When the 2022 NBA Season came to a close, the Memphis Grizzlies were the top team in the Southwest Division. Memphis also had the second-best record in the NBA at 56-26. That finish put them behind only the Phoenix Suns, who wrapped up the 2022 NBA campaign with a record of 64-18. The second-place team in the Southwest Division, the Dallas Mavericks, closed out the season at 52-30. The Grizzlies and Mavericks are once again picked to lead the NBA’s Southwest Division when the 2022-23 NBA season ends.
The Grizzlies’ season ended in the semifinal round of the 2022 NBA playoffs where they fell to the eventual NBA champion Golden State Warriors in six games. The Mavericks went one round further than Memphis, making it to the Western Conference Finals, where they too lost to the Warriors in six games.
With the 2022-23 NBA regular season opener fast approaching. It’s time to look at how the NBA’s Northwest division will play out for the upcoming season.
Before we look at how the Southwest Division might shake out during the 2022-23 NBA Season, please check out our guide for betting on the 2023 NBA Playoffs and our tips for betting on the NBA.
2023 NBA Southwest Division picks
|To Win 2022-23 NBA Southwest Division|
|New Orleans Pelicans||+350||+400||+350||+380|
|San Antonio Spurs||+50000||+50000||+50000||+22000|
Recently turned 23-year-old Ja Morant looks like he is poised to reach elite player status and soon. Last year, Morant saw his points per game average increase from 19.1 in 2021 to 27.4 in 2022. The issue with Morant is that his style of play makes him susceptible to injury. Last year he played in just 57 games, which was a career low for him.
The Grizzlies could have some issues early in the season with Jaren Jackson Jr. expected to miss about a month after right foot surgery. Jackson is the best defensive player on the Grizzlies.
Outside of Morant, Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks will help the offense. Both players averaged more than 18 points per game last year, which were career highs for both men.
While the Grizzlies have a superstar to be in Ja Morant, the Dallas Mavericks have a superstar of today in 23-year-old Luka Doncic. A member of the Mavericks since the 2018-19 season, Doncic had his second-best NBA season last year, scoring an average of 28.4 points per game, while playing a career-high 35.4 minutes per game.
The Mavericks added Christian Wood and JaVale McGee in the off-season, but they lost Jalen Brunson, who signed a four-year, $104 million free agent contract with the New York Knicks after averaging 16.3 points per game last year. Wood joins the Mavericks from Houston, where he averaged 17.9 points per game. McGee spent last year with the Phoenix Suns, where he had an average of 15.8 minutes per game from the bench and scored 9.2 points per game.
Dallas will be very good this year, but might take a step back after losing Brunson.
All signs point to the New Orleans Pelicans having a healthy Zion Williamson on the court in 2023. Williamson missed the entire 2022 season with a Jones fracture in his right foot. Williamson finished the 2021 season with 27 points per game on 33.2 minutes played. If the young player, Williamson is just 22, can stay healthy, the Pelicans should improve a great deal over their 36-46 finish last year.
Ja Morant is on a trajectory to be one of the elite players in the NBA. I’m not sure if he will make the jump this season, but there’s no indication that he will slow down or drop off. With that, I think the Memphis Grizzlies are the best bet to win the Southwest Division in 2023.
Pick: Memphis Grizzlies to win 2022-23 NBA Southwest Division Championship.
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