Friday, November 2, 2012

The Pacific Division NBA Preview

Golden State Warriors - 23-43 record last season. Missed the playoffs.

Ideal Rotation: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, David Lee, Andrew Bogut / Jarrett Jack, Brandon Rush, Richard Jefferson, Carl Landry, Andris Biedrins

Storyline/s: Injuries wrecked their season last year from Curry to their trade acquisitions Jefferson and Bogut, leaving Mark Jackson's side with slim pickins.

X-Factor/s: A healthy Bogut would be a huge bonus for Jackson's defensive plans for the W's.

Prognosis: Exiting in the first round of the playoffs.

Los Angeles Clippers - 40-26 record last season. 5th seed in the playoffs. Lost to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Semifinals

Ideal Rotation: Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups, Caron Butler, Blake Griffin, Deandre Jordan / Eric Bledsoe, Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill, Matt Barnes, Lamar Odom, Willie Green

Storyline/s: Lob City was outclassed by a better San Antonio team in the playoffs, and in trying to remedy that, they upgraded their bench with versatile and smart additions. Contract years for Chris Paul and Vinny del Negro also means huge stakes for the franchise.

X-Factor/s: Which Lamar Odom shows up? The version that helped in the Lakers' title campaigns or the one that manifested in Dallas?

Prognosis: Exiting in the Conference Semifinals.

Los Angeles Lakers - 41-25 record last season. Division Champions. 3rd seed in the playoffs. Lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference Semifinals.

Ideal Rotation: Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard / Steve Blake, Jodie Meeks, Antawn Jamison, Earl Clark, Jordan Hill

Storyline/s: The new parts. Mike Brown using the Princeton offense. Oh and the Black Mamba.

X-Factor/s: Metta World Peace stands out on that start-studded starting unit. In addition, securing Antawn Jamison as an off-the-bench option is an interesting move.

Prognosis: Division Champions. Exiting in the Conference Finals.

Phoenix Suns - 33-33 record last season. Missed the playoffs.

Ideal Rotation: Goran Dragic, Shannon Brown, Michael Beasley, Luis Scola, Marcin Gortat / Kendall Marshall, Sebastian Telfair, Jared Dudley, Wesley Johnson, Channing Frye

Storyline/s: Life after Steve Nash has begun. The present (Dragic) and the future (Marshall) attempt to pick up the pieces after the Suns traded the two-time MVP to Los Angeles.

X-Factor/s: Can Michael Beasley be the go-to-scorer for the Suns? Can Scola stabilize the paint alongside Gortat?

Prognosis: Missing the playoffs.

Sacramento Kings - 22-44 record last season. Missed the playoffs.

Ideal Rotation: Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Thornton, Tyreke Evans, Chuck Hayes, DeMarcus Cousins / Aaron Brooks, Jimmer Fredette, Francisco Garcia, Travis Outlaw, Thomas Robinson

Storyline/s: The drama has mainly been about the team staying in the state capital or moving elsewhere, whether to Anaheim or Las Vegas or Seattle.

X-Factor/s: Can Tyreke Evans prove himself to be worthy of an extension to stay with the team?

Prognosis: Missing the playoffs.

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