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With Oklahoma City, Denver, Minnesota, Utah and Portland, it is the most well-rounded division in the league. This division should remain strong for a long time since Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love are all still young. If Portland could ever stay healthy, the division would be even scarier.
Oklahoma City does not have their Big Three, but rather, just two stars in Westbrook, the league's fifth-leading scorer, and Durant, the league’s second-leading scorer, and a bunch of solid role players. James Harden is a possible Sixth Man of the Year Winner who is averaging 16.8 points per game off the bench. Kendrick Perkins is a solid defender who plays the enforcer role well, except while getting dunked on by Blake Griffin. Serge Ibaka is a huge defensive presence on the inside blocking 3.2 shots per game.
This season might be the one when this young group reaches the Finals for the first time.
With a 21-19 record, the Minnesota Timberwolves already have more wins than they had all of last season. Ricky Rubio has proved to be better than advertised. As a rookie, he is averaging 10.5 points, 8.2 assists and 2.2 steals per game. Kevin Love may be the best power forward in the league; he leads the league in double-doubles and is averaging 25.5 points and 13.8 rebounds per game.
With Michael Beasley taking the minutes away from last year's second-overall pick, Derrick Williams, the team has not even seen what the rookie could really do when given the starting role.
If Minnesota keeps winning, Love should get some MVP consideration.
The Denver Nuggets are the anti-star team, and they are doing just fine. At 22-18, they are second in the division. They lead the league in points per game, are second in the league in assists per game and are fifth in the league in rebounds per game.
The Nuggets are a true team. While Danilo Gallinari is their leading scorer with 16.1 points per game, they also have a total of nine players scoring eight or more points per game. They are a balanced threat and play hard for their head coach, George Karl. If opposing teams are not ready to run, the Denver Nuggets will put on a clinic in transition offense.
The Utah Jazz are an up-and-coming team. Management did the right thing when they made the proactive decision to trade Deron Williams last season. Rather than concentrating on Williams' expiring contract, they get to concentrate on just playing basketball.
Gordon Hayward looks like a solid player who is comfortable as a starter or coming off the bench. While Derrick Favors is developing slowly, he looks to be a real contributor in the future. Enes Kanter is averaging 4.9 rebounds per game in just 14.3 minutes per game. Once Kanter develops any sort of offensive game, he can be a beast down low.
Portland is a team of what-ifs. If they ever get healthy or next time, draft Kevin Durant over Greg Oden, they should work out just fine.