D. Smith: Northwest Division
Old 09-23-2009, 04:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cool D. Smith: Northwest Division

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NORTHWEST DIVISION

Portland has that Oden fellow among their crop of youngsters.
What happened

Well, hereís what, according to the player movement thingy at nba.com (and if itís wrong, donít blame me).

A boring summer

Ricky Rubio and the Minnesota aside, this really was an uneventful summer as far as player movement goes. Player retention? Hell, yeah, a lot of that. Player movement? Not so much.

Where trouble lurks

How about Utah? A whole lot of that player retention stuff was the Jazz keeping just about everyone and I cannot imagine Jerry Sloan will have an easy job keeping everyone happy, especially the Boozer-Millsap conundrum and who to play more.

Of course, if it becomes a serious issue and players complain, Jerry just might smack one in the head, give him a concussion and thatíll solve the problem for a while.

Who, or what, are they?

Yes, the Timberwolves have a million or so new guys but, really, do they have a team? Itís not like they added a bunch of grizzled veterans to get a young team on the right track.

Do they play fast? Or do they rely on Al Jefferson coming back fully healthy? Are they small or are they big?

A rookie point guard, a new coach. Trouble lurks.

Under the radar

Okay, so we all love Portland Ďcause itís a good team of young players whoíve had some success.

And they might have made one of the more significant moves that nobody noticed when they signed Juwan Howard.

All I know about Howard is that last year, when his very young Charlotte team was making a small playoff run, Larry Brown was telling anyone whoíd listen that the addition of Howard in mid-season, with his veteran presence and personality, was the most significant move of the year.

Things to do in Denver when youíre not dead

Nothing, it seems.

The Noogies were good last year and would appear to be good this year because they really didnít do much.

Dahntay Jones was okay, Linas Kleiza never really found a role so they wonít be missed; Aaron Affalo and Ty Lawson? Big whoop.

Guess they donít mind the status quo.

Best story to cheer for

Shaun Livingston, right? No idea how it works for him in Oklahoma City, I just hope it does.

Best addition, playing category

Howard aside, I really think Andre Miller has a chance to really, really help the Blazers. Heís calm, knows his role will be to make sure Brandon Roy has space to operate Ė and the ball when the gameís on the line Ė and that seems to me to be just a very good fit.

Imagine Ö

Hedo in Portland.

Whatís it all mean?

This might be the best division in basketball. Seriously. With Portland, Denver and you can never count out a Jerry Sloan team, I canít hazard a guess right now which is the best team
Doug Smith's Toronto Raptors blog
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Old 09-23-2009, 05:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Afflalo shouldnt be seen as a writeoff. Hes a LOT better than Jones on both sides of the ball and hes going to be a much more effective starter at the 2 than Jones was. Everyone claims Jones was this great defender, but he wasnt, in watching the games and looking at his oppositions FG% he was actually one of the worst sgs on defence in the entire league, and he had absolutely no offensive game to speak of.

Afflalo on the other hand is a GOOD defender, and maybe most importantly, DEN wont be playing 4 on 5 out there with him on the court as hes a very solid midrange and 3 pt shooter.

I still cant believe Bird was stupid enough to sign Jones for that long for that much.
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