2009-2010 NBA Preview - Northwest Division

Running a little behind.

This division is a 3 team race, and I could really flip a three sided coin to pick how the teams will finish. Since no such coin exists, I'll have to do my best.

1. Portland Trail Blazers. First off, I don't like the signing of Andre Miller. Steve Blake was good for this team, and Miller could screw up the flow. But I guess they had to spend their money on someone. But besides him, they have a legit All Star surrounded by a lot of great role players. They won over 50 games despite being a very young team. It should be nothing but up for them this year.

2. Utah Jazz. The Jazz had a horrible season last year, yet still won 48 games. I think they will bounce back this year. They have perhaps the best player in the division with Deron Williams and a host of complimantery players around him. Carlos Boozer and Mehmet Okur have free agency to look forward to, so both players could have great seasons. Paul Millsap continues to get better and better. They should win around 50 games again, which could be enough to win this division.

3. Denver Nuggets. The Nuggets are my favorite team, and I loved what they did last year, but it's too much to ask them to do it again. Nene and Kenyon Martin won't be that healthy, Chauncey Billups is getting older, JR Smith and Carmelo Anthony are still immature and they lost key members Linas Kleiza and Dahntay Jones. Maybe I'm just being my same old pessimistic self, but I can't see them being the second best team in the West again.

4. Oklahoma City Thunder. The Thunder is everyone's sleeper pick. I can see why. Kevin Durant could lead the league in scoring. Russell Westbrook is an up and coming All Star type player. Jeff Green is a very solid role player. And I absolutely loved the pick of James Harden. Still, they only won 23 games last year, still severely lack any talent up front, especially on defense.  They should be fun to watch and should win 30 games, but until they can get a real power forward and center, and someone who can play some defense, they won't be a winning team.

5. Minnesota Timberwolves. What to say about Minnesota? Kevin Love and Al Jefferson are their only two good players, and both play power forward, and both are already hurt. They used two high first round picks on point guards, THEN signed Ramon Sessions. They have nothing to show for being so bad. They could be the worst team in the NBA this year. They have no idea how to run an organization.

All Northwest Team

C - Nene, Nuggets
PF - Al Jefferson, Timberwolves
SF - Carmelo Anthony, Nuggets
SG - Brandon Roy, Trail Blazers
PG - Deron Williams, Jazz

MVP - Deron Williams, Jazz
Rookie of the Year - James Harden, Thunder
Coach of the Year - Nate McMillan, Trail Blazers
Most overrated player - Carlos Boozer, Jazz
Most underrated player - Nene, Nuggets

Jonathan Carrano

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