2023 NBA Southwest Division Sports Betting Preview
The NBA is just a few days away and I'm very excited to see where this one goes. I've previewed all of the divisions outside of this one already. Feel free to read those by clicking Articles above. These are my high-level thoughts on the teams for this upcoming season and maybe even some free plays in them. If you'd like to get in on the full futures with any MAX plays and the first 30 days of the NBA season, you can click Buy Package to get in on it.
Memphis Grizzlies, 51-31 last year, 1st in division
The Grizzlies are starting the season with the Defensive Player of the Year, but they are missing their potential MVP candidate because he has a deep desire to do stupid crap on camera. Yes, Ja Morant has been suspended 25 games, but does that really matter? I don't think it is super important for a few reasons, but the biggest reason is that Morant has been absent due to injury before and this team has played very well. There really is no replacing Morant, but Marcus Smart and Derrick Rose should be veterans who can at least hold down the fort. Desmond Bane should show off in the first quarter of the season as the primary scoring option. I also think having Steven Adams back is a bigger addition than most will realize. They were so much better with him on the court than without - especially with rebounding. Morant missed 21 games last season and they still recorded 51 wins. I think the over is very much in play with this team. I don't feel like they lost much depth and their offense should be more effective without Dillon Brooks on the team.
New Orleans Pelicans, 42-40, 2nd
The Pelicans are one of the most talented teams in the entire NBA. The problem is, their talent is almost never on the court at the same time. While the Grizzlies win without Morant on the court, it seems like the Pelicans really struggle when Brandon Ingram is not on the floor for them. Zion Williamson has only played 29 games in the last two seasons, but when he is on the floor he is one of the biggest difference makers in the game. There is no question about his talent, but the durability simply hasn't been there. If he is on the floor, he is a legitimate MVP candidate and could carry this team to 50 wins. The biggest thing, outside of durability of their stars, is that they don't have a great bench. Sure, Jose Alvarado stealing the ball sneaking from behind is cool for highlight videos, but Larry Nance isn't worthy of regular rotation minutes in my opinion and I don't think Dyson Daniels has much trust in the organization. Naji Marshall and Trey Murphy are both good enough for the bench, but not guys I'd feel confident in relying on should one of the starters go down. Do you think Williamson and Ingram can play 70 games this season? At 44.5 games, they should be able to get the over, but you're betting they don't get hurt.
Dallas Mavericks, 38-44, 3rd
Last season, the Mavericks didn't even make the playoffs despite adding Kyrie Irving. Sure, he came over late in the season, but the defensive flaws of the team were overwhelming and very apparent. The solution to not making the playoffs was... Grant Williams? Last time we saw Williams he was getting owned by Jimmy Butler and singlehandedly igniting Playoff Jimmy into a Boston loss. Luka Doncic seems like he should be the easiest guy in the world to play with, but I still question the fit of him and Kyrie. Dallas was just 8-12 with Kyrie last season. He was great on offense, but it didn't matter. I don't think Dallas will be much better, but they should at least make the play-in tournament. Kyrie and Luka playing together a full season should be better, but if their defense is the same, this will be another ugly year. The good news for the team is that Mark Cuban will always be willing to spend to get the team what it needs.
Houston Rockets, 22-60, 4th
The Rockets appear to not longer want to be a losing franchise. This season has to have the most optimism since Harden was on the team, which wasn't that long ago. In the offseason, they added former Boston coach and apparent man-whore, Ime Udoka, wildly inconsistent point guard, Fred VanVleet, a terrible shooter that is a complete headcase, Dillon Brooks, and a guy with arguably the worst hair in the NBA, Reggie Bullock. I actually have no problem with Bullock, but needed to find something to mention about him. The team said goodbye to potential domestic abuser, Kevin Porter Jr., and added Amen Thompson a rookie from the G-League or whatever he was in. On paper, this team looks dysfunctional. They should be a bit more talented and cohesive under Udoka, but do you want to take the over on their team? I certainly don't.
San Antonio Spurs, 22-60, 5th
Are we sure the Spurs will suck once again? The whole paragraph could be about Victor Wembanyama, but I will talk about his teammates. Just know this about Wemby, if he is good, the Spurs could be a solid surprise. If he is bad, the Spurs will really struggle and be a candidate for the #1 overall pick again. Tre Jones and Devonte Graham provide solid but not great point guard options, good enough to hit some shots but should be able to create for others. Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson are not very well-known guys but are talented players, better than you'd expect. They really have no option for center with Collins and Bassey. I tend to believe in Greg Popovich and think he can make this team a success quickly. If Wemby is indeed the Rookie of the Year, expect the Spurs to fight for the play-in tournament. And, while it has been just the preseason, Wemby has looked really solid.
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