The 2019-2020 NBA season’s dust has already settled. A new championship banner will go up the rafters in the Staples Center next season. As to when the next season will happen, only the NBA commissioner can confirm. However, the latest moving target date has been set to December 22. The target number of games will just be 72, but the idea is not to play them inside a bubble.
Even if the season is still up in the air, the West, particularly the Southwest Division, is already making huge moves. Below are three teams from the cluster that will look to springboard their Playoffs aspirations.
The Mavericks are in the position to build on their relatively successful Playoffs run this year. Sans the injury on Kristaps Porzingis’ meniscus, they could have been the team to upset the Clippers. Unfortunately, he went down early and failed to give the Mavs the hope that it needed.
Nonetheless, the duo of Doncic and Porzingis has shown what it is capable of doing. It will be up to the front office to determine the pieces it will need to add to bolster them even more. As of the moment, ball-handling and paint protection are there. However, wing scoring and defending are lacking.
This proved to be the case when the Mavs went toe-to-toe with the Clippers. Kawhi Leonard decimated the defenses thrown at him by Rick Carlisle. Therefore, Mark Cuban will have to find his piece either from the Draft or free agency. Dorian Finney-Smith is shaping to be a quality wing defender and scorer. However, his development needs to hasten up.
The Pelicans have a retooled coaching staff. Alvin Gentry is out, and seasoned-coach Stan Van Gundy is in. For the next five years, SVG will have his hands full in handling a talented roster in the tricky Western Conference. Fortunately, he has the tools to do it.
Keeping Brandom Ingram will be key to this future. Around him, Lonzo Ball, Zion Williamson, Jaxson Hayes, Josh Hart are all quality players in the making. Ingram is currently a restricted free agent, so the Pelicans can match any offer on the table for him.
The West is hungry for wing players and slotting in Ingram in an already powerful team is a scary thought. As such, the Pelicans will have a busy offseason balancing their priorities. It will either be to keep Ingram and let him loose in the wild or keep him and develop the team to a winning one.
The Grizzlies are the surprise team this season. No one expected them to be Playoffs-ready this soon. Nonetheless, their recent crumbling during the NBA bubble just shows how much they still need to improve. Just like the Dallas Mavericks, the Grizzlies have young pieces on their roster that are capable of carrying a team.
This list includes Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Junior. Again, just like the Dallas Mavericks, the Grizzlies also need a wing player to bolster their offense. The rebranded Grit n’ Grind powerhouse can opt for a veteran wing player to provide stability on and off the court.
Image from Bleacher Report/ YouTube thumbnail
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