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Best player: Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks
Best acquisition: Anthony Davis, Hornets
The Salt Lake Tribune’s division-by-division NBA picks:
1. New York
1. San Antonio
5. New Orleans
1. Oklahoma City
1. L.A. Lakers
2. L.A. Clippers
3. Golden State
Don’t worry about: New Orleans
In a nutshell: In case you’re wondering, the veteran Spurs aren’t going anywhere. Yes, they struggled in the playoffs against athletic Oklahoma City. But as long as Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili are coached by Gregg Popovich, it would be silly to dismiss San Antonio as contenders. … Dallas failed to sign prime target Deron Williams, but the Mavs reloaded quickly by acquiring O.J. Mayo, Elton Brand, Darren Collison and Chris Kaman. … Game 7 losses in the 2011 and 2012 playoffs make it easy to overlook them, but the Grizzlies can turn this a three-team division race.
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