The Southwest Division was undeniably the toughest in the NBA last season. All five teams made the playoffs and the last-place club, the Pelicans, finished eight games over .500. That division appears loaded once again and could very well produce five playoff teams for the second consecutive season.
The Rockets, who won the division last season, have the dynamic duo of Dwight Howard and James Harden. The Grizzlies retained their best player, Marc Gasol, by signing the unrestricted free agent to a five-year deal worth more than $100MM.
The Spurs are on everyone’s short list of serious contenders for the championship after signing free agent LaMarcus Aldridge to a four-year deal worth approximately $80MM. The Mavericks failed to land DeAndre Jordan but still have a wily group of veterans and one of the league’s premier coaches in Rick Carlisle. The Pelicans have the league’s best young player, Anthony Davis, and a highly-respected new coach in Alvin Gentry.
Deciding which division ranks as the second-toughest in the league is much more debatable. The East’s Central Division boasts the Cavaliers, Bulls and Bucks — all playoff teams last season — along with the improving Pistons and Pacers, who get Paul George back for a full season.
The Southeast has the Hawks, who won 60 games last season, plus the formidable Wizards and the Heat, who get back Chris Bosh after his major health scare. The Magic also have an intriguing group of young talent while the Hornets added Nicolas Batum.
The Pacific has the league’s reigning champion in the Warriors along with another of the league’s premier teams in the Clippers. The Suns finished close to .500 last season, while Kings and Lakers should be more respectable coming off poor seasons.
So, our question of the day is: Which division do you consider to be the next best or even better than the loaded Southwest?
Take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions. We look forward to what you have to say.