Let me tell you ’bout life, and ’bout the way it is, TSHQ mofos. K.M. Venne, 1 of Amerikaz most wanted, is up in here to preview the Southwest Division. You all know me, I’m the guy who, right here on TSHQ.co (or whatever the hell site we were at 14 months ago) told you all the Mavs would beat the Heat in 6 games in NBA Finals. This makes me the only man who can give you the Southwest Division preview for the 2011-2012 season that you need, that you demand, and yes, that you DESERVE. I’ve been very proud of all of you, fine TSHQ readership. You’ve spent the last year reading the only writing on the internet worth reading about sports, and for that, you deserve praise. And as my gift to you, I am going to predict the Southwest Division. By the way, I’m a terrible gift giver, just ask anyone I know here in a few days, they will tell you my gifts suck ass.
Speaking of sucking ass, it’s the Southwest Division! We got the team that had the best record in the West, the team that won the whole damn thing, we got a team that beat the #1 seed in the playoffs, we got a team that gave the Lakers a heart attack in the first round, and we got Houston, which is a very large city. And nobody really cares. Why would you? This division is BORING. The Spurs are boring. The Mavs had so much turnover that they aren’t interesting anymore. New Orleans went from having the best PG in the league to having the most boring roster in the U.S., and Memphis is kinda fun, but let’s be honest, nobody is making Grizzlies games must see TV. If you tell your TiVo you want to record a Memphis game, you are actually contractually obligated to buy a Kia, buy a year’s supply of Sprite, and quit your job and work at Foot Locker from now until the end of days. Because you are a NBA junkie, plain and simple, and not the cool awesome kind like I am, you are a lame-o hoopster like I am not (Again, for the record, I am NOT a hoopster). The Southwest Division would be the lamest division in the NBA if it wasn’t for the Central, Northwest, and Pacific. That’s the fun of the NBA, even though it’s really lame looking at it division by division, it’s still a lot of fun looking at it from a conference standpoint. But sadly, we are stuck doing division previews here, so tuck yourself in, turn down the lights, take some sleeping pills, and get your z’s to the soothing words about the Southwest Division of the NBA. It’s better then counting sheep. Fuck sheep. Wait, that came out wrong. Sheep suck. Let’s go with sheep suck.
Predicted 1. San Antonio Spurs
Predicted record: 47-19
Did I startle you? Don’t worry about it. Go back to resting, sweet princes and princesses. I didn’t mean to startle you. But the Spurs are winning the Southwest this year. Hell, they might have the best record in the West. I know what you are saying “San Antonio was too old last year! And now the schedule is shorter!”. That is what we call common wisdom. And if you will recall, last year common wisdom was the Mavericks would never win an NBA title with Dirk. If you are part of the NBA’s mindless lemming groupthink, you are doing something wrong. You gotta be willing to challenge common conception in this league. Everyone is putting out a Western big 5, OKC, Dallas, LAL, LAC, and Memphis. Some people like the Nuggets a lot, too (SPOILER ALERT ON DENVER’S SEASON: LOL FAIL.). The Spurs are legit! Manu Ginobili, hurt last year in the playoffs, is still a baller, nobody can deny this. Tim Duncan still shows flashes, sure he looked like trash in the playoffs, but you think Coach Pop didn’t learn from this fact and will better protect Duncan through this season? Tony Parker is still a very solid PG in this league. Like him or not, DeJuan Blair is a solid contributor. T.J. Ford is interesting if nothing else. Matt Bonner can change a game with his deadly shooting, he’s a legit offensive force from range. Tiago Splitter will only get better, Richard Jefferson is a human being that exists on planet Earth, and Gary Neal is the #1 player in the NBA for creating NEAL BEFORE ZOD jokes. Point is, this team is WAY deeper then you think, and this team is FAR AND AWAY the best coached team in the West. You cannot argue that last point, nor undersell the importance of that last point in a shortened season, and that is why San Antonio is going to blow your mind this year, unless you are fortunate enough to have read this in the preseason and know now not to be scared when Spursamania runs wild on the West. If you write this team off, you are making the same damn mistake everyone makes every year, and you will be proven wrong, just like everyone gets proven wrong every year. Southwest Division Champs? Try Western Conference champs. That’s what the Spurs will be. And if anyone knows, I do.
Predicted 2. Dallas Mavericks
Predicted Record: 41-25
Congrats to the Mavs on their NBA championship. It’s a shame Mark Cuban seems to have NO interest in winning another this season. Lamar Odom and Vince Carter? Yea, great moves Cubes. Odom has never worked outside a legendary coach, he’s a mental weakling that LA may be happy is gone now that the idiot that is Mike Brown is running the Lake Show, but Dallas will not be pleased to have, much as I love Rick Carlisle, he’s not getting the best out of Odom. And nobody has ever got the best out of Vince Carter, and now at this point in his career, you can only get the worst out of him. He’s a disaster. Kidd is older and has his ring, Terry has his ring and got to keep his tattoo (havn’t heard word one of him getting another one, by the way, should tell you something), Shawn Marion is a headcase, Tyson Chandler ran away from Dallas to become a back-to-back NBA champion with the Knicks, Haywood is the starting center. How does this team even win 41 games? Dirk. Dirk is ill, nasty, ill nasty, nasty ill, and illnastyill all at once. Dirk will keep this team getting the most they can get out of the roster, but sadly, this roster is an abomination. Anyone who has accused me of being a Dallas sympathizer over the years, we’ve had our back and forth. You won some battles, I won some, I sure as hell smoked your bitch ass in the last battle we had, but now, you got nothing on me, because I got no love for this team. I got them second in the conference nearly by default.
Predicted 3. Memphis Grizzlies
Predicted Record: 39-27
EVERYONE LOVES MEMPHIS! Gasol! Z-Bo! Gay! Mayo! That one point guard who is pretty ok at times! YEA! Memphis was the 8th seed last year. Sure, they won a playoff series and gave OKC some hell in the second round. They locked Tough Gasol up with a big deal, and they should win some serious games, no question. But are they ready to crash into the top 5 of the West? No sir. Why do we just automatically elevate the teams that have solid runs one postseason up the next season? Are we that stupid? Did the Warriors go win the West after they beat the Mavs as a 1 seed? Hell no. So stop tripping. This is the same team, same pluses, and same minuses, and still poorly coached and not deep, which may be a disadvantage in this short season. 39 wins is an insult? I’m giving Memphis 39 as a favor to them because I love Z-Bo with a passion. If you are expecting more from this team, you better reconsider, Memphis is far from the lock to take another big step forward that everyone is pretending they are.
Predicted 4. Houston Rockets
Predicted Record 35-31 (playoffs)
Yes, I am predicting the Houston Rockets to make the playoffs. I AM INSANE! There is a lot to like on this team if you ask me. Lowry and Dragic make for a pretty cool PG duo. Kevin Martin is as good a shooter as he is an ugly motherfucking, which is a strong compliment on his ability to shoot the rock. With Dalembert signing on to a 1 year deal with a team option, the Rockets finally have some size down low to help the terrible defense that a lot of the Houston guards play. Luis Scola is a much better player then you know, and Jordan Hill has looked great in the preseason, and while still the preseason, that would be huge for the Rockets if they can pull off another capable big. And I think Hill will have a good year, as will many of the Rockets young players, because new coach Kevin McHale, to me, is in the perfect spot. I really like this roster for McHale, I think it needs the kind of toughness and defense and interior focus that he can bring, and and already has the kind of outside shooting and pace that he’s unable to give them on his own. Plus the schedulemakers have given them a compact schedule, while they have more back to backs and 3 in 4′s and whatnot then most teams, they are also catching a TON of teams playing the end of back to backs or 3 in 4′s, nearly as many as the Knicks catch in that regard, in my opinion, the Rockets have the best combination of catching teams at the end of playing X games in Y nights (where X and Y are really close numbers) and avoiding them for themselves. Things look really good to me for Houston to succeed this year. 35 wins to me is actually conservative, they could be right there with Dallas and Memphis if they mesh well. You heard it here first. You’ll also likely hear it here last. But be thankful you heard it at all, so you can say you know someone who saw it coming when it comes.
Predicted 79. New Orleans Hornets
Predicted Record: 20-46
Yes, I have predicted New Orleans to finish SEVENTY NINTH in the SOUTHWEST DIVISION. I know that is bold, but I feel good about it. Do you want to read about the Hornets? Are you a Keller? If you answered yes to one, but not two, you are a liar. Listen, I just LOVE Jarrett Jack. But then you look at this…
And you realize that New Orleans is the NBA’s version of hell. This team is just not going to care. 20 wins sounds just about right for a lockout season where teams are going to pick a few more wins then they normally would on a full schedule based on win percentage just because of randomness, but this team is going to be BAD. Period.
THREE BIG QUESTIONS ABOUT THE SOUTHWEST:
1. Why should I watch Southwest Division games?
You shouldn’t. These teams are lame. Just tune in in the 4th and see what Dirk does.
2. What should I watch instead of Southwest Division games.
Ideally, the Knicks. Or maybe just wait for Lob City. OMG LOB CITY SOOOOOOOOOOO AWESOME! *fills pants with man-cream*. Seriously, don’t watch Lob City either. Watch hockey if the Knicks are off. Just stay far away from most all Western Conference hoops as a solid rule of thumb. The West is SUPER lame this year.
3. How did you actually think of a third question to ask about the Southwest Division?