#2: Memphis Grizzlies
Memphis played out of their minds last year, finishing with the second-best record in the NBA. They retained all of their pieces, and star Ja Morant recovered from injury very well and led Memphis to a shocking finals push of the season.
Last year, Morant put up two insane plays against the Spurs, utterly embarrassing the defense. They overperformed last year, although I think they are here to stay. If Jaren Jackson can keep playing at the DPOY level and Ja Morant can play at an MVP level, the Grizzlies will win a title soon.
The only reason they come in at second place in the Southwest Division is because of one man who now has all the help he needs.
#1: Dallas Mavericks
After four years in the NBA, Luka Doncic could already make the Hall of Fame. A three-time All-NBA player, three-time All-Star, and averaging 26 points a year ought to do the trick.
The Mavericks lost Jalen Brunson, but in 23 games in Dallas, Spencer Dinwiddie shot 40% from deep and proved he can replace Brunson as the starting point guard.
Last year, it was clear that the Mavericks are really only missing a center, and they added Christain Wood. This team really has no weak spots and is led by perhaps the best player in the world. They haven’t gotten over the postseason hump quite yet, but the Dallas Mavericks might lead the Southwest and the entire NBA in wins and should bring Dallas its second banner sooner rather than later.
Thanks to a complete lack of effort coming from management to win, the San Antonio Spurs will be near the end of the overall league standings. In their own division, not much will be better. Given the Spurs’ mediocrity as of late, it’s probably a good thing.