NBA Division Previews: Pacific Division Preview
1. Golden State Warriors, -300
With most of their championship roster returning – except for David Lee who played sparing during the regular season last year anyway – the Warriors are all geared to defend not just their Pacific division crown, but the NBA title. Reigning MVP Steph Curry and All-Star Klay Thompson form a knockout punch in terms of scoring are mismatches for just about every team in the NBA and the bench has extraordinary depth fiercely showcased by last year’s Finals MVP Andre Iguodala.
2. Los Angeles Clippers, +200
With the re-signing of DeAndre Jordon and a few small trades over the offseason, the Clippers enter 2015 as of one of the elite teams in the West. Blake Griffin and Chris Paul provide an exciting tandem that when hot are tough to beat. The Clippers are a shallower team than the Warriors and the largest factor for slotting the Clippers in the two-hole for a second straight year.
3. Phoenix Suns, +8000
The Suns lengthy five year playoff drought could come to an end in 2016, with a young roster headlined by the veteran presence of Tyson Chandler. Chandler – who signed in the offseason – is a former Defensive Player of the Year winner and averaged a double-double last season. The Suns do not have the talent to make too much noise in the West this season, but the 7 or 8 seed is completely within the realm of possibilities.
4. Sacramento Kings, +12500
The Kings were one of the busiest teams in the offseason, signing a half dozen free agents – most notably Rajon Rondo. Rondo is on the decline, but with the undeniable talent of DeMarcus Cousins and solid production from Rudy Gay, the Kings have enough from their starting five to come close to ending their 9 year playoff drought. A fraud between Cousins and the Kings’ head coach is hurting the team and without resolution the franchises will continue to suffer in woe.
5. Los Angeles Lakers, +25000
The health of Kobe Bryant and collection of youth make the Lakers a trendy pick to finish much better than their +25000 odds would have you suggest. Grabbing D’Angelo Russell with the second overall pick and signing reigning Sixth Man of the Year winner Lou Williams help give the Lakers some offensive talent to play around Bryant – who surely will be shooting like a fiend in what could potentially be his last season. Health of not just Bryant but Nick Young and Julius Randle are large concerns for a Lakers team looking to build sustainable success past the Bryant years.
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