Previewing The NBA’s Pacific Division According To Bloggers | Truth About It.net

Previewing The NBA’s Pacific Division According To Bloggers

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Updated: November 5, 2008

Jeff from CelticsBlog.com did the grunt work to put together a comprehensive NBA preview from bloggers ’round the ‘sphere. The order of appearance: Atlantic Division, the Southwest Division , the Central Division, the Northwest Division, the Southeast Division, and finally, the Pacific Division is out. Here are the highlights from the participating bloggers for each team, click on the blog links to see the full team preview:

Golden State Warriors

[Upside and Motor] (check the great picture too)
The Warriors jumped the shark. Two seasons ago they were a darling, last season they took a slight step back (but enough of a step to fall just short of the postseason), and now they’ll find themselves struggling to reach 11th place in the West. Welcome back, lottery balls; the Bay’s missed you. Predicted Record: 30-52

Los Angeles Clippers

[Clips Nation]
And then there’s the question of health. Can these guys stay on the court? The marquee additions, Baron and Camby, have been injury-prone throughout their careers (although both were surprisingly durable last season). Kaman likewise has had some injury issues, including missing 30 games last season. Throw in the ages of several players expected to log heavy minutes (Mobley is 33, Thomas 31, Camby 34, Hart 30, Baron and Ricky 29) and it certainly is cause for concern. Injuries can happen to any team – but they seem to happen to the Clippers more often. Predicted Record: 41-41

Los Angeles Lakers

[Forum Blue & Gold]
This team is 10 deep with guys that could start a lot of places in the league — Lamar Odom is coming off the bench, name another team where that would happen? That depth provides three advantages. One, the Lakers will win a lot of games because the second unit will outplay other team’s second unit. The Lakers “Bench Mob” led by Jordan Farmar, Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza come in and change the pace, running and being aggressive on defense. Just like a baseball pitcher, that change of pace can be hard to handle. The Lakers are going to stretch a lot of leads out at the start of the first and fourth quarters. Projected Finish: 60-22

[Respect Kobe]
I’ve said that Odom will be the biggest weakness, and the biggest potential problem, fo the Lakers this year. Simply put, I say that because he is not a good long range shooter. The Triangle Offense needs shooters to space the floor, and the lane is going to be very busy with Gasol and Bynum sharing space and Bryant and Ariza slashing to the basket. But Odom is not a long range shooter; in fact, the period during which he showed major improvement last just happens to coincide with the point at which he virtually stopped attempting three-point shots altogether. Predicted Record: 62-20

[Hoops Addict]
The team’s greatest strength is the fact that their opponent’s do not have Kobe Bryant. Fresh off a gold medal and his first long-overdue MVP, Bryant is the game’s consensus best all-around talent. Defensively he remains among the league’s elite one-on-one defenders, while on offense he is still an assassin with the ability to break a team’s will at a moment’s notice. Bryant’s presence is what makes them a title contender. Predicted Record: 64-18

Phoenix Suns

[Bright Side of The Sun]
Some people will mourn the passing of the D’Antoni era and for all the excitement he brought and the credit he earned, it was time to move on. Letting the other team score quickly so that you can run it back on them was a blast. So was disco. Predicted Record: 55-27

Sacramento Kings

[Sactown Royalty]
If you ask Reggie Theus and the Kings organization, the goal is the playoffs. If you ask most Kings fans, the goal is playing the youngsters as much as possible and drafting Ricky Rubio, Blake Griffin or B.J. Mullens. The Kings are a team in transition, and Theus is going to have his hands full balancing going after wins with getting the kids some burn. Predicted record: 37-45