Cal Lee and Warren Shaw bring you another edition of The Baseline, this time previewing the Southwest Division. Some of the best ball is played on the west coast and the Southwest Division is loaded with talent highlighted by the defending champions—the San Antonio Spurs.
To help preview the division The Baseline welcomes one of the best young writers/reporters in the NBA, Shams Charania from RealGm.com. In this preview we discuss:
- Are the Spurs capable of staying healthy and repeating as Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Giniboli are another year older? Is Kawhi Leonard ready for stardom or does he have to wait till one of the San Antonio big three retires?
- In Houston gone are Chandler Parsons and Jeremy Lin but Trevor Ariza has entered the fold for the Rockets. James Harden and Dwight Howard have been accused of being the “cool kids” but can they mature and play enough defense to keep the Rockets on the rise?
- Dirk Nowitzki took less to help the Mavericks field a competitive team. Will the reunion with Tyson Chandler and addition of Parsons give Dallas the added push towards SW division elite? Will the trio of point guards (Jameer Nelson, Devin Harris and Raymond Felton) stay healthy and stay out of each other’s way on the court?
- Marc Gasol’s injury set the Grizzlies back last season but now that he’s healthy Memphis looks to pound their opponents and rack up another 50 plus win season. Zach Randolph got a new deal and Vince Carter was added as the Grizzlies attempt to get out of the west one more time.
- Anthony Davis is the Samsung of the NBA being dubbed the next big thing. Is his rise to elite status enough to see the Pelicans fly? The situation looks bleak unless Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson, Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon can all stay healthy to provide the support fitting of a superstar.
You don’t want to miss this edition of The Baseline as break down all that and more burning questions from the Southwest Division.