2002 NBA Preview

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CNNSI.com's Division Previews: Midwest
(Projected Order of Finish)
If Terry Porter, Antonio Daniels and free-agent signee
Bruce Bowen can defend the perimeter, the Spurs should
again be a formidable power.
Mark Cuban shelled out big bucks in the offseason to
re-sign Michael Finley and Shawn Bradley, ensuring
one of the NBA's best starting units would stay intact.
John Stockton and Karl Malone, along with Bryon Russell
and newly signed center John Amaechi, will be too smart
and disciplined
to fall out of contention.
The T'wolves should benefit from the new zone rules.
They have ample jumpshooters, and they might be able
to mask their lack of one-on-one defenders by zoning up.
The Dream is gone, but there's still optimism in Houston.
Point guard Steve Francis is more than ready to usher in
a new era in Rockets history.
The Nuggets failed to address their most glaring weakness:
shooting guard. Denver hopes Isaiah Rider can provide some
scoring help
, but his history makes him a gamble.
After five years in Vancouver, the Grizzlies have moved to
Memphis. Unfortunately for their new fans, the team
figures to be singing the same old losing tune.


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