Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sportz' Pacific Division Predictions


1-LOS ANGELES LAKERS (Fisher, Bryant, Artest, Gasol, Bynum): This is the class of the Western Conference. The defending champions brought nearly everyone back from a year ago (Ariza is the only notable loss) and added the edgy Ron Artest. This team could be scary due to the constant mismatches they create. They could have a backcourt of Kobe and Artest ... two of the best defenders in the NBA ... and a very tall frontcourt of Gasol, Odom and Bynum. In this division, there really isn't anyone who can compete with LA.

2-PHOENIX SUNS (Nash, Richardson, G. Hill, Stoudamire, Frye): The Suns have undergone some changes of late, but Nash and Amare are still there. With their commitment back to the run-and-gun game, this is the only way for the team to be successful. They have a chance to sneak back into the playoffs, but I'm guessing they miss out again.

3-LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS (B. Davis, Gordon, Thornton, Griffin, Kaman): This is my darkhorse team in the West. Yeah, they are the Clippers but this team has a lot of talent. If Baron Davis can get back to his form when he was with G-State, there is a lot of reason to hope. Their last couple of drafts have netted Eric Gordon, Al Thornton and this year's top pick in Blake Griffin. There is reason for optimism. They also have Ricky Davis and Marcus Camby off the bench who can contribute.

4-GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS (Curry, Ellis, S. Jackson, Maggette, Beidrins): This team is talented, but is also a mess. Stephen Jackson wants out badly. Monte Ellis doesn't think he can play alongside Stephen Curry. And the starting power forward is Maggette. Yeah, they have issues. They also have a team that if they actually came together then they could cause some damage. Look for Anthony Randolph to step up his game.

5-SACRAMENTO KINGS (Evans, Martin, Nocioni, J. Thompson, Hawes): They are the worst team in this division and may be the worst team in the West. They have some nice young talent in Evans, Thompson and Hawes and continue to have the great scoring of Martin. Nice guys but this team just isn't good enough to do much this season. Get these kids some playing time and experience and then continue to improve the talent level.

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