Northwest Division Outlook

by Joe Phillips - Date: 2006-12-20 - Word Count: 495 Share This!

1. The Utah Jazz and Head Coach Jerry Sloan have brought in veteran guard Derek Fisher from the Lakers - 9.8 ppg to mix with Deron Williams - 17.3 ppg. Up front is Carlos Boozer who leads the team with 22.6 ppg and 12.3 rebounds as well. Andrei Kirilenko is healthy and is averaging 9.3 ppg and in the middle is Memut Okur who is having a solid year with 15 ppg. Jazz has a deep bench with Matt Harpring and Paul Millsap. As of this report Utah has the best record in the NBA at 17 - 5.

2. The Denver Nuggets and Head Coach George Karl lost forward Ruben Patterson to Milwaukee and center Francisco Elson to San Antonio, but in return brought in shooting guard J.R. Smith and Joe Smith. J.R. Smith is averaging 17 ppg and Andre Miller 12.2 ppg who heads up the back court, but are strong up front with power forward Carmelo Anthony, 31 ppg, Eduardo Najera 7.5 ppg, and center Marcus Camby 10.4 ppg and 11 boards. Nuggets have a lot of depth with guard Earl Boykins and forwards Reggie Evans, as well as Nene Hilario. They did lose Kenyon Martin for the season with knee surgery and forward Joe Smith has an ankle injury and is day to day.

3. The Minnesota Timberwolves and Head Coach Dwayne Casey drafted guard Randy Foye who is a solid backup to Ricky Davis - 14 ppg, and Mike James - 12.7 ppg. In the front court is power forward Kevin Barnett leading the team with 21.5 ppg, and 12 rebounds along with Trenton Hassell and center Mark Blount 11 ppg. Injuries have hurt the Wolves as center Mark Madsen and guard Rashad Mc Cants are out indefinitely.

4. The Seattle Supersonics and Head Coach Bob Hill added some power inside with first round pick center Mouhamed Sene, but lost center Robert Swift with a torn ankle for the season. Up front is Rashard Lewis 22.6 ppg and Chris Wilcox - 11.2 ppg, with Nick Collison in the middle 7.9 ppg. In the backcourt is Ray Allen who is out with an ankle injury and leads the team with 25.3 ppg. In replace guard Luke Ridnour - 14.8 ppg and Damien Wilkins have to fill the void. Not much defense and no rebounding will keep the Sonics out of the playoffs.

5. The Portland Trail Blazers and Head Coach Nate Mc Millan drafted guard Brandon Roy out of Washington and could be a definite presence to this team, along with La Marcus Aldridge from Texas. In the backcourt is Jarrett Jack - 13.2 ppg and Martell Webster - 7.5 ppg. Up front is Zach Randolph who leads the team in scoring 25.3 ppg and rebounding 10.2 ppg, along with Ime Udoka and center Joel Pazybilla. Backups Juan Dixon - 9.9 ppg, Travis Outlaw - 9.6 ppg and Aldridge are a good compliment, but injuries to Darius Miles out for the season with knee surgery and Roy who is due back late December, has hurt Portland.

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