NBA season preview: Pacific division
The Pacific Division is the home of the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors have the best team in basketball and everyone else is chasing them.
Three of the top five picks in the last draft find themselves suiting up in the Pacific division. The Suns and the Kings are currently in the midst of a rebuild but have formed solid foundations that look bright moving forward.
Finally, both of the teams in LA shook up their rotations in big ways this year by trading away one of their best players. The Pacific Division will be interesting due to the new faces in the division.
Here are the win predictions for all five teams in the Pacific division for 2017-2018.
Golden State Warriors
2016-2017 record: 67-15
2017-2018 prediction: 64-18
This record doesn’t really show too much. The Warriors are the best team in basketball and they return nearly the same team. They add Nick Young and Jordan Bell (through the draft) this offseason to an already strong bench.
Ian Clark leaves the team but Patrick McCaw has emerged as a role player this summer and could possibly play some of the minutes that Clark did.
The record is pretty much up to Golden State here. Ultimately there’s an extremely high chance that the Warriors make the playoffs so it is just up to Steve Kerr on how many games they truly want to win in the regular season.
Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson will always take this team deep into the playoffs if they are all healthy.
Los Angeles Clippers
2016-2017 record: 51-31
2017-2018 prediction: 44-38
Chris Paul wanted out of LA, but the Clippers somehow managed to get a very solid return for him.
Lou Williams and Patrick Beverley lead the charge out of the backcourt while the Clippers also added Danilo Gallinari and Sam Dekker. They lose Jamal Crawford and Chris Paul but have an interesting set of Gallinari, Griffin and Jordan forming.
A starting lineup of Beverley, Rivers, Gallinari, Griffin and Jordan with Williams coming first off the bench could be very interesting and doesn’t strike you as a team that just lost a superstar.
If Gallinari and Griffin can stay healthy this team looks like they could find a playoff spot in a tough Western Conference.
Los Angeles Lakers
2016-2017 record: 26-56
2017-2018 prediction: 36-46
The Lakers shook their roster up in a big way by getting out of the Timofey Mosgov contract. They also lost their best statistical player from last season in D’Angelo Russell.
However, in comes Brook Lopez, Lonzo Ball, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma. Kuzma and Ball were drafted by the Lakers this season and showed lots of promise in the summer league.
Brook Lopez is the big addition this offseason. An All-Star and proven low post scorer, Lopez adds something that’s rare in the NBA. The Lakers attempted to get away from their guard heavy rotation, thus getting rid of D’Angelo Russell to make way for Lonzo Ball and Jordan Clarkson.
No one knows how good the Lakers will be but they will be much better than the product they had on the floor last season.
2016-2017 record: 24-58
2017-2018 prediction: 28-54
The Suns turned their lottery pick into another young player with lots of potential. They are not necessarily in win now mode but more waiting a few years for their young talent to develop.
The Suns have grabbed a lot of former Kentucky guards to bolster their young backcourt. Josh Jackson, Devin Booker and Marquese Chriss show promise in moving the Suns in the right direction.
The Suns continue to draft players that they find value in and put them on the floor. The Suns are getting a good young core together and could be a playoff team in the near future.
2016-2017 record: 32-50
2017-2018 prediction: 30-52
I don’t think the Kings have gotten worse at all, the Western Conference has gotten better. The Kings have mixed seasoned veterans in with great young talent.
Skal Labissiere, Willie Cauley-Stein, Buddy Hield, De’Aaron Fox, George Hill, Georgios Papagiannis, Harry Giles and Justin Jackson are just some of the talent that is in this loaded rotation.
The Kings are a team quickly on the rise and have done it specifically through the draft. With adding established veterans, the Kings are working to bridge the gap between putting a competitive product on the court as well as developing their younger guys looking to win in years to come.
Kings fans have a lot to look forward to moving forward, but for right now this is the Warriors division.
Featured Image Courtesy of philstar.com.
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