|Posted by GinosJungle on October 20, 2009 at 11:05 AM|
Today I will continue doing my part in the NBA blogging tour, headed by Jeff Clark from CelticsBlog, by previewing three Northwest Division teams. Those teams are the Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Oklahoma City Thunder. I will give brief notes from each teams preview(s) and give my own prediction of how each team will do this season, but make sure to check out each teams blog(s) for a full preview.
- The Nuggets chose to have a quiet offseason. They added a few people with the NBA draft and re-signed their 6th man, and fan favorite, Chris "Birdman" Andersen.
- Last year's early season aquisition of Chauncey Billups turned the Nuggets into a Western Conference favorite. This year they return pretty much the same team.
- The Nuggets have a very strong starting five. Chauncey is a proven point guard who knows how to distribute the ball and control the pace of the game. They also have a superstar, Carmelo Anthony, who can put up a good chunk of points.
- Besides those two well known names they also have Kenyon Martin, an elite defender; NeNe, a strong force in the post; And J.R. smith, a very athletic guard that likes to get up and go.
- The weakness on this team is depth. After the starting five they have Birdman and vetran point guard Anthony Carter. Beyond those spots the Nuggets are lacking depth, they are going to need good productivity from Aaron Afflalo, Malik Allen, and Renaldo Balkman.
- Like alot of the top tier teams in the Eastern and Western Conference, the goal for the Nuggets is to win a NBA championship. Whether this goal is reachable or not has yet to be decided. They definetly have talent, but do they have enough?
Prediction 52-30 I think the Nuggets will have a slightly worse record than last year with the top tier teams in the Western Conference improving their rosters.
- The T'Wolves had a very busy offseason, the question is: Did they improve at all? The short answer to this is no.
- The biggest move during the offseason may have been getting rid of Celtics legend and former GM Kevin Mchale. From a Celtics standpoint he did a great job while in Minnesota (Trading KG). From a T'Wolves standpoint he did a horrible job and turned the team into a joke.
- The T'Wolves also added head coach Bill Laimbeer, free agents Sasha Pavolvic and Ramon Sessions, and draft picks Wayne Ellington, Johnny Flynn and the rights to Ricky Rubio.
- The strengths for the T'Wolves this year are........ Maybe we can call Al Jefferson a strength, if he's healthy.
- The weakness for this team is simply the lack of talent. The team is still in rebuilding mode, and until they pick up another big name the fans in Sota will have to be patient.
- The goals for this years team is to develop their youth and settle on a certain group of players, coaches, and management that they can move forward with.
Prediciton 25-57 This team is flat out horrible, it will be a complete shock to me if they win more than 25 games.
Oklahoma City Thunder
- The Thunder did not really make any SIGNIFICANT moves during the offseason. The biggest move they made was picking up James Harden with the third pick in the NBA draft. Harden should had another young scoring threat to the Thunder.
- The strengths for this team are age and athleticism. This team is loaded with young players who can cause matchup problems for many teams in the league. Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden are all very versatile and athletic.
- The weaknesses for the Thunder are youth and inexperience. One good point that Daily Thunder points out is that last year the Thunder led the league in losses under six points. The team did not have the experience to close out games, this year you can expect them to improve but this may still haunt them.
- The goal for this year's team is to continue to develop for the future, anything above 30 wins would be a success for this team. If they can pick up a big name in 2010 expect them to be a team of the future.
Prediciton 35-47 I think this team will continue to improve, they are not a .500 team quite yet but they will not be laughed at.
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