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Houston Rockets: Space City Scoop Round Table – Award Predictions, Part 1

By Tamberlyn Richardson
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Apr 8, 2015; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) is defended by Houston Rockets small forward Trevor Ariza (1) during the second half at AT&T Center. The Spurs won 110-98. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Q4: Rank the Southwest Division top to bottom

Andre:
1-Houston Rockets
2-San Antonio Spurs
3-New Orleans Pelicans
4-Memphis Grizzlies
5-Dallas Mavericks

Anthony: San Antonio, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis and Dallas.

Coty: In the last ten years, no other division in the league had been tougher than the Southwest. At least four of the five teams has made the postseason, and last year all of them made the playoffs. The Southwest division will be the league’s toughest again with four of the five teams in the playoffs. Unfortunately for the first time since 2000 the Dallas Mavericks will be on the outside looking in. The champs of the Southwest, I am picking no team other than the Houston Rockets!

1. Houston Rockets
2. San Antonio Spurs
3. Memphis Grizzlies
4. New Orleans Pelicans
5. Dallas Mavericks

Eric:
1. Spurs – they had the best off season in the NBA and already have an established system, great team chemistry, and a great coach in Gregg Popovich.

2. Rockets – I think the Rockets are actually very close to the Spurs, and I can see the Spurs only winning the division by a game or two.

3. Grizzlies – They still are one of the best defensive teams in the NBA and retained most of their core from last season.

4. Pelicans – They have a future MVP in Anthony Davis, but they didn’t do much to improve their team from last season, and made some questionable decisions in the off season (see: Omer Asik contract).

5. Mavericks – They actually did well to respond to the DeAndre Jordan situation, and may be secretly competitive with Rick Carlisle at coach.

John: 1) Houston Rockets 2) San Antonio Spurs 3) New Orleans Pelicans 4) Memphis Grizzles 5) Dallas Mavericks

Joshua: 1) Houston 2) San Antonio 3) Memphis 4) New Orleans 5) Dallas

Trey:
1. Spurs
2. Rockets
3. Grizzlies
4. Pelicans
5. Mavericks

Tamberlyn:
1. San Antonio Spurs
2. Houston Rockets
3. Memphis Grizzlies
4. New Orleans Pelicans
5. Dallas Mavericks

Notes: I vacillated between the top 2 ultimately going with 17 consecutive 50-win seasons (which would be 19 if not for the strike shortened season) and a core who’ve been together longer. Yet, there are factors which make the race at the top almost too close to call:

The other 3 teams could shift depending on injuries. Memphis hasn’t had great luck keeping their Big 3 on the court together all season and Anthony Davis has yet to play 82 games (last season 68 was his highest). Rick Carlisle is a great coach plus we all know Mark Cuban won’t sit pat especially with no preordained Michael Jordan or Dirk Nowitzki expected to emerge from the 2016 Draft.

Although we often lament the depth of the West and specifically the Southwest Division, ultimately these teams are the best prepared at year end because they face the best competition the most.

Next: The Wild, Wild West

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