Next up is our the NBA Western Conference Northwest Division. Are the Thunder ready to take the next step? Are the Blazers going to fall as much as we think? Do the Nuggets still really have a team? We answer each of these questions right here.
Western Conference Northwest
(Predicted order of finish)
|1. Oklahoma City Thunder||New head coach Billy Donovan comes to Oklahoma City from the University of Florida where he will try to instill the same principles he learned from Rick Pitino. So let’s hope Donovan isn’t currently hiring a stable of strippers. As Patrick Ewing taught us, NBA players can afford those themselves.|
|2. Utah Jazz||The Jazz finished 38-44 in 2014 but that doesn’t show how good Utah was down the stretch. They were 19-10 after the All-Star break and could show some more improvement this season. Of course they play in the Western Conference so it isn’t like they will be popping the champagne any time soon. Then again they live in Utah so I’m not sure they even have champagne.|
|3. Minnesota Timberwolves||With Ricky Rubio, Zach LeVine, Andrew Wiggins, and rookie Karl Anthony-Towns the Wolves have a nice young nucleus that could be molded into an eventual winner. Of course with Kevin Garnett and Andre Miller on the roster the average age of the team is actually 59 years old. But just ignore that.|
|4. Denver Nuggets||The Nuggets landed Mike Malone as their new head coach after the Brian Shaw fiasco. He has a reputation of working well with young players. So rookie PG Emmanuel Mudiay PF Kenneth Faried should be able to create nice highlight films to show other teams when they leave Denver via free agency for a real basketball franchise in a couple of years.|
|5. Portland Trailblazers||Sure, the Blazers lost a ton of talent. LaMarcus Aldridge, Wes Matthews, Arron Afflalo, and Robin Lopez all left for greener pastures. But Portland did go out and replace those guys. I mean c’mon, they got Mason Plumlee. And Noah Vonleh. And don’t forget Al Farouq-Aminu. That’s sort of the same, isn’t it?|
Did you miss our Atlantic Division preview?
Next up: The Central Division!