We have to finish four Divisions in less than a week (NBA SEASON IS ALMOST BACK!). To catch up on our previous post, use the links below. Let’s get to the rest of the Pacific Division (Lakers already completed)
Los Angeles Clippers (ended 2015-16 4th in the Western Conference, 53-29):
The start of the previous season had an emoji war so crazy, you would have thought it was reality tv. This year we have a quieter offseason with small moves to retool to battle the west. The Clippers resigned Jamal Crawford, Austin Rivers, Wesley Johnson, and Luc Mbah a Moute. New additions are Marreese Speights and Brice Johnson. On paper, people have the Clippers being top three in the West. In my opinion, they are third by default. Spurs will always lay in the darkness crafting their system and getting ready for the playoffs. The bench is the major issue for me when I think of the Clippers. Every year, one of the big three on this team gets hurt. While the other two do their best to manage, this team is not deep to get past the Warriors and the Spurs. The ONLY way they do is if major injuries occur to both of the top teams. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are entering the final years of their respective contracts (both will use their early termination options) so they will be coming to ball out this year. Unless those two evolve to some next level of play, this team will never surpass that level to super team stardom. I expect this year their record to go down but still be in the top half of the West.
51-31 is my prediction for the season.
Sacramento Kings (ended 2015-16 10th in the Western Conference, 33-49):
This team is a cluster fuck of rash decisions and no accountability. I lost my faith in this organization after the fired the only coach who understood Demarcus Cousins. The moves this team makes doesn’t follow rational logic. They signed Aaron Afflalo, Matt Barnes, Ty Lawson, Garrett Temple, and Anthony Tolliver which brings in some veteran leadership. I would get if they had a solid foundation in place to mix the youth and the OGs to progress towards the postseason. They need to trade Rudy Gay who does not want to be apart of this circus anymore. If everything works right, this team is a 7th or 8th seed at best. At worst, right back in the lottery.
These folks will be RIGHT BACK IN THE LOTTERY. #FreeBoogieCousins
29-53 is my prediction for the season.
Phoenix Suns (ended 2015-16 14th in the Western Conference, 23-59):
The baby Suns are full of fresh faces. Last season, the Suns were in the gutter of the Western Conference. They do have too many lead guards right now. The major issue is to trade one of the guards to alleviate the stress of managing minutes for three people who deserve starter minutes. Until that occurs, this team has no direction. Are they rebuilding? Are they fighting to barely make the playoffs to get swept out by the stronger opposition? We need to see how they develop the new core and transition the old core to the bench. I do feel Eric Bledsoe might be the one who needs a change of scenery. It has been a while since he dominated with his nice blend of speed and power at the PG position. He would do wonders for the 76ers or Kings. I wish my grade could be incomplete but I will give them a few more wins that last year.
26- 53 is my prediction for this season.
Golden State Warriors (ended in 2015-16 1st in the Western Conference, 73-9):
Gain Kevin Durant but lose your deep bench. This team will not win more than 73 games but they do possess the most potent offense in the league. In. The. League. They still have Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston with the addition of Zaza Pachulia and Java McGee to shore up the frontcourt. This team has a ton of new faces but the only thing that will stop them is team chemistry. It will take some team to get the sets down and get used to the new dynamic. I do feel this team will run away with the 1st seed in the West. I do not feel they will be able to maintain the offense unless everyone becomes iron man strong the entire season. To be honest, the only games I look forward for this team would be the Cavs, Spurs, Clippers, and Thunder (RevengeBrook!).
66-16 is my prediction for this season.