Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Well, we did save the best for last. This division is far and away the best.
New Orleans Hornets: The Hornets are a trendy favorite to pick win the West. If you watched them play last year you would understand why. They kill. They play great. They're high energy, they run, they play mad D, and they can shoot. Chris Paul is the best point guard in the NBA, and one of the best all around players, period. Tyson Chandler took a while to find his niche, but once he did, Compton is in the house. With the addition of James Posey, the Hornets are poised to do some serious damage.
San Antonio Spurs: Never bet against the Spurs in odd years. You shouldn't. Of course, the Spurs are just a little bit older and a little more slow than they used to be. They also lost Brent "Bones" Barry and Big Shot Bob Horry. The big three are still there, and Manu, Tony and Tim are just about as good as they've ever been. Tim Duncan is still wondering if this is finally the year he's going to kill that rat fuck John Connor, heralding the rise of the machines. Bruce Bowen is still there, and he's still the most hated player in the league, Michael Finley is still raining threes and throwing down dunks that his 35-year-old body feels in the morning. Still. Never bet against the Spurs in an odd-numbered year.
Houston Rockets: Talk about a weird group of guys, but they might boast the best starting five in basketball. Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady, Luis Scola, Ron Artest, and Rafer "Skip to my lou" Alston? Yes. Fantastic. Ron Artest is a great player. Batshit insane, maybe, but still a great player that you want on that wall, you need on that wall. T-Mac and Yao, they have a chip on their shoulder. They've never made it out of the first round, despite always being heralded as two of the best players in the world. Luis Scola was the best Argentine in the Olympics, which is saying a lot.
Dallas Mavericks: The '06 Western Conference Champs have been in freefall since. Two years in a row, they've been bounced in the first round. After some serious retooling (they got rid of about half of their team), Jason Kidd is now on the team. Kidd's addition to the team last year yielded virtually no results, but for a great point guard, you need to give him a little bit of time to meld with the team. Kidd has been given that. They still have Jason Terry, Josh Howard, and Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk was the MVP in '07, and he disappeared in the playoffs. Someone else has to step up before the Mavs do anything better than getting bounced. Unfortunately, with the new West, they may not make the postseason.
Memphis Grizzlies: The worst team in the league two years ago is now the youngest team in the league. They also have some crazy cool players. I was mad at first that they traded Kevin Love for O.J. Mayo, because I was looking forward to the Gay-Love Era in Memphis. Gay-Mayo is way more baller, though. Adding Marc "La Tanqueta" Gasol, the Grizz will start two seven-footers, and be able to take it to the hole or shoot. The Grizz are back for the attack.