NBA Southwest Division Outlook

1. The San Antonio Spurs and Head Coach Greg Popovich adds some new blood with forwards Matt Bonner and Eric Williams who came over from Toronto. They lose Center Nazar Mohammed, Rasho Nesterovic. Spurs back court is solid with Tony Parker – 19 ppg, Manu Ginobili – 13.3 ppg and back up Brent Barry – 9.2 ppg. Up front is All Star Tim Duncan – 22.1 ppg, Bruce Bowen – and backup Robert Horry, as well as newly acquired center Francisco Elson.

2. Dallas Mavericks and Head Coach Avery Johnson adds depth to last years Western Conference Champs.  eplfocus  Forward Austin Croshiere from Indiana and Guard Anthony Johnson, as well as Devean George from the Lakers. Gone is Keith Van Horn, and Marquis Daniels. The Mav’s go far this season with M.V.P. candidate forward Dirk Nowitzki – 24.3 ppg and Erick Dampier averaging 9 boards per game. The back court is loaded with Josh Howard – 16.9 ppg, Jason Terry – 14.7, Jerry Stackhouse 13.2 and Devin Harris – 10.7.

3. Houston Rockets and Head Coach Jeff Van Gundy brings in Guard Bonzi Wells, Forward Shane Battier – 9 ppg and is one of the top defensive players in the league, along with Guard Kirk Snyder. Guards Rafer Alston – 12 ppg and Luther Head – 10 ppg. Up front is Center Yao Ming – 25.1 ppg and 9.6 rebounds, and if they can keep Superstar Tracy Mc Grady healthy – 18.5 ppg – this team is a threat in the west. As of this report – Bonzi Wells and Kirk Snyder are out due to injuries.

4. New Orleans Hornets and Head Coach Bryon Scott have added some firepower with power forward Tyson Chandler from the Bulls, guard Bobby Jackson – 11 ppg and small forward Peja Stojakovic, a free agent averaging 17.8 ppg. In the back court along with Jackson is last years – M.V.P. Chris Paul who leads the team in scoring with 18.8 ppg, has 38 steals, and 158 assists. Forwards David West – 17.4 ppg and Desmond Mason 11.1 ppg are getting the job done, but this is the toughest division in the NBA, and the Hornets might not make the post season.

5. Memphis Grizzles and Head Coach Mike Fratello used the draft well acquiring first round picks Forward Rudy Gay and Guard Kyle Lowry. Up front is Hakim Warrick who leads the team in scoring with 15.7 ppg, Stromile Swift – 9.7 ppg and Gay with 9.3. The guards are putting up points as Chucky Atkins is averaging 15.3, and Mike Miller with 14.3. They have veterans Eddie Jones, and Damon Stoudamire in the back court, and up front Lawrence Roberts as well as allstar center Paul Gasol. As of this report – Gasol hasn’t played and is due back in late December, and Lowry is out with a wrist injury.


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