The Northwest: from one of the strongest to weakest in two days
Northwest Division was one of the toughest and competitive divisions in the west with Thunder, Blazers, Nuggets, and Jazz. Sorry Wolve fans. All four of the teams made it to the playoffs last year and in a span of two days the Jazz and Nuggets lost their star player. Looks like the Thunder and Blazers are the only teams thats going to be competitive in the division.
Jazz aren't going away though. Just because they lost Dwill does not mean the Jazz won't play hard and not make the playoffs. Still think they will and this could help Utah out a ton. Dwill's bad influence rubbed on the team and caused everyone to play badly. Now with Dwill out, Big AL will probably be the leader and the whole team will start to play alot better. Now I can't wait to see the Jazz play the Mavs tonight. Its gonna be exciting.
Does Minnesota take advantage? Will they make a playoff push next year?Kahns predictions finally coming true? They paitently waited, now the time has come. Can they fulfill the Kahn prophecy! KAAAHHHHNNNNNNN!!!
Yeah...OKC pretty much has this division won for the next few years, at least.
We will see what Kahn has to say about that.
I don't know about that, FireKahn, Utah and Portland will still make a push. And like I said this trade should really help Utah not only on a player standpoint but on a team standpoint as well. Utah just traded a leader that was very fiery and had a bad influence on the rest of the team Now that he's out, the whole team will start to play better, much better. Watch today's game as well as the rest of games on this 3 game road trip as well as the Celtics game on the 28th and you will see what I mean.
I bet that 3 teams from the Northwest will still make the playoffs. Utah, OKC, and Portland not necessarily in that order. So to go from 4 teams in the playoffs down to 3 is not that bad. And Denver will also play well with all their depth that they got from the Melo trade.
Utah could make it but the Suns and Wariors plus Memphis are gunning for those last two spots. Denver to me will fall out of it because they were barely making it with Melo. It will take a while for the chemistry to happen. Yesterday they beat a Memphis team without Rudy that play like garbage. You can't expect that ever night. Also JR Smith played like a go to guy. That may not be happening too often but I do think he is better than Nick Young in the only offense type role
The Nuggets are still going to be competitive. They are not going to fall off dramatically. George Karl knows how to win and knows how to handle these situations. He'll get the most out of the roster. They also have helped their salary situation in a major way, especially if somehow they can trade one of their assets and include Harrington and/or Andersen and remove their salaries. They are a team that will compete for the playoffs, and if they don't make it, well they have draft picks now to further improve their young talent. I like the direction Denver is headed.
The Wolves will continue to improve, especially if Rubio comes over. Although he's struggled some in Europe this year, he fits the American style of basketball well, and paired with a shooter in Ridnour, they can be a good 1-2 punch at PG, or even having both on court at the same time. Beasley and Love will need to improve their defenses, and they'll need to light a spark under Darko to get him to play consistently night in and out.
Portland is still going to be there and the Thunder are still an excellent young team. The one question mark team is Utah, but they do have enough talent not to completely collapse, although I'm no longer expectating too much from them.
The division may have been hit a bit, but it's still a pretty good division. Better than the Central division.