The weather is cooling down and NBA 2K13 is out. The NBA regular season must near. Here are a couple of story lines to keep an eye on in the Southwest Division.
Will the Houston Rockets be able to land a star quality player?
The Rockets are a prime example of why cap space can be fools gold. Nothing is guaranteed. Rockets general manager Daryl Morey struck out on Deron Williams and the Dwight Howard trade.
Perhaps this is the year they finally land that elusive star, if not by trade, then by the draft as this team projects to be one of the worst in the league.
Can Austin Rivers and Eric Gordon play together?
Anthony Davis stole the headlines during the summer. But we know what to expect from this season, solid defensive play and less than spectacular offense. But I’m going to keep an eye on the New Orleans Hornets’ backcourt. It may take us two or three years to really know if Rivers and Gordon can co-exist. But, I still can’t really wrap my head around Rivers and Gordon being on the same team.
Rivers is an attacking combo guard who thrives in isolations and Gordon likes to break his man down and draw fouls going to the rim. This situation could play like the Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry situation played out with the Golden State Warriors.
What to make of the Dallas Mavericks?
Just like the Rockets, the Mavericks took the summer to look for gold and they came back home with Pyrite. The Mavericks had the framework in place to make a run at Williams and Howard.Dallas basically scrambled and used their cap to sign second-tier talent. Chris Kaman was signed to a one-year $8 million deal, Elton Brand was claimed off amnesty waivers Dahntay Jones and Darren Collison were acquired in a trade with the Indiana Pacers.
This team could be a tough out during the postseason or they could bust and miss the playoffs completely.
Can the Memphis Grizzlies stay healthy for the postseason?
The Grizzlies are a talented bunch and a team no one wants to face in the playoffs. But for the last two seasons they have had a key player hurt. Rudy Gay missed all of the 2011 postseason recovering from is injured shoulder. And Zach Randolph was still bothered the knee he injured at the start of last season.
This young team won’t be able to take the next step unless all of their players are healthy and ready to make a run.
Can the San Antonio Spurs make it back to the NBA Finals?
Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili are trying to prove to the NBA world that age is nothing but a number. But it is hard to ignore that Duncanis 36 and Ginobili is 35. Add to the fact that these two basically played an additional two seasons due to the deep playoffs runs and their bodies could break down at any point this season.
For the Spurs to make it out of the Western Conference not only will they have to stay healthy, but some of their young players also need to have big seasons.