The NBA season is almost upon us and I am going to continue a fans opinionated preview of the NBA teams, with a look at the Pacific Division in the Western Conference
Pacific Division- 2012- 2013 preview
Los Angeles Lakers- 1st in Pacific Division in 2011-2012
Current players- Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Antawn Jamison, Steve Blake, Earl Clark, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Chris Duhon, Devin Ebanks, Andrew Goudelock, Jordan Hill, Dwight Howard, Daris Johnson-Odom, Jodie Meeks, Robert Sacre
Preview- The new look Lakers look amazing on paper. Two 7 footers inside that complement each other. Pau Gasol has the ability to be a finesse player with moves that can be initiated 15-20 feet away from the basket, whereas Dwight can dominate everything and anything around the basket on offence. A point guard who is a two-time NBA MVP and who makes everybody around him better. One of the Greatest players of this era in Kobe Bryant and a tough hard-nosed defender in Metta World Peace. Man on paper this starting lineup looks tough to match-up against. Even Steve Nash’s defence weaknesses are masked with former defensive player of the year Dwight Howard’s presence in the middle. The Lakers biggest issue last year was scoring off the bench and the Lakers have even improved that with the acquisition of Antawn Jamison, Chris Duhon and sharp-shooter Jodie Meeks. On paper this team looks nearly unstoppable, but what is on paper doesn’t always translate onto the court. The team will have to gel and learn to play with each other. This will be an interesting team to watch but if everything clicks I can see a finals birth against the likes of the Heat(most likely), Celtics, or Pacers(these 2 much less likely) and even maybe an NBA championship in the works.
Los Angeles Clippers- 2nd in Pacific Division in 2011-2012
Current players: Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes, Chauncey Billups, Eric Bledsoe, Caron Butler, Jamal Crawford, Willie Green, Grant Hill, Ryan Hollins, DeAndre Jordan, Travis Leslie, Lamar Odom, Chris Paul, Trey Thompkins, Hank Thoms, Ronny Turiaf
Preview- The Clippers have been a fun team too watch since they drafted Blake Griffin. Blake and his dunk parter DeAndre definitely put a dent on the rim. But this team really got in the mix last year after acquiring Chris Paul. The lose of Billups Midseason Hurt last year. This year the Clippers are back and could do some damage in the west. Of course they didn’t make the big splash like there stadium partners, but they made some sound movies to strengthen up there bench and add offensive fire power. Key additions such as Jamal Crawford, Lamar Odom and Grant Hill will definitely benefit both sides of the ball. Jamal Crawford is known as a remarkable scorer that can torch anybody on any given night. Lamar is a 7 footer with the handles of a shooting guard and size of a centre, but he has to return to LA form to be any good. Grant Hill can do a bit of everything even at his age. If this team stays healthy and Blake improves his defensive game I can see this team making it to the 2nd round again and giving any team they face a run for there money in the playoffs.
Phoenix Suns- 3rd in Pacific Division in 2011-2012
Current players: Michael Beasley, Shannon Brown, Ike Diogu, Goran Dragic, Jared Dudley, Channing Frye, Diante Garrett, Marcin Gortat, Othyus Jeffers, Wesley Johnson, Solomon Jones, Kendall Marshall, Markieff Morris, Jermaine O’Neal, Luis Scola, Sebastian Telfair, P.J. Tucker, Luke Zeller
Preview: Simply put this is gonna be a rebuilding period for the Phoenix Suns. They have lost there franchise Player in Steve Nash to the Lakers but they looked like they were gonna part ways with him for awhile. Key additions this year should be the handing over of the reins to Goran Dragic who used to be mentored by Nash and had a breakout season last year in Houston, earning him a nice pay raise. Kendall Marshall was drafted by the Suns and should be a PG of the future for the Phoenix suns and also creating a nice tandem with Dragic. Michael Beasley is an interesting addition that can provide some punch on the scoreboard. Other than that there is not much to watch from this team this season. This teams has now gone into rebuilding mode and will hope its young talent will grow. This simply is a team built for the future and i expect them to be a cellar dweller this year.
Golden State Warriors- 4th in Pacific Division in 2011-2012
Current players- Harrison Barnes, Kent Bazemore, Andrish Biedrins, Andrew Bogut, Stephen Curry, Festus Ezeli, Draymond Green, Jarrett Jack, Richard Jefferson, Charles Jenkins, Carl Landry, David Lee, Brandon Rush, Klay Thompson, Jeremy Tyler Preview: The Golden State Warriors would have had the best offseason in the west if it wasn’t for the Lakers. This team should drastically improve over last year with just the healthier roster. With a healthy Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut the team easily looks a lot better on paper. On top of that add in the offseason acquisitions such as Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack, while drafting the wingman Harrison Barnes this teams looks much improved on paper. There is an optimism around this team and if everything goes well they should definitely compete for a playoff spot in the West, but for that injury risks Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry have to stay healthy. I don’t seem them making the playoffs this year but they are getting closer to the LA teams on top of there division and in the next few seasons should definitely be a perennial playoff team. This teams future definitely looks good.
Sacramento Kings- 5th in Pacific Division in 2011-2012
Current players- Aaron Brooks, DeMarcus Cousins, Tyreke Evans, Jimmer Fredette, Francisco Garcia, Chuck Hayes, Tyler Honeycutt, James Johnson, Travis Outlaw, Thomas Robinson, John Salmons, Isaiah Thomas, Jason Thompson, Marcus Thornton
Preview- The Kings are a team filled with young talented individuals. The problem is they play as individuals and not as a team. This year the kings have a great guard combination in Aaron Brooks, Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton and former R.O.Y Tyreke Evans. Tyreke has been frustrating for the Kings with his inconsistent play since his rookie campaign. Can he turn it around this year? Again look at the front court of the Kings it reeks of talent with the likes of Demarcus Cousins, Jason Thompson and highly rated prospect Thomas Robinson this is a team filled to the brim with talent. The big question is can they play as a team? If they do this team can surprise a few times and pull a few upsets. I don’t see them making the playoffs but becoming a .500 team with the talent they have should be a given, but for this team it would be a huge step forward. Tomorrow will be a preview of the SOUTHWEST division