offseason, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but when other teams that were already better make improvements, then staying put doesn’t really help them.  they also lost OJ Mayo, a good shooting guard who was great off the bench.  this team is a very grind-it-out team, and that’s a good thing.  they also have a go-to scorer in gay and randolph.  they also have a good point guard in michael conley, and a a defensive stopper in tony allen.  the only thing they’re lacking is 3 pointers.  they were one of the last teams in 3 pointers made, because they throw it into the low post all the time.  that’s fine and all, but if your low post game isn’t working because you run into, let’s say, the lakers, then you don’t really have any other option.  marc gasol is also a big man who can help others get better with his passing.  but his brother also does that as well.  they should just hope that they don’t see LA in the playoffs or it won’t end well for them.

don’t get me wrong, they’re a good team.  it’s just that their growth process is going slower than other teams, like OKC and the clippers.  they also can’t compete with the lakers or even the spurs.  they can’t compete for a title, but they can be a playoff team.

starting 5: gasol, randolph, gay, allen, conley

3. Dallas Mavericks (45 wins)

no dwill or dwight?

this past summer was an awful offseason for the mavericks, as they failed to really get anyone to come to dallas and help dirk nowitzki out.  there were high expectations, but they failed miserably in all of them.  their first target was deron williams, who resigned with the nets.  then there was dwight howard, who eventually got traded to the lakers.  they also wanted to retain jason kidd and jason terry.  kidd ditched them last minute to go to new york, and jason terry (who i can’t stand) went to boston.  so when all was said and done, they signed a past-his-prime elton brand and chris kaman to replace them.  they did make some positive signings, with darren collison (who excelled in the playoffs) and and OJ Mayo, an extremely good shooting guard.

but i feel bad for dirk, and i don’t even like the mavericks in general, but their plan failed big time.  and dirk wants to win another ring in dallas, but that looks like it won’t happen anytime soon.  right now they look like a bunch of veterans who were once the stars of their teams, but now aren’t so great.  with vince carter, brand, kaman, and shawn marion, they’re hanging on their last limbs right now.  so i don’t really expect much from them this year, and i hope they can retool for next year.

starting 5: kaman, nowitzki, marion, mayo, collison

4. New Orleans Hornets(25 wins)

the brow is coming to new orleans

what a difference one season makes.  last year, the hornets looked like they made the dumbest trade when they got eric gordon and some draft picks for chris paul.  and look what that got them?  only anthony davis and austin rivers, along with a really bright future.  they also got ryan anderson this summer, a sharpshooter who i think is eager to prove that he’s more than just dwight’s sidekick.  it will be interesting to see if he can keep up his play from last year.  but this is a really good foundation, with davis, rivers, gordon, anderson, and robin lopez.  they also have a great coach in monty williams, and thing are really looking up for them.  davis played with the USA team in the olympics, and i’m sure he picked up a few things from the superstars of the league.  you can never underestimate how valuable that is.  gordon has the experience and the leadership qualities if he could stay healthy.  davis can be a problem in the paint, and also a good defensive presence that they need.  they just have really good pieces, and it might take them a while to figure it out, but they can be a really good team for years to come.  but for now, they’re no. 4 in this division.

starting 5: davis, anderson, aminu, gordon, vasquez

5. Houston Rockets (22 wins)

there was a lot of drama in new york and houston, as jeremy lin signed with the rockets for a huge amount of money.  teams going back and forth debating who played who, and jeremy lin supposedly was stuck signing the only contract that was available to him.  and so now, he’s a rocket for the second time.  i guess that was a success in GM morey’s eyes, but he pretty much had a full fire sale in order to try and lure dwight howard to texas.  that didn’t really pan out, so now they aren’t really left with anyone.  kevin martin will be a good sidekick for lin, and i’m sure toney douglas is happy that lin is in houston again, taking over his job.  but i don’t think this will amount to many wins this year.  the offense will be centered around jeremy lin, and lin is a pick and roll player.  right now, he doesn’t have anyone to roll with.  houston got rid of everyone so i’m not sure how this will pan out.  they got asik, but he’s a defensive player, not even a hint of offense in him.  so i don’t know how that will work.  also, more teams will pay attention to lin this year, and i don’t know know how he’ll handle the pressure.  but i don’t expect them to go anywhere this year.

starting 5: asik, patterson, parsons, martin, lin

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