Texas NBA Basketball- Tip Off

NBA Basketball – Tip Off

Dallas Mavericks

The young Mavericks are coming off an abysmal 2017-18 season that saw them got 24-58 finishing 13th in the Western Conference. But the bright side for the Mavericks they were finally able to sign former Clippers center Deandre Jordan after not being able to sign him in 2015. In addition to Jordan who will help improve the Dallas defense, most people expect an even better season from point guard Dennis Smith Jr. who averaged 15 points and 5 assists as a rookie. In the draft the Mavericks used a first round pick to draft Euro League MVP Luka Doncic. The 18-yard-old averaged career-highs of 16 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists per game as a 6-foot-8 point guard.

Doncic will likely move to shooting guard in 2018-19 to fit nicely alongside Smith Jr. The Mavericks also still have Harrison Barnes at the small forward position as he had a solid 2017-18 season in his second year in Dallas. While the Mavericks have one of the league’s best coaches in Rick Carlisle, his work will be cut out for him as he tries to get Dallas back in to playoff contention in the tough Western Conference.

My prediction: (35-47 11th in the Western Conference) While the Mavs will be improved on defense, the West is simply too deep, and too talented for them to make the playoffs this year. However, the team will be better and should have a bright future in the next 3 years or so. The combination of Smith Jr. and Doncic will have their ups and downs as young players but have a chance to be a great backcourt after some of the current greats age out.

Houston Rockets

After a great season that earned the Rockets the number one seed in the Western Conference with a 65-17 record, the Rockets team will look slightly different in 2018-19. The team was unable to resign forward Trevor Ariza who signed with Phoenix and forward Luc Richard Mbah-a-Moute left as a free agent signing with the Los Angeles Clippers.

However, the Rockets did make a splash signing Carmelo Anthony at the league’s veteran minimum of $2.4 million for one year. The addition of Anthony the Rockets’ already explosive offense that bolsters one of the league’s best backcourts including Chris Paul and NBA MVP James Harden is expected to be one of the league’s best. But the team will undoubtedly miss the defensive contributions from Ariza and Mbah-a-Moute who helped the Rockets become one of the best defenses in the NBA last season.

My Prediction: (57-25, 2nd in the Western Conference) The Rockets will take a slight step back this season but will still be one of the top teams in the west with the addition of Anthony. What will be interesting to watch will be the relationship of Anthony and Head Coach Mike D’Antoni who essentially quit coaching the New York Knicks in 2012 because of his relationship with the former all-pro. The Rockets will attempt to play the dangerous game trying to outscore the Golden State Warriors after losing some of their defensive stars and replacing it with more scoring. It remains to be seen if any team can score with the Warriors for a seven-game series, but if any team can do it, it would have to be the Rockets.

San Antonio Spurs

The young Mavericks are coming off an abysmal 2017-18 season that saw them got 24-58 finishing 13th in the Western Conference. But the bright side for the Mavericks they were finally able to sign former Clippers center Deandre Jordan after not being able to sign him in 2015. In addition to Jordan who will help improve the Dallas defense, most people expect an even better season from point guard Dennis Smith Jr. who averaged 15 points and 5 assists as a rookie. In the draft the Mavericks used a first round pick to draft Euro League MVP Luka Doncic. The 18-yard-old averaged career-highs of 16 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists per game as a 6-foot-8 point guard.

Doncic will likely move to shooting guard in 2018-19 to fit nicely alongside Smith Jr. The Mavericks also still have Harrison Barnes at the small forward position as he had a solid 2017-18 season in his second year in Dallas. While the Mavericks have one of the league’s best coaches in Rick Carlisle, his work will be cut out for him as he tries to get Dallas back in to playoff contention in the tough Western Conference.

My prediction: (35-47 11th in the Western Conference) While the Mavs will be improved on defense, the West is simply too deep, and too talented for them to make the playoffs this year. However, the team will be better and should have a bright future in the next 3 years or so. The combination of Smith Jr. and Doncic will have their ups and downs as young players but have a chance to be a great backcourt after some of the current greats age out.

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