Monday , Oct , 20 , 2008 Oly Sandor

5 Western Conference teams falling short: Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, and San Antonio Spurs

The reality is different. Every rookie, ‘vet’, superstar, GM, coach, and fan can’t have their way. Most won’t meet expectations in 2008-09. Of course, 29 of 30 teams will also miss their goal of winning an NBA Title. In fact, several Western Conference clubs shouldn’t be optimistic after stagnating this summer …


5 Western Conference teams falling short: Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, and San Antonio Spurs

Every week, HoopsVibe The Blog drops a basketball related list for fans to debate. We call it ‘Listed’ …

Everyone is optimistic in training camp. The unheralded rookie believes he will get his opportunity. The veteran is convinced he can squeeze another year out of his broken body. The superstar expects national endorsements to complement his ‘max’ money contract.

Off-court, coaches and GMs have glass-half-full eyes, selling the ticket buying public on only the positives. And fans hope this is the year they hold a championship parade downtown come June.

The reality is different.  Every rookie, ‘vet’, superstar, GM, coach, and fan can’t have their way. Most won’t meet expectations in 2008-09. Of course, 29 of 30 teams will also miss their goal of winning an NBA Title. In fact, several Western Conference clubs shouldn’t be optimistic after stagnating this summer.

In this edition of ‘Listed’, HoopsVibe The Blog drops five western teams who will likely fall short of their training camp goal. Read the list, form an opinion, and get at us in the comment box below.

Denver Nuggets

Goal: Playoffs.

Why they fall short: There is too much uncertainty in the Mile High City. The Marcus Camby trade left a hole down low, Allen Iverson’s long-term status is unknown, and coach George Karl is on the hot seat. Ownership is tired of bleeding red ink, so the Nuggets could clean house and rebuild around Carmelo Anthony.

Prediction: No playoffs.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Goal: 40 wins (Randy Foye).

Why they fall short: Minnesota will take a step forward. Al Jefferson has a year under his belt as The Guy, newly acquired Mike Miller spreads the floor with his range, and rookie Kevin Love has potential. Of course, the man behind the promise, Randy Foye, is poised for a big season. 40 wins are optimistic; the Wolves must walk before running.

Prediction: No playoffs. 30-32 wins.

Phoenix Suns

Goal: NBA Title.

Why they fall short: The west got better. They got older, changed from run-and-gun to half-court, and brought in new sideline boss Terry Porter. Credit executive Steve Kerr for recognizing ‘Seven Seconds to Shoot’ wasn’t working and having the guts to make a change. But Amare Stoudemire aside, their core is older than John McCain and has seen better days.

Prediction: Playoffs. No championship.

Sacramento Kings

Goal: Playoffs.

Why they fall short: The cupboard isn’t bare. In fact, the Kings have some emerging wings in Kevin Martin, Francisco Garcia, and John Salmons. The west is so competitive up-and-coming squads have little chance of qualifying for the second season.

Sacramento has been hoarding cap space with just 23 million dollars on the books for 2010-2011. They’ll take the next step in two years when they sign free agents.

Prediction: No playoffs.

San Antonio Spurs

Goal: NBA Title.

Why they fall short: San Antonio will always defend and win on the road, making any decline relative. The Spurs will still be very good, but the left coast top dog torch has been passed to the Lakers or Hornets. The Big Three is older. And management shied away from a big trade or summer signing.

Prediction: 3rd or 4th in the Conference. They need a tweak to play in June.

Which Western Conference club falls short in 2008-09? Denver? Minnesota? Sacramento? San Antonio? Phoenix? Or somebody else? Let us know in the comment box below and come back to HoopsVibe NBA Blog for more basketball tidbits. Photo courtesy of bradJ.