Getting real: NBA Northwest Division preview

If you've somehow missed all the NBA previews--or are simply jonesin' for more--top bloggers helped We Rite Goode boil the season down to a few catchy soundbites that can be used to impress at cocktail parties or keggers. After you've read our methodology here, go with us from the Atlantic--where nearly all the teams have hopes of a playoff push--to a division where a few teams have set their sights somewhat lower.

1. Utah Jazz

UtesFan89, Win Or Go Home

Forget what they need to do; here's what they will do: 48 or 49 wins max, then knocked out in the 2nd round. Booze and Deron play at All-Star level, but one of them gets snubbed due to either the depth of All-Star talent at their positions, or simply because they play for the Jazz. Okur regains his shot when he's not forced to play defense... and plays great defense but loses his shot when he does that. Larry H. Miller forces AK into Sloan's offense (which could force Sloan into post-season retirement). Brewer impresses, but Sloan finds some reason (youth?) to bench him. man-crush and Flop continue to get minutes (along with Giricek) over the youngsters, further proving that Sloan couldn't care less about the future and the kids' development. Hart and Price are adequate at times, but largely disappointing.

Reasoning: Booze and Deron remain All-Star caliber...but Sloan's love for man-crush will backfire when man-crush throws some games away (literally) at the end, as will the decision to play Giricek/Price/Hart over the defensively talented Brewer at the 2. He also hates youngsters, so Brewer, Almond, and Fesenko will get used to the bench, while Giricek, man-crush, and Flop Collins all get undeserved minutes. The youngsters' lack of development will hurt even more later in the season, when the worn-down starters need a break but Sloan doesn't trust his bench enough. Incorporating AK into the offense is a big mistake--watching him shoot jumpers is like being punched in the gut...repeatedly--and will cut shots for the better options. The average Hart and Price are a noticeable drop-off after Deron heads to the bench. In the playoffs, the Jazz have enough talent to spring a first-round upset, but aren't good enough to beat the top 3 yet, even if the Warriors' upset of the Mavs got them to the conference finals. Okur's shot plays hide-and-seek like it did last year, as he'll be worn out by the defensive effort to stop Yao or Duncan.

2. Denver
Howie, NBA Basketball and Other Unrelatedness

Forget what they need to do; here's what they will do: Win 44 games, get 7th seed, lose to the Mavs in the first round and Nene misses 30 games.

Reasoning: Basically, this team still didn't get the memo that they really need reliable defense to get past the Spurs, Mavs, Suns (love Camby to death..he's but one man). If they can't figure it out, my hopes of them advancing are as high as someone coming to save the Saskatchewan citizens from the wild cocker spaniels running a muck (will someone please someone call the SPCA?!)

3. Portland Trailblazers
Zach Landres-Schnur, The Big Picture

Forget what they need to do; here's what they will do: Win between 25 and 35 games. Miss the playoffs. Make fans beg for an MLB team in Portland.

Reasoning: The West is loaded, the top overall pick won't play a minute and more injuries are inevitable. It's gonna be B-Roy's team, and, alone, I don't think he can get them to .500.

4. Seattle Supersonics
Seth Kolloen, Enjoy the Enjoyment

Forget what they need to do; here's what they will do: Try every legal maneuver possible to steal our team--but, at the same time, offer the best sports ticket in town.

Reasoning: If this is the last year we watch Sonics basketball, at least we're going out on a high note, with a twice-weekly performance by the most exciting teenage basketball player on the planet. 82 games (fingers-crossed) of Kevin Durant is enough to get even the most cynical fans excited.

5. Minnesota Timberwolves
Anthony Hall,

Forget what they need to do; here's what they will do: Jefferson will make a smooth transition to the Western Conference, Foye will have a mostly-successful season as the starting point guard, McCants will be streaky, and Green will continue to demonstrate his “low basketball IQ.” The jury will remain out on Wittman.

Reasoning : Jefferson has historically been strong against the West, and Foye has the tools to be a dynamic point guard. McCants, since returning from injury, has been up and down on an almost-nightly basis, and I’m not confident about Wittman’s ability to improve Green’s decision-making skills. Finally, over Wittman’s career in this league, he’s shown no signs that he can be a successful head coach in the NBA.

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posted by Crucifictorious @ 12:35,


At November 2, 2007 at 4:34 PM, Blogger Doctor Dribbles said...

Call it a hunch, but I think the T-wolves are going to be one of those squads that stinks 3/4 of the year and then picks off a few playoff teams down the stretch, once it all comes together for them.

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