The Northwest Division produced the Western Conference champion last year for the first time since it was created, and this year it figures to be one of the NBA's most competitive groupings, as four of the five teams figure to have a shot at a playoff berth. The Blazers are the fifth team, but with a healthy LaMarcus Aldridge
and a breakout season from rookie Damian Lillard
, they'll be no easy out. We've got notes on every team from the division right here:
- The Timberwolves are only two days into training camp, but Brandon Roy has yet to feel any pain or discomfort in his knees, and the team has been encouraged by what they've seen from him so far, as Ray Richardson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
- Brad Miller retired this summer after being used as a trade chip in a pair of deals, and now he's lending a hand at Timberwolves camp for a few days to see if he wants to get into coaching, tweets Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
- The backup point guard job for the Thunder is an open competition between Reggie Jackson and Eric Maynor, coach Scott Brooks said, and Jackson's summer league experience is helping him, as John Rohde and Darnell Mayberry of the The Oklahoman write.
- DeAndre Liggins explains how his non-guaranteed deal with the Thunder came about in a Q&A with John Rohde of The Oklahoman.
- Blazers coach Terry Stotts retreated from earlier indications that J.J. Hickson would start at center, and the starting job appears to be an open competition between Hickson, Joel Freeland and Meyers Leonard, as Ben Golliver of Blazer's Edge writes in his breakdown of all three candidates for the position.
- Aaron J. Lopez of Nuggets.com looks at Andre Iguodala as he embarks on his first training camp with the Nuggets.
- Bill Oram of The Salt Lake Tribune examines the logjam in Utah, where nine Jazz players averaged at least 30 minutes a game at some point in their careers. That's a group that doesn't include young big men Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter, who'll push for more time this season.