Opening Tips: Northwest Division
Insider previews the Nuggets, Timberwolves, Thunder, Trail Blazers and Jazz
With the NBA season nearly upon us, ESPN Insider has some final preseason thoughts on every team, including a league scout's team outlook courtesy of ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard, David Thorpe's breakout players to watch and contract/performance analysis from Tom Haberstroh. Select a team from the right to get started, and check out the rest of the league here.
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NBA INSIDER OPENING TIPS
(ATL, CHA, MIA, ORL, WAS)
Scout Says: "Everyone's wondering who'll take the [Heat's] last shot but, when the game is on the line, believe me, LeBron and Chris Bosh will want Dwyane Wade taking it."
(BOS, NJN, NYK, PHI, TOR)
Scout Says: "I actually like [Boston's] Big Three better than Miami's Big Three, because they know and trust their system offensively, they could coach themselves defensively, they believe in Doc Rivers."
(CHI, CLE, DET, IND, MIL)
Scout Says: "I agree with [Chicago] in not giving up Joakim Noah for Carmelo Anthony. Noah's a winner, a superior defender and he's got a high ceiling offensively."
(GSW, LAC, LAL, PHX, SAC)
Scout Says: "I'm not quite ready to say Kobe's going to start slowing down, but if it happens, it wouldn't shock me. "
(DAL, HOU, MEM, NOH, SAS)
Scout Says: "I was impressed by Rodrigue Beaubois' scoring ability last year. Once he gets healthy, he'll be a nice insurance policy if [Jason] Kidd wears down."
(DEN, MIN, OKC, POR, UTA)
Scout Says: "Even though the Thunder has some terrific young talent on paper, you have to wonder if they're ready to take the next step."