Divisional Outlook – Packed Pacific
Posted by r1zzo23 on September 24, 2008
With four teams in California and one in Phoenix, these teams are about as close as any division in the league. What’s even scarier is that the talent level could be about as close as any division as well.
2008-2009 Record: 64-18
2007-2008 Record: 57-25
The Lakers are the class of the Pacific and maybe even the entire Western Conference. They have the best player in basketball (Kobe Bryant), two great big men (Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum), a matchup nightmare (Lamar Odom) and plenty of great role players surrounding them. This team will finish with the best record in the league and should be the favorites to win the Western Conference crown. Question is will they come to play with the best that the East has to offer.
2008-2009 Record: 52-30
2007-2008 Record: 55-27
The Phoenix Suns made a huge trade last yaer bringing in the Big Shaqtus, Shaquille O’Neal. This went against everything that Mike D’Antoni stood for and, as we all could have assumed, D’Antoni is gone. They still have Nash and Amare as perhaps the most dangerous point guard-big man combo in the entire league. No offensive system or defensive scheme can stop these two and they should be a lock for a playoff spot.
2008-2009 Record: 49-33
2007-2008 Record: 23-59
One team that has been a disappointment the last two seasons was the LA Clippers, although last year can attributed to injuries to Elton Brand and Shaun Livingston. Now those two players are gone, but the additions of Baron Davis and Marcus Camby should make up for subtractions. Al Thornton has another season to grow and they added the future replacement of Cuttino Mobley to the roster in Eric Gordon. This team could be the surprise team of the Pacific Division and perhaps the Western Conference.
2008-2009 Record: 39-43
2007-2008 Record: 48-34
If there is any team that plays off absolute emotion, it is the Golden State Warriors. They have very energetic players that make this team a playoff nightmare. But, with the loss of their floor leader in Baron Davis and the mysterious injury to Monta Ellis, this team could be on a down year. The Warriors now have to turn to Marcus Williams to run the offense. With no Baron Davis, who will be able to keep Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington in check? This could spell disaster.
2008-2009 Record: 30-52
2007-2008 Record: 38-44
The Kings have a nice, young nucleus and I would love to give this team some more wins, but the loss of Ron Artest is going to hurt this team. Shareef Abdur-Rahim, a classy veteran, has recently retired and will be a tough player to lose, but there are plenty of young players to step up in his place. Jason Thompson was drafted higher than most expected and he may be asked to play some meaningful minutes early and often for this team. They also have two good centers in Brad Miller and Spencer Hawes, a very resourceful point guard in Beno Udrih and a young, budding shooting guard in Kevin Martin. This team will be good in the near future.
Other Division Outlooks – Northwest