One of the newest divisions in the National Basketball Association, the Northwest Division consists of five teams from the Western Conference. This division was formed at the beginning of the 2004-2005 season, when the NBA expanded from 29 to 30 teams (Charlotte Bobcats were added). At this moment, each conference was split into three divisions. The Northwest division consists of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers, and Minnesota Timberwolves. Over the past nine seasons, there have been four winners of this division, with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Denver Nuggets being the most successful of those teams (three division wins).
Northwest division teams have been to the Western Conference finals three times, losing twice and winning once. The Utah Jazz lost in the 06-07 season, with the Oklahoma City Thunder losing in 10-11, before reaching the NBA finals in 11-12. Despite being a new division, this is one of the most tightly contested divisions in the NBA. While the OKC are considered one of the best teams in the NBA, the Denver Nuggets are also a very promising outfit. Both teams will be looking at a spot in the latter rounds of the playoffs for the 13-14 season.
After losing Andre Iguodala, it is going to be a difficult season for the Denver Nuggets. However, they have a very talented roster and will be looking to improve on last season’s performances. Losing Iggy will impact their defensive efficiency, but other guys will have to step up to the plate and contribute more.
The Oklahoma City Thunder endured a difficult playoff run last year, after excelling in the regular season. They lost Russell Westbrook at the worst possible time, and could not make it past the second round of the playoffs. Once Westbrook is healthy, OKC will look like a complete team once again. His partnership with Kevin Durant is the reason they are such a feared team, and those two are only going to get better in the coming seasons. With the San Antonio Spurs getting older, the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets still adjusting to major free agency moves, and the Los Angeles Lakers in transition, this is the perfect season for OKC to make their move into the NBA finals.
The Timberwolves and Trail Blazers are unlikely to have stellar seasons, and an outside shot at the playoffs is the best they can hope for. The return of Kevin Love to the Timberwolves should help them, but it will not be enough to break into the top six or seven of the division.
As for the Utah Jazz, they look as though they are going to bide their time and hope they can sign a few agents at the next off season. While they may surprise a few people, they are unlikely to be any threat to the top Western Conference teams.
The OKC are often favored by betters, especially if they are playing at home, you can see some of the odds at all pro. Their only weakness is against the Miami Heat. Despite their ability to thrash everyone else in the league, OKC have not figured out a way to best the likes of LeBron James and Dwayne Wade.
Companies such as American Express, Nike, Sprint, Right Guard, and Sprite are sponsors for the NBA’s Northwest division.
Sarah writes for sports sites and loove watching sports online.
Kim Kardashian is being controlled by a madman, screams the latest issue of Life & Style magazine. According to this week’s issue of the publication, Kanye West is choosing everything for his bride-to-be. That would include her ugly wedding dress and making decisions for their daughter North West.
Well, we really can’t blame Kanye for wanting to make all of the decisions with regard to raising their daughter. He doesn’t want North to be famous for releasing a sex tape, does he? I mean, that is how Kim rose to fame in the first place. She started out hanging all over Paris Hilton, but she morphed into this reality star that we see today because of her actions in a video with Ray J.
What do you think? Is Kim being controlled by a madman? He’s a rich “madman”, so we’re guessing that it’s all A-okay with her!
The 2012-13 NFL season has proven that when you choose the right TV service, it will pay off because fans were treated to breakout seasons from a number of young quarterbacks. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III more that lived up to their billing as the top two picks in the previous year’s draft, leading previously struggling teams into the playoffs.
It was a less-heralded rookie and a relatively unknown second-year pro who really stole the show, though. Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick each left their mark, dramatically, on the 2012 season.
Selected in the third round of the NFL draft, largely due to concerns about his height, rookie Russell Wilson won the battle for starting QB in Seahawks training camp and never looked back, leading his team past Griffin’s Redskins and into the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs. In the same division, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick burst on the scene midway through the season, seized the starting QB job, and led his team all the way to the Super Bowl.
Any football fan can tell you that one great season does not make a whole career, but both players seem to have very bright futures ahead of them. The question is, who will have the longer career? Let’s attack the question piece by piece.
Quarterbacks in general are very vulnerable to injury, especially mobile quarterbacks such as Wilson and Kaepernick, so the team in front of them can make a big difference in the longevity of their careers. Both the 49ers and Seahawks fielded strong teams in 2012, and look poised to do so for the foreseeable future.
For Wilson, the offensive line is something of a concern. Star left tackle Russell Okung is a great cornerstone, but he has trouble staying on the field. The 49ers, meanwhile, boast one of the best lines in the league. Left tackle Joe Staley and guard Mike Lupati form the foundation for one of the best units in the league.
On the flip side, Wilson has superior offensive weapons, with bruising running back Marshawn Lynch sharing the load and speedy receiver Percy Harvin poised to help when he recovers from injury. The 49ers have aging legend Frank Gore at running back, and not much else. Top receiver Michael Crabtree is out indefinitely with an injury.
Despite Wilson having better complimentary weapons, the edge here has to go to Kaepernick, as offensive line play is so important to QB health.
In many ways, the two play a similar style. Both run the read-option and scramble regularly, which can be great for offensive production but hazardous to QB health. Kaepernick has a rocket arm, while Wilson’s is more in the above average range.
Both players also have poise beyond their years, always showing up in the biggest moments of the game. While it’s easy to see Wilson having a long career based on his smarts and guile, Kaepernick’s superior arm will give him the option to play more of a pocket-based QB style later in his career. The edge here, again, goes to Kaepernick.
Fans will hope, of course, that both players have long, successful careers, as they are both such a joy to watch on the field. Though Kaepernick does seem to have an edge, Wilson has been an underdog his whole career and you can never count him out.