The 2020-21 NBA season tipped off on Dec. 22, and each team has 72 games on schedule. Take a look at our Southwest Division Winner Prediction.
Houston, we have a problem!
Is it time for a complete change of identity for the Houston Rockets? The team from the bench will no longer be led by Mike D’Antoni. He was replaced by Stephen Siles for whom this is his first job as head coach after working as an assistant in the NBA for 20 years. At the time of his hiring as an assistant with the Hornets on June 5, 2000, he was the youngest assistant in the NBA at the age of 27.
John Wall arrived in the trade for Russell Westbrook, while his teammate and good friend from college, DeMarcus Cousins, also came to Houston. It remains to be seen how the duo from Kentucky will perform in the new environment. Wall played last time two years ago and Boogie is still looking for his All-Star form after a couple of serious injuries in the past two years. What will happen to James Harden, (trades in the Nets or Warriors are mentioned), whether he will stay to lead the new Houston team, we will have to wait some more time to find out.
The competition is here to stay
The Dallas Mavericks have not significantly changed their roster. Their main question is when Porzingis will return to the court after knee surgery. According to the latest information, it should be in January 2021, and he should help the phenomenal Luka Doncic to reach the playoffs again.
The New Orleans Pelicans hired Stan Van Gundy as their new head coach. Steven Adams and Eric Bledsoe are new players. Ingram has received a new maximum contract, so together with Zion, they will try to qualify for the playoffs this season.
The Memphis Grizzlies will continue to build a team around Ja Morant. They played above expectations last season, and it will be difficult for them to repeat that this year.
The San Antonio Spurs haven’t changed anything significantly either. It seems that last season, when they missed the playoffs after 23 years, will probably happen again.
Roster changes and transactions:
IN: Tyler Bey (R), Josh Green (R), Nate Hinton (R), Wesley Iwundu (ORL), James Johnson (MIN), Josh Richardson (PHI), Tyrell Terry (R).
OUT: Antonius Cleveland, Seth Curry (PHI), Justin Jackson (OKC), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (NYK), Courtney Lee, Josh Reaves, Delon Wright (DET).
IN: Sterling Brown (MIL), DeMarcus Cousins, Jerian Grant (WAS), Gerald Green, Mason Jones (R), K.J. Martin Jr. (R),Jae’Sean Tate (R), John Wall (WAS), Christian Wood( DET), Kenny Wooten (R).
OUT: DeMarre Carroll, Tyson Chandler, Robert Covington (POR), Michael Frazier, Jeff Green (BKN), William Howard, Luc Mbah a Moute, Austin Rivers (NYK), Thabo Sefolosha, Russell Westbrook (WAS).
IN: Desmond Bane (R), Mario Hezonja (POR), Sean McDermott (R), Killian Tillie (R), Xavier Tillman (R).
OUT: Josh Jackson (DET), Anthony Tolliver, Yuta Watanabe (TOR).
IN: Steven Adams (OKC), Rawle Alkins, Ike Anigbogu ,Eric Bledsoe (MIL), Wenyen Gabriel (POR), Willy Hernangómez (CHA), Kira Lewis Jr. (R), Will Magnay (R), Naji Marshall (R), Jarrod Uthoff (WAS).
OUT: Zylan Cheatham, Derrick Favors (UTA), Josh Gray, Jrue Holiday (MIL), Frank Jackson (OKC), Darius Miller (OKC), E’Twaun Moore (PHX), Jahlil Okafor (DET), Kenrich Williams (OKC).
Southwest Division Winner Prediction: Dallas Mavericks
When you have a player of MVP caliber such is Luka Doncic, it comes naturally to be one of the favorites to win the division, especially with a big question marks above the main competitors from Texas. With very little change from last season, the Mavs should have no problem qualifying for the playoffs and depending on how and when their second star Porzingis returns, they may be able to go a step further.
Alongside this Southwest Division Winner Prediction, we already covered the entire Eastern Conference, so check out our Atlantic Division Winner Prediction, Central Division Winner Prediction, and Southeast Division Winner Prediction. Also, see our Northwest Division Winner Prediction. Stay with us for more NBA content as we’re going to conclude with our Western Conference predictions tomorrow.