On Wednesday, we have previews for each team in the Northwest Division. While there may not be as many contenders or All-Stars in the Northwest, it should remain a competitive division with the three teams at the top. The Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz will all be vying for the top spot in the Northwest (even though division titles don’t really mean anything anymore).
Let’s start with the Blazers, who improved their roster just enough to put them over the edge in the division. Portland added wing defender Robert Covington and brought back backup center Enes Kanter. Rodney Hood also re-signed and is coming off an Achilles injury. Carmelo Anthony is returning for another tour of duty. With Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, the Blazers are well positioned to take first in the NW.
The Nuggets took a step back after taking a huge step forward in the NBA bubble. Denver shocked the Jazz and the Clippers by coming back down 3-1 to reach the Western Conference Finals. It wasn’t anything anyone expected from the Nuggets, who seem to have two stars in the making in Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic (who is pretty much already a star). The thing is, Jerami Grant and Torrey Craig both left via free agency, so there will be a lack of wing defense. If Michael Porter Jr. can become that 3rd option, though, the Nuggets will still be set up well.
The Jazz bring back essentially the same roster, except a familiar face is back in town. Derrick Favors re-signed with the team in free agency, as well as bench scorer Jordan Clarkson. Donovan Mitchell just signed a massive extension, so he’ll be around long-term. Rudy Gobert is up next. The return of Bojan Bogdanovic, who missed the entire 2020 postseason, will be a big boost heading into 2020-21.