NBA preview: Western Conference capsules

HONEY, THEY SHRUNK THE SEASON — John Rohde takes a look at which teams will be shrinking and which will be growing during the shortened NBA season.
BY JOHN ROHDE Published: December 18, 2011
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Subtractions: F Brandon Roy; G Andre Miller; G Rudy Fernandez; G Patrick Mills

Shrinking/growing: Shrinking. It's impossible to grow when you're blindsided with the heartbreaking retirement of Brandon Roy and the continued health setbacks to center Greg Oden.

8. HOUSTON ROCKETS (34-32)

Additions: F Marcus Morris; G Jonny Flynn; PG Jeremy Lin; G Ibrahim Jaaber

Subtractions: F Chuck Hayes; C Brad Miller

Shrinking/growing: Growing. Oh, what could have been with the proposed Lakers trade that would have brought in Pau Gasol with free agent Nene in tow. New head man in Kevin McHale.

9. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (32-34)

Additions: G Klay Thompson; C Kwame Brown; F Gary Flowers; G Charles Jenkins; PF Julian Khazzouh; SG Tommy Mitchell; F Jeremy Tyler; F Chris Wright.

Subtractions: G Acie Law; G Jeremy Lin; F Vladimir Radmanovic; G Reggie Williams; G Charlie Bell

Shrinking/growing: Growing. A team in flux, it signed an astounding 11 players. Despite rumors, team kept its top talent intact. Your shots better be falling when you face the Warriors.

10. UTAH JAZZ (31-35)

Additions: F Josh Howard; F Enes Kanter; G Alec Burks; F Paul Carter; F Trey Gilder; PG Jamaal Tinsley; G Scottie Reynolds; PG Keith McLeod

Subtractions: None

Shrinking/growing: Shrinking. The first full season without coach Jerry Sloan will bring a chill to this proud franchise that is not accustomed to missing the playoffs.

11. DENVER NUGGETS (30-36)

Additions: F Kenneth Faried; G Corey Brewer; G Rudy Fernandez; PG Andre Miller; F DeMarre Carroll; G Jordan Hamilton

Subtractions: F Kenyon Martin; F Wilson Chandler; G J.R. Smith; PG Raymond Felton; F Melvin Ely; G Gary Forbes

Shrinking/growing: Shrinking. The offseason mass exodus to faraway places like China depleted the Nuggets, who would have been absolutely horrible if Nene had not re-signed.

12. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS (29-37)

Additions: SG Eric Gordon; SF Al-Farouq Aminu; C Chris Kaman; F DaJuan Summers; SG Terrico White; C Brian Butch

Subtractions: PG Chris Paul; F David West; C David Anderson; F Patrick Ewing Jr.; C Aaron Gray

Shrinking/growing: Shrinking. This team will have had seven practices and two exhibition games before its season opener. The future figures to be bright, but the present will be rocky.

13. PHOENIX SUNS (28-38)

Additions: F Markieff Morris; PG Shannon Brown; PG Sebastian Telfair; PG Ronnie Price; F Marcus Landry

Subtractions: G Vince Carter; PG Aaron Brooks; F Gani Lawal; G Zabian Dowdell

Shrinking/growing: Shrinking. Against a beautiful backdrop, the setting Suns assemble a farewell tour for Steve Nash and Grant Hill. Both are great, but too old to carry a franchise.

14. SACRAMENTO KINGS (26-40)

Additions: C Chuck Hayes; G Jimmer Fredette; PF J.J. Hickson; SG John Salmons; G Isaiah Thomas; SG Adrian Oliver; F Tyler Honeycutt

Subtractions: F Omri Casspi; F Marquis Daniels; G Pooh Jeter; G Beno Udrih; G Jermaine Taylor

Shrinking/growing: Growing. The Kings are getting better, but they still have a long ways to go with a bunch of young talent that frequently dances to the beat of their own drum.

15. MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES (17-49)

Additions: PG J.J. Barea; PG Ricky Rubio; PG Derrick Williams; PG Brad Miller; PG Malcolm Lee

Subtractions: PG Jonny Flynn; PG Lazar Hayward; PG Sebastian Telfair

Shrinking/growing: Growing. How can a team with 13 point guards possibly be “growing”? Well, it's tough to get much smaller for a franchise enters the season riding a 15-game losing streak.



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