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Upcoming 2011-12 NBA Preview: Southwest Division

WESTERN CONFERENCE – SOUTHWEST

DALLAS MAVERICKS

Last Season: 57-25, Division Champions, 3rd Overall in West, NBA Champions

Key Losses:  J.J. Barea, Caron Butler, Tyson Chandler, Corey Brewer, Rudy Fernandez, DeShawn Stevenson, Peja Stojakovic (retired)

Key Additions:  Lamar Odom, Vince Carter, Delonte West, Andy Rautins, Brandon Wright, Brian Cardinal (resigned)

Main RotationStarters – Jason Kidd, Vince Carter, Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Brendan Haywood; Key Reserves – Jason Terry, Lamar Odom, Delonte West, Rodrigue Beaubois, Brandon Wright, Brian Cardinal, Ian Mahinmi

The defending NBA Champions felt a huge blow this offseason as they’re defensive presence, Tyson Chandler, decided to sign with the New York Knicks.  Dallas would not have won the championship without Chandler.  He was the one that put this team over the top.  In addition, the Mavs also lost fan favorite J.J. Barea, DeShawn Stevenson, and Peja Stojakovic.  Barea was Dallas’ best player at breaking down the defenses.  The Mavs lost a lot in terms of defense but in regards to offense they are much improved with additions of Lamar Odom, Vince Carter, and Delonte West.  Odom will not be that enforcer that Chandler was though but if he can bring the sixth man attitude he played with in L.A., then Dallas should be just fine.  He’s still a near 7 footer, who overall, is more skilled than Chandler.  Vince Carter and Delonte West are solid replacements as well, especially West who is a bigger, stronger back up point than Barea was.

Continue reading Upcoming 2011-12 NBA Preview: Southwest Division

Upcoming 2011-12 NBA Preview – Pacific Division

WESTERN CONFERENCE – PACIFIC

LOS ANGELES LAKERS

Last Season 57-25, Division Champions, 2nd Overall in West, Lost to Dallas in Western Conf Semis

Key Losses Shannon Brown, Lamar Odom, Phil Jackson (head coach)

Key AdditionsJason Kapono, Josh McRoberts, Troy Murphy, Darius Morris (draft), Andrew Goudelock (draft), Mike Brown (head coach)

Main RotationStarters – Derek Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum; Key Reserves – Steve Blake, Jason Kapono, Matt Barnes, Josh McRoberts, Luke Walton, Troy Murphy

How are the Lakers going to react to losing two key components to their championship runs as well as the voided trade that could’ve landed Kobe’s first ever all-star point guard Chris Paul?  Gone are Phil Jackson who retired and Lamar Odom who was traded to Dallas.  Roll out the red carpet for their replacements – new head coach Mike Brown and Josh McRoberts…or wait.. is it Troy Murphy.  Brown is an ok replacement but as far as Odom’s replacement…. wow, what a downgrade.  Odom’s versaility, size, and offense will be sorely missed by the Lakers.  Josh McRoberts wouldn’t have been that bad of a choice to fill in another bench spot but not like this.  He’s a serviceable big man but will not provide anywhere near the impact Odom brought.  For Troy Murphy, I can’t believe he’s still in the league.

Continue reading Upcoming 2011-12 NBA Preview – Pacific Division

Upcoming 2011-12 NBA Preview: Northwest Division

WESTERN CONFERENCE – NORTHWEST

OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

Last Season55-27, Division Champions, 4th Overall in West, Lost to Dallas in West Conf Finals

Key LossesByron Mullens, Robert Vaden

Key AdditionsDaequan Cook, Lazar Hayward, Reggie Jackson (draft)

Main RotationStarters – Russell Westbrook, Thabo Sefolosha, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins; Key Reserves – James Harden, Eric Maynor, Daequan Cook, Nick Collison, Nazr Mohammed, Nate Robinson

Continue reading Upcoming 2011-12 NBA Preview: Northwest Division

Upcoming 2011-12 NBA Preview: Southeast Division

EASTERN CONFERENCE – SOUTHEAST

MIAMI HEAT

Last Season: 58-24,  Division Champions, 2nd Overall in East, Eastern Conference Champions,  Lost to Dallas in NBA Finals

Key Losses: Mike Bibby, Jamaal Magloire, Zydrunas Ilgauskas (retired)

Key Additions: Shane Battier, Eddy Curry, Mario Chalmers (resigned), Juwan Howard (resigned), James Jones (resigned), Norris Cole (draft)

Main Rotation: Starters – Mario Chalmers, Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Joel Anthony; Key Reserves – Shane Battier, Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller, Eddie House, James Jones, Norris Cole, Juwan Howard

Continue reading Upcoming 2011-12 NBA Preview: Southeast Division

Upcoming 2011-12 NBA Preview: Central Division

EASTERN CONFERENCE – CENTRAL

CHICAGO BULLS

Last Season: 62-20, Division Champions, 1st Overall in East, Lost to Miami in Eastern Conf Finals

Key Losses:  Rasual Butler, Kurt Thomas

Key Additions Richard Hamilton, Brian Scalabrine (resigned), Nikola Mirotic (draft), Jimmy Butler (draft)

Main Rotation:  Starters – Derrick Rose, Richard Hamilton, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah;  Key Reserves – Keith Bogans, Ronnie Brewer, Taj Gibson, Kyle Korver, C.J. Watson, Omer Asik

Continue reading Upcoming 2011-12 NBA Preview: Central Division