The NBA Southwest Division Power Rankings 2021
Located in the South-Central United States, the Southwest Division of the NBA is made up of five teams, three of which are based in Texas. The Rockets, Spurs, Pelicans, Grizzlies, and Mavericks come together to create a division full of star power, such as Dončić, Morant, and Williamson.
Despite the Spur’s dominance in having won the most Southwest Division titles, with 9, how will these NBA teams perform this 2021/22 season? Read our 2022 NBA predictions guide to find out!
Rookie Jalen Green has the potential to be a prolific scorer; expect him to follow in the steps of Anthony Edwards and display superstar potential now and then when conditions are right. Another rookie to watch out for is Alperen Şengün, who’s stood out as a low-post force with eye-catching vision. Usman Garuba is another to keep an eye on. Upon drafting him, franchise GM Rafael Stone described the Spanish import as the “best defender among players not in the NBA.”
Even in the absence of an entire season from John Wall, the Rockets should still post a fair bit of intrigue with their post-James Harden roster brimming with talented youngsters. The hope now is that Stephen Silas & Co. have what it takes to move on from the Rockets’ woeful 2020-21 season.
San Antonio Spurs
DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay have moved on, and San Antonio will likely look towards the youth movement in the coming season. On the plus side, the move spells good news for the franchise’s hopes of restoring their dominance over the next few years. The downside, though, is that it will bring some pain in the short term. Save for Dejounte Murray, the Spurs’ present roster has no player who could make a shout for being in the top-50 or thereabouts in the league. Recent first-round draft picks Lonnie Walker IV and Devin Vassell should get significant game time, and they may be the highlights of San Antonio’s considerable transitioning heartache. Reaching the play-ins will be a massive overachievement for this team.
New Orleans Pelicans
Should Zion Williamson remain fit all season, then we could see him compete for All-NBA votes. The young star’s brilliant offensive play represents the Pelicans’ best chances of making the playoffs, with his unique blend of leaping ability and strength looking very much like young Shaq. The forward averaged 27 PPG on a ridiculous field percentage of 61.1% last season. Aside from Williamson, there isn’t much to like about New Orleans’ roster. Brandon Ingram’s interesting offensive skill set does not do much for a team that seriously needs a natural floor general. Talk about Williamson’s potential exit from the franchise doesn’t look like going away anytime soon.
Taking a further look into the NBA power rankings in 2022, it’s hard to shake off the feeling of Memphis taking a backward step following a playoff appearance in 2020/21, despite having a roster loaded with young talent that could complement Ja Morant. Eric Bledsoe was traded for Rajon Rondo and Pat Beverley, while Steven Adams replaced quality center Jonas Valančiūnas. To come close to repeating their playoff heroics from previous seasons, the Grizzlies will need a significant efficiency boost from Morant.
Luka Dončić’s genius gives the Mavericks an outside shot at the Finals every season, and if things go well, we may witness a remake of Dwayne Wade’s 2006 run. However, serious question marks still hang over their supporting cast. Kristaps Porzingis isn’t the most consistent of performers, and Reggie Bullock isn’t an inspiring addition. As things stand, the Mavs remain a playoff team. But throw in some Dončić magic and the right move in midseason, and the franchise might go all the way next season.
Located in the South-Central United States, the Southwest Division of the NBA is made up of five teams, three of which are based in Texas. The Rockets, Spurs, Pelicans, Grizzlies, and Mavericks come together to create a division full of star power, such as Dončić, Morant, and Williamson. Despite the Spur’s dominance in having won…