It feels just like yesterday when the 2006-2007 NBA season just begun but here we are again to size up the enemies of the Spurs in Southwest Division for the 2007-2008 NBA season. The division has gotten stronger and overall, the Southwest Division is by far the toughest division in the league. With teams such as the Dallas “Chokers” and other teams such as the improved Houston Rockets, the Spurs have their work cut out for them this upcoming season.
After an embarrassing, ego-crushing, humiliating, brutal loss to the Warriors in the first round of the playoffs last season, the “Chokers” come back pretty much in tact. Last season they dominated the league in the regular season but they were unable to get it done when it came time to separate the men from the boys. So much for a great regular season. Even after Dirk “Choke”witzki taking the NBA MVP award (which is now irrelevant), the Mavs’ window of opportunity for a shot at the title may be over. Their mentality has to be questioned after their debacle in the playoffs. With that being said, they still have Josh Howard, Devin Harris and Jason Terry. This team should not be looked over. In the off season they signed Eddie Jones but still will not be enough. They must improve their mental toughness. They will again win lots of games in the regular season and the media will go “ga-ga” over them and crown them the clear winners of the 2008 title, but we know the regular season doesn’t mean a thing once the playoffs begin. If they can get it done in the playoffs, they might be the one team to dethrone the San Antonio Spurs.
New Orleans Hornets
Last season this team was devastated by injuries. They had a nice off-season last year when they signed Bobby Jackson, Peja Stojakovic, and Tyson Chandler, but injuries set in and they lost Peja, Chris Paul, Bobby Jackson, David West and Chandler. All of them combined saw 126 games lost due to injuries. If they stay healthy, this team can improve on their 39 wins from last year. The Hornets added Melvin Ely, Morris Peterson and drafted Julian Wright. This is an up and coming team but are still a few seasons away from making any kind of waves in the West.
Ah Memphis, such an underachieving team. A team with Pau Gasol, Mike Miller, Damon Stoudamire, Stromille Swift, and Rudy Gay, you’d think they win more than 22 games, but that’s all they totaled last year, finishing with the league’s worse record. During last season and during the offseason, we heard of Gasol being traded but that never happened. Instead, the Grizz brought in Darko Milicic aka “I will kill the refs and rape their daughters” (google Darko goes crazy in the Euro Tourney), and drafted Mike Conley. These two signings will add some nice additions to the center position and point guard position. For the Grizz, let’s hope Miller isn’t too tired from playing with Team USA this summer and with a healthy Gasol, the Grizz should be more competitive this season.
This team is just loaded with talent and what an offseason this club had. They added the best power forward from overseas, Luis Scola, by basically raping the Spurs and giving up disgruntled Spanoulis. Added Mike James, brought back Steve Francis, and drafted Aaron Brooks (who tore it up in the Summer League) to play along side of Yao Ming and T-Mac. Like always, T-Mac and Yao must stay healthy for all 82 games if the Rockets have any chance to succeed. Let’s not forget they have Shane Battier and Bonzi Wells as well. Also brought into the fold was Rick Adelman to coach this team. All the pieces are in place for the Rockets. It will take a while for this team to develop chemistry and if they do, the Mavs and the defending champs will have to worry about the Rockets.