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NBA Pacific Division Preview

Jarrett Bailey, Sports Writer

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The NBA Season starts tomorrow, so I’m going to be flying through the Western conference, starting with the Pacific Division.

  1. Warriors: The Warriors are the defending NBA Champs, have nearly everyone returning, and a reigning MVP point guard in Steph Curry; what’s not to love? The splash brothers, Curry and Klay Thompson, remain united in the backcourt and are the best 1-2 punch in the game if you ask me. The 7-foot Andrew Bogut at the 5 spot is a great option to turn to for grabbing rebounds, as he averaged 8 per game last season, and getting put backs. Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala are a great 3 combination to switch in and out and both were valuable in the title last season. Filling the 4 spot is Draymond Green, who averaged about 12 PPG and shot 34% from beyond the arc last season. Can the Warriors repeat as Champs? I say why can’t they?
  2. Clippers: The Clippers are a team that has come close to advancing to the western conference finals over the past few years, but just keep falling short. The addition of Lance Stephenson at the 3 spot will give point guard Chris Paul a great option to pass the ball to, rack up dimes while also keeping some of the pressure off of the frontcourt tandem of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Speaking of Griffin and Jordan, you can’t talk about Jam City without mentioning the mayors. Griffin and Jordan combined for 29.5 PPG and 18.7 boards, not to mention putting different players on their own personal posters on an almost nightly basis. Chris Paul is going to do his thing by dishing out assists and scoring points, and if all goes well, the Clippers can be right in the mix of going to the Finals.
  3. Kings: The Kings got a big makeover over the Summer. Rajon Rondo made his way over from Dallas and his addition changes the entire makeup of the team, and with George Karl in charge of this group, I can see he and Rondo getting along well. Rudy Gay is on a quest to reach his once-known stardom he had in Memphis, and with the Rondo addition, I think it could very well happen. When you look at the other positions, Ben McLemore at the 2 guard is emerging as one of the best at his position. I like the Kings to be in the hunt this season and they could surprise some people.
  4. Suns: Phoenix is another one of those strange cases in which I don’t know what to expect from them. Goran Dragic is no longer in their backcourt, but with Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe, the backcourt is in good hands. I really liked the addition of Tyson Chandler at center to be sort of a mentor to Alex Len while also maintaining good minutes and hopefully giving good production at the same time. Markieff Morris is no longer playing alongside his twin brother Marcus, but has shown signs of good things to come in the pre-season, a sign that Suns fans hope to stay true. If all goes in favor of the Suns, they could be right in the mix of a fight for a playoff spot.
  5. Lakers: The Lakers are in a decline. The glory years of Kobe are long gone. While Kobe is still playing, his days of superstardom are over. When you look at all of the other positions, nothing really blows you away. There starting backcourt consists of D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson, nothing special there. Julius Randle at the 4 spot is a guy who may be in for a good year, and Roy Hibbert, I’m sure, is looking to get back to the top as he was before with the Pacers. LA is going to have a down couple of years if you ask me.
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