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News » Southwest preview: Spurs still jingle

Southwest preview: Spurs still jingle

Southwest preview: Spurs still jingle

Trevor Ariza's overall quickness and sniping defense.

Carl Landry's developing game from baseline to baseline.

Even though Chuck Hayes is only 6-foot-6, he plays extra-large interior defense.

Kyle Lowry is a top-notch insurance policy if Brooks can't make the grade.

The resourcefulness of Rick Adelman.

Weaknesses: Brooks is the only guard/wing who can create his own shots.

The difficulty Brooks will have while learning to be a distributor instead of a finisher.

A bench that lacks reliable scorers.

Without Yao Ming and Ron Artest, Houston's roster is incredibly thin and will remain so until Tracy McGrady returns.

Because their half-court offense is so limited, the Rockets are forced to play an up-tempo game, which means that they'll be on the receiving end of many blowouts.

A paucity of scorers and defenders.

Prognosis: It will take a miracle for Houston to qualify for the playoffs.

Memphis Grizzlies

Strengths: Allen Iverson can score in bunches.

O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay are budding stars and constitute a dynamic 1-2 scoring punch.

Marc Gasol won't be bullied in the paint.

Zach Randolph is excellent with the ball in his hands.

Mike Conley is vastly underrated.

There'll be lots of playing time for the two heralded rookies — Sam Young and DeMarre Carroll — to learn the pro game.

Weaknesses: Hasheem Thabeet is a stiff and will continue to be one for the foreseeable future.

The veteran bigs are slow and defenseless. Everybody else is just plain defenseless.

Every ill-advised shot that A.I. unleashes is one less shot available for Mayo and Gay.

Prognosis: Some small steps in the right direction, but making the playoffs is still years away.

New Orleans Hornets

Strengths: Chris Paul's blinding speed and stellar use of high screen-and-rolls.

Richard Jefferson is the most complete player on the team.

Gregg Popovich's genius.

The depth of their bench.

The precision with which they operate at both ends of the court.

Weaknesses: Ginobili is increasingly injury-prone.

With no hefty center behind him, Duncan will be forced to play too many minutes with his back to the basket. This could wear him down by the playoffs.

The leansome Theo Ratliff is the only true center on the roster.

With five key players aged 32 and older — Duncan, Ratliff, Finley, Ginobili and McDyess — the Spurs are particularly vulnerable to injuries and collective exhaustion.

Prognosis: San Antonio is the only team in the West that can mount a serious challenge to the Lakers.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: October 8, 2009


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