BASN’s NBA Previews: Part Two

By Wesley Chism Jr., BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: October 27, 2009

SEATTLE (BASN) — Let me be clear, the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers will not repeat this season, and their chances of making it to the Conference Finals are slim.

Yes, I said it!

The Houston Rockets took them to seven games with two of their best players on the bench not to mention the Rockets did let one get away from them at home.

To the credit of the Lakers organization, it was a brilliant move to bring in your arch nemesis, i.e. Ron Artest, to be part of your system.

The question is can he operate within the triangle offense and make the necessary adjustments to his game for the betterment of the team?

The Lakers got lucky last season and are in no way a dynasty in the making as in the days of Magic, Kareem, Worthy, Green, Rambis, Scott and Cooper that were on the 1988 team.

The San Antonio Spurs will represent the Western Conference in the 2009-10 NBA Finals. The addition of Richard Jefferson and a healthy Manu Ginoboli is enough alone to give opposing teams fits!

You can count on Tim Duncan to provide consistency and leadership along with Tony Parker who will have his best season as a pro this year.

The Spurs just may have one of the deepest benches in the league with Finely, Mason, Mcdyess, and Hill. Rookie DeJaun Blair will see some playing time after a successful summer and preseason.

On Tuesday, January 12th, the Spurs will play host to the Los Angeles Lakers and will get served to a good old fashioned Texas beat down.

Mark your calendars.

Hoping and assuming that all stay healthy here is a predicted order of finish:

Southwest Division

  1. San Antonio Spurs: 57 – 25

Key Additions: Richard Jefferson

Key Losses: Bruce Bowen

Player to watch: Richard Jefferson

Thought: You can count on this team to play both ends of the court and match ups will never be a problem.

  1. Dallas Mavericks 51 – 31

Key Additions: Shawn Marion

Key Losses: Jerry Stackhouse

Player to watch: Jason Kidd, Josh Howard

Thought: We all know that they can score but can they defend? If not it will be one and out during the playoffs.

  1. New Orleans Hornets: 44 – 38

Key Additions: Omeka Okafor

Key Losses: Tyson Chandler

Player to watch: James Posey and Omeka Okafor

Thought: This team is in transition and the roster will change before the trade deadline.

4.

Memphis Grizzlies: 43 – 39

Key Additions: Allen Iverson, Zach Randolph

Key Losses: There aren’t any.

Player to watch: Mike Conley, Marc Gasol

Thought: The rotation will be inconsistent as this young team learns to gel.

  1. Houston Rockets 40 – 42

Key Additions: Trevor Ariza

Key Losses: Ron Artest, Rafer Alston, Brent Barry

Player to watch: Tracy McGrady

Thought: Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady’s health will always be a question. The team gave up a lot and only time will tell who got the better deal.

      Northwest Division

1.

Denver Nuggets 46 – 36

Key Additions: Ty Lawson, Kurt Looby

Key Losses: There aren’t any

Player to watch: Chauncey Billups

Thought: Rookies will compete for playing time. Chauncey will lead this team and have more command on the flow of the offense.

2.

Portland Trailblazers 45 – 37

Key Additions: Dante Cunningham

Key Losses: There aren’t any.

Player to watch: Greg Oden

Thought: Don’t sleep on the Blazers this season. They can compete for Conference Title this season.

3.

Utah Jazz 44 – 38

Key Additions: Wes Matthews,

Key Losses: There aren’t any

Player to watch: Deron Williams

Thought: Utah is quietly going about rebuilding team at key positions and have people to replace Boozer is he chooses to opt out.

5.

Oklahoma City Thunder 40 – 42

Key Additions: James Harden

Key Losses: Desmond Mason, Earl Watson, Malik Rose, Damien Wilkins

Player to watch: Shaun Livingston

Thought: The team is doing all the necessary things to be successful and will finish the season strong. Livingston will make key contributions off the bench.

6.

Minnesota Timberwolves 31 – 51

Key Additions: Johnny Flynn, Antonio Daniels

Key Losses: Jason Collins, Mike Miller

Player to watch: Al Jefferson, Corey Brewer

Thought: Many trades are coming before the deadline.

Pacific Division

1.

Los Angeles Lakers 58 – 24

Key Additions: Ron Artest, DJ Mbenga

Key Losses: Phil Jackson is so smooth that you never notice on any team that he has ever coached, except for the year when Michael Jordan went to play baseball.

Player to watch: Adam Morrison breaking into the rotation and getting the concept of the triangle offense.

Thought: They will peak early but won’t live up to the hype.

2.

Phoenix Suns 49 – 33

Key Additions: It’s still Alvin Gentry

Key Losses: Raja Bell, Shaquille O’Neal

Player to watch: Grant Hill, Leandro Barbosa,

Thought: Coach Gentry will have this team playing to its strengths.

3.

Sacramento Kings 44 – 38

Key Additions: Tyreke Evans, Desmond Mason, Paul Westphal

Key Losses: It’s still Bobby Jackson

Player to watch: Tyreke Evans, Spencer Hawes

Thought: They’re still rebuilding but under the leadership of Westphal their going to sneak up on some teams.

4.

Golden State Warriors 40 – 42

Key Additions: Stephon Curry

Key Losses: Jamal Crawford

Player to watch: Stephon Curry, Monta Ellis,

Thought: Will improve tremendously from last season and some key trades will make the difference.

5.

L.A. Clippers 37 – 45

Key Additions: Blake Griffin, Sebastian Telfair,

Key Losses: Zach Randolph, Cuttino Mobley,

Player to watch: Blake Griffin, Baron Davis

Thought: Baron Davis has some weapons now and Sebastian Telfair will have his best season as a pro because of the mentorship of Davis.