Ranking the NBA Pacific Division
The Los Angeles Lakers have always been the king of the Pacific Division, but now with their in-city rival, The Los Angeles Clippers, getting better the division may be a little interesting this year and years to come. Of course you still you have the Phoenix Suns, the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings in the division, but all those three teams are in a rebuilding mode, or at least the Suns are. The Warriors and the Kings seem to be stuck at the bottom of the standings every year.
For the Sacramento Kings they are needing to have a season that will impress everybody so they can stay in Sacramento because if the have yet another disappointing season then the Kings may be moving south after all.
They have great talent on this team with Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins and Travis Outlaw and you would expect the team to win at least 30 plus games, but for some reason the Kings have only been able to win no more than 25 games in each the past four seasons. Evans and Cousins are still young as well as Outlaw, so they have time to develop into key players for their team, but it may be too late for the city of Sacramento as it may not be good enough to keep them there. The Kings should once again have another 20 win season or even worse than that.
The Golden State Warriors may have a similar season even with the talent they have. Being in the Western Conference is not easy especially for teams like the Warriors who have what it takes to win 40+ games, but with a conference with the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder, Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs and even the Denver Nuggets it’s hard to keep up.
Having Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry, Richard Jefferson and David Lee you would think the Warriors would win 50 plus games, but the matter of the fact is that being in the west and still being coached by Mark Jackson who is only in his second year as a head coach it may be hard to do so.
We do not know if Jackson is the right coach for the Warriors with the talent they have and with a full 82 game season we may see how good a coach Jackson is. Do not expect the Warriors to make the post-season yet again this year and when they don’t there might be a coaching change at the end of the season.
As for the Phoenix Suns nothing is much expected for them this season since they are rebuilding their team after letting Steve Nash go to the Lakers. However, they will not be in a rebuilding phase for long.
They have picked up nice pieces during this off-season by acquiring Michael Beasley, Jermaine O’Neal, Luis Scola and Goran Dragic. The Suns should be okay this year with these players and they should have enough talent to win them 30 plus games, however, being a rebuilding stage a lot of the players they have right now may not be on the roster all year long since they could be traded before the trade deadline in February.
Now the NBA finally has a war going on in Hollywood between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers last year finally became a team that we thought we would never see and that’s being a championship contender.
With Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Caron Butler, Chauncey Billups, Jamal Crawford, Grand Hill and the return of Lamar Odom the Clippers I believe have become a very dangerous team in the NBA. I do believe that Odom will not have a season that he did when he was in Dallas last year and I do expect him to be the player he was when he won the 6th Man of the Year award a few years ago. We all know what Paul and Griffin can do, but if Butler and Billups stay healthy the Clippers should be almost unbeatable.
The Los Angeles Lakers have once again stolen a center from another team by trading for Dwight Howard and that should be an easy division win. Don’t expect that. Yes they have Howard and Steve Nash, but that doesn’t mean the Lakers are automatically in the NBA Finals.
They still have to go through the Thunder and they have to be careful and watch the Clippers sneaking and stealing the Division away from them. Remember Nash is not the same player as he was when he won back-to-back MVP Awards.
Father time has caught up with him and father time always wins. Everybody believes that Kobe Bryant will back off and let Nash handle the point now, but do we know for sure that Kobe will do that all season long?
He is used to having the ball in his hand and making the plays, but now with Steve Nash in the picture Nash is suppose to be the one who calls and sets up the plays. If the Lakers are down by a few points or tied with a few seconds to go in the fourth quarter who do you think will have the ball? Nash or Bryant? I
guess we will just have to wait and see what coach Mike Brown will do in situation like those. If Brown can make the combination of Nash, Bryant and Howard work then there is no doubt that the Lakers will come up with the best record in the Division and the Conference.
The fans of both the Los Angeles teams will finally get a taste of war for the first time in the city’s sport history and this war should continue for years to come.
1. Los Angeles Lakers 60-22
2. Los Angeles Clippers 57-25
3. Golden State Warriors 32-50
4. Phoenix Suns 27-55
5. Sacramento Kings 17-65
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