As we roll into the 2012-'13 NBA season, we're going to take you through an overview of each of the six divisions. Who are key newcomers? Who are notable for your fantasy team? Last season was brutal with a late and sudden December start to an abbreviated season. We continue our previews in the Western Conference, with a look at the Southwest Division. San Antonio's big three are back for another run, do Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan have anything left in the tank? The Memphis Grizzlies continue to ascend and may be poised to take over the Division with Marc Gasol and Rudy Gay among the best in the West at their positions. O.J. Mayo is finally showing his potential, but can Dallas stay competitive until Dirk Nowitzki returns? Wow, that's all I can say about Houston and new leading man James Harden. Lastly, New Orleans rebuilds around Anthony Davis but the process has a long way to go.
As we play out the final month of the 2011-'12 NBA season, we take a look at each franchise. Who emerged, what went wrong, what lies ahead. A look at post season chances, long term potential and upgrades possible in this summer's NBA draft. We continue in the Southwest Division of the Western Conference with the New Orleans Hornets.
We wrap up our mid-season looks across the Association with the Southwest Division of the Western Conference. This is the home of the defending NBA champions (Dallas Mavericks), the team with the best regular season record a season ago (San Antonio Spurs) and a team that came of age in the post season last spring (Memphis Grizzlies.). Also in the Southwest, a team searching for a center since Hakeem left (Houston Rockets) and one owned by the Association (New Orleans Hornets).
How are injuries impacting your fantasy team? I picked up then Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard Eric Gordon, cheap at my auction. When the bidding ended, I heard hushed mentions of "he's injured again". Well, he wasn't injured at that point, but has been ever since. Just yesterday, I lost Washington Wizards power forward Andray Blatche for three-to-five weeks. This is the case of an injury helping you, at least in the short term. I was able to pickup versatile Boris Diaw of Charlotte. In my league, he qualifes at center and forward and is coming off a 20 point, 10 assist game.
As we roll towards February and the All-Star break, NBA clubs are looking to make adjustments. Most clubs still have hope of making the post season, while a few may already be tinkering with the future in mind. A one time NBA All-Star may finally be emerging from free agency and trade rumors are rampant. Those looking for a center find one on the market after already being traded once this season.
Just one caveat, the deal is "pending league approval" The Los Angeles Clippers caved in to the demands of the NBA owned New Orleans Hornets. After breaking off the talks saying the demands were just too high, the Clippers went ahead and made the deal anyway. The hold up in the deal was which guard the Clippers were going to trade to the Hornets. Los Angeles wanted to move Eric Bledsoe, while New Orleans was insisting on Eric Gordon. Bledsoe's recent injury complcating matters even further, but the Clippers gave up in the end.
The Lakers got the jump on the Chris Paul sweepstakes only to get trumped by the NBA league office. But wait, is Chris Paul still heading to Los Angeles? Maybe so, but instead of joining Kobe and Showtime CP3 may be running with Blake Griffin and the Clippers. The Lakers thought they had completed a deal that would bring the mercurial guard as Kobe's back court mate and even briefly re-submitted a deal before giving up altogether. Now its the Clippers turn.....
It appears that all points have been agreed upon in the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement and it is awaiting ratification. Players began voting electronically yesterday and will wrap up tonight. Owners will vote at a meeting on Friday in New York. Keep your fingers crossed, if all goes well, free agency and training camps will officially open on Friday. Finally, we can put all the nasty money talks behind us. Lots of activity on the transaction front….