Southwest Cover

Welcome back to our ongoing ‘EXCLUSIVE’ coverage of the Ballerball 2014-2015 Season Preview. Today our experts tackle the juggernaut that is the Southwest Division. Every team has the potential to shake things up, especially this up-and-coming Spurs club. So grab a drink and buckle up (not literally… that’s bad) and enjoy our Southwest Division Season Preview.

Be sure to have a peek at our others here!

The Southwest Division

The Dallas Mavericks


Josh Spilker

Best Case Scenario: The Rick Carlisle-Dirk Nowitzki synchronicity becomes an omniscient mind meld on the level of Pop-Duncan.

Worst Case Scenario: Chandler’s hooks up everyone with Buffalo Jeans.

Breakout Star: FREE RICKY LEDO.

Bryan Harvey

Best Case Scenario: That in bringing back Tyson Chandler and a collection of spare but formerly talented parts somehow replicates the chemistry of the 2011 squad.

Worst Case Scenario: A lot of this seems to ride on guys who are either past their primes or got lost in route to their primes. In other words, it could be like every season of Dirk’s career besides 2011.

Breakout Star: The potential of breakout stars is rather high, making this a lot like picking a horse at the track. Does Brandan Wright finally live up to his length? Will Al-Farouq Aminu transform himself into a reliable contributor? Will Devin Harris, Jameer Nelson, or Tyson Chandler relive their glory days? What about Chandler Parsons and Monta Ellis? Can Raymond Felton eat his way out of a jelly donut jail cell? So many questions and only 82 games to answer them all.

John Sabine

Best Case Scenario: 

run dmc

Worst Case Scenario:

They make Tyson Chandler do the splits in a picture.

Breakout Star:

monta ya

The Houston Rockets

Dwight Howard


Best Case Scenario: The Skittles factory ceases operation and Dwight is mad and goes into Hulk mode.

Worst Case Scenario: The Skittles factory ceases operation and Dwight becomes depressed like an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. extra.

Breakout Star: Whatever tattoo Jason Terry got this year.


Best Case Scenario: The best of Dwight Howard and James Harden has yet to be seen.

Worst Case Scenario: The best of Dwight Howard and James Harden has yet to be seen.

Breakout Star: James Harden shaves midseason, and everyone obsesses over this mystery player, who can score 25+ points per game, shutdown the opposing team’s best player, and says everything right in interviews. We mourn the loss of the Harden we knew, but can’t help loving what’s taken his place.


Best Case Scenario: Morey finds a part in the CBA that no one has ever seen and he’s able to sign all-stars under contract from other teams. Also, Trevor Ariza exceeds expectations and Harden, Howard, and Ariza make a GIANT Big 3.

Worst Case Scenario:

sabine 1

Breakout Star: Jason Terry will score 30 points against the Mavs and we will get a lot of “This JET is turning into a Rocket!” puns and such.

Memphis Grizzlies



Best Case Scenario: Q-Pon becomes like a “thing.”

Worst Case Scenario: No one takes Q-Pons anymore.

Breakout Star: Jarnell Stokes is Z-Bo 2.0.


Best Case Scenario: The League decides three-point shooting is overrated and demands every team remove the arc from every court, allowing everyone to behold the true might of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol. Here’s what that highlight video would look like:

Worst Case Scenario: With the exception of Quincy Pondexter, the youngest small forward on the roster is Tony Allen at 32, which means in some ways the Grizz might enjoy turning back the clock four years.

Breakout Star: In the words of Walter Benjamin, redemption is a “narrow gate.” The only way anyone for the Grizz breaks out is if the team breaks out of the Western Conference.


Best Case Scenario: Grit N’ Grind! And Grind N’ Grit! And some more Grit! But also some Grind. And hopefully some good Grit but you also needs Grind!

Worst Case Scenario: They have Grind but a shocking lack of Grit. Even worse they might have some Grit but there isn’t any Grind to be found!!!

Breakout Star: Vince Carter has one more big moment up his sleeve for the Grizzlies

sabine 3

New Orleans Pelicans



Best Case Scenario: Eric Gordon plays basketball like how Eric Gordon used to play basketball.

Worst Case Scenario: Austin Rivers plays basketball like how Austin Rivers used to play basketball.

Breakout Star: Guys, there’s this person named Anthony Davis, and just between you and me, he has like one eyebrow, but everyone is afraid to talk to him about it, what should we do?


Best Case Scenario: Omer Asik is well-rested from a year of sitting behind Dwight Howard in Houston. This allows him to unleash his inner:

Worst Case Scenario: Injuries are not yet done with the young Pelicans, further testing the patience of Anthony Davis and most definitely delaying his ascension.

Breakout Star: The Pelican’s killer instinct. While this trait has long laid dormant, we finally come to understand the relationship between claw and tooth dinosaurs and our more contemporary feathery friends of flight.


Best Case Scenario: Davis, Asik, and Anderson create one of the toughest and most entertaining front courts in the NBA. If they could only find a guard who could shoot, they’d be one of the scariest teams in the NBA. Like, Pierre scary.

Worst Case Scenario: They remember they are in the West where basketball is hard.

Breakout Star: Back from the dead…


San Antonio Spurs



Best Case Scenario: More awesomeness.

Worst Case Scenario: Awesomeness that’s not quite as awesome as last year.

Breakout Star: Manu Ginobli. Can this late round pick turn into something special?


Best Case Scenario: Kawhi Leonard makes every night Finals night.

Worst Case Scenario: Like the Lakers and Rome before it, San Antonio too must face the barbarians at its gates. Or was that the Alamo? History is so confusing and this team is soooooo old.

Breakout Star: What do we not already know about this team? I would say Danny Green’s awful tweeting, but that already happened on his trip through Europe. Maybe we find out Matt Bonner’s actually in the Mafia or something.


Best Case Scenario: The Spurs have such a high lead in the standings Pop rests all 5 of his is starters from the all-star break on. Starters average 11 minutes per game and we realize Pop leads the Illuminati

Worst Case Scenario: They fall to 3 in the West but that is exactly where Pop wants them because he leads the Illuminati.

Breakout Star:


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