This 2013 NBA season is going to be fun — real fun, especially in the Western Conference and specifically, the Southwest division. The San Antonio Spurs are used to dominating the West over the last few seasons, especially within their division, but this year they may have some interesting competition.
The Houston Rockets added Dwight Howard to their roster featuring James Harden already, and thus far they are working pretty well together to say the least. Houston is going to be a sure-fire playoff team, but will they challenge the Spurs for the division? Having a big man like Howard down low to battle Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter will absolutely help.
Also improving this offseason in that particular division was the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas wanted to become that contender once again, and thanks to the vision of Mark Cuban, they added point guard Jose Calderon and shooting guard Monta Ellis as their top two free agent signings. Needless to say, through three games, this team has looked much better than they did a year ago.
Of course, we can’t forget about the Memphis Grizzlies. The hard-nosed, defensive-minded team will always be hanging around come playoff time and ready to shock and surprise as they did to the Spurs a few years ago. Losing Lionel Hollins has hurt them as a whole, but once they get in a rhythm they’ll be right back in the thick of the conference and division.
Enter the New Orleans Pelicans. Yes, that does in fact sound odd. But, New Orleans grabbed Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holiday in some offseason deals and they look a lot better and quite fun to watch. Maybe they won’t push for a division crown just yet, but the Spurs will be in for a fun game each time they face the Pelicans.
Early on in this season, we know that the Spurs are still one of the favorites to get back to the Finals and still win their division. The chemistry that Gregg Popovich has instilled in their organization and within the roster is unmatched throughout the league. Popovich has done a phenomenal job over the years getting each and every player involved in the perfect role and this year will be no different.
I’m just happy basketball season is back, and this division will be one of the most entertaining battles we’ll see all year. San Antonio, you’ve got some fierce competition in 2013.