October 28, 2012 10:02 PM by Braxton
Oklahoma City Thunder
For many years to come, I think it is safe to pencil in the Thunder as a title contender. They have two superstars in Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, and the reigning Sixth Man of the Year, James Harden. Add a few solid pieces like Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison, and Thabo Sefolosha, and the Thunder should finish 1st in the Northwest Division with ease.
The Nuggets have the potential to do a lot of damage this season. They got one of the NBA’s best defenders in Andre Iguodala, and they only had to give up a few bench players to get him. They already had a very exciting team with Ty Lawson, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried, and Javale McGee, and the addition of Andre Iguodala makes them that much better. Denver finishes 2nd in the Northwest Division.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers are a decent team. They have a great Power Forward in LaMarcus Aldridge, two Forwards in Nic Batum and J.J. Hickson, and a rookie Point Guard in Damian Lillard. However, they play in a division with some above average teams. Right now, it’s a toss up whether they will finish 3rd or 5th.
Just like the Nuggets, the T-Wolves were poised for a breakthrough season. That was until their best player, Kevin Love, broke his hand. Thankfully, he will only be out for 6-8 weeks. Along with that, Ricky Rubio won’t be back in action until January. The time without their superstars will make or break the T-Wolves season. Unfortunately, I just don’t think they have it in them. Minnesota finished 4th in the Northwest Division.
With Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Derrick Favors, and Enes Kanter, the Jazz have one of the best front-courts in the NBA. Yes, Favors and Kanter are still relatively unproven, but they have shown tons of potential. Juts like Portland, though, they play in a tough division. If they play to their strength, they will finish 3rd. If they get away from running their offense through their bigs, they might slip to 5th in the Northwest Division.