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2013 NBA Pacific Division Preview 

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What an interesting division this is going to be this year. Between the hype surrounding Doc Rivers and the Clippers, the rising Warriors, the fading Lakers and the basketcase Kings, there is plenty to think about. Also the odds of one of these teams winning this division is maybe the worst line I have ever seen in anything ever.

5. Suns +20000

Oh boy is this a bad team. A little tip NBA GM’s… if your best two players are Marcin Gortat and Goran Dragic, you probably aren’t making the playoffs. They do have a couple of young pieces that could be halfways good like Kendall Marshall, Alex Len and one of the Morris brothers. While so many people seem to have some high hopes for Alex Len, he is the obvious bust of the draft. He was taken too high as people talked themselves into him more and more, he has suffered injuries in the past, he isn’t that athletic and he’s white. You could also count Channing Frye but I’d only count him as half a good player. He’d make for a pretty solid 6th man, but a starter? No thanks. They also added Eric Bledsoe, who was highly regarded in the Clippers’ organization for some reason. It felt to me like so many people were saying that Bledsoe was a good piece that he turned into a good piece even though he’s never going to be an overly important part of a championship team. This is certainly one of the teams to keep an eye on for landing the #1 pick although I think they will overperform this season (that doesn’t mean much given they are barely expected to win a game). Maybe they win the lottery but they will not have the most balls in the pool.

4. Lakers +1000

Another terrible team. Did you actually take in this line? I hope it makes you laugh like it has made me everytime I have looked at it. This team is terrible. Is a rejuvenated Pau Gasol really worth 10-1? Because I’m pretty sure half of Kobe, half of Nash, Nick Young, Wesley Johnson and the rest of their wheel of shit roster isn’t enough to even be 25-1. If the Suns are 200-1 then the Lakers should at least be 150-1, yet they are sitting there at 10-1. If there are any takers, you are dumb. The rest of us will get a nice laugh out of this one.

3. Kings +10000

The Kings are far from a good team but they are frisky enough to make the Lakers the worst team in California this season. With the new ownership there is no longer a shadow cast over this franchise. They hired Warriors assistant coach Mike Malone to be their next head coach. While he has had some success in his career this is his first head coaching job and it will be a tough one. But with this new season it almost feels like the page has turned on this young team. Mike Malone seems to have the right mindset to take control of this team. They need some structure and Malone has said that once the regular season begins his players will know their roles and won’t try and juggle them too much as to not allow his guys to question their role. On paper they have a nice team. They traded for Greivis Vasquez who had a stellar season last year and seems to be a guy that can run an offense very well. They also drafted Ben McLemore who arguably has the highest ceiling of any rookie. The only downside with him is if this team once again goes off the tracks he could have one too many Jeff Green, I’m going to disappear for a while, games. They have some pieces around their core in Young Zeke, John Salmons, Jimmer, Marcus Thornton and Jason Thompson. It all comes down to whether or not Boogie Cousins buys in to Mike Malone's system. If he does, they could be a sneaky good team.

2. Clippers -250

I may come off as a bitter Celtics fan here but Doc Rivers is an overrated coach. Players may love playing for him but if he didn’t have KG and Ray Allen dropped in his lap to join Pierce and Rondo, he might be out of the league doing television for several years now. Before that championship year he never coached a team that won more than 45 games. Also before that year he had made the playoffs four times in his career and all four times he lost in the first round. In his first two series’ he only managed one win apiece. In his third try his Magic held a 3-1 series lead over the Pistons before blowing that. After that choke job he started off the 1-10 and was fired. Then in his first season with the Celtics they earned the #3 seed and then lost in seven games to the Indiana Pacers. So without three future Hall of Famers on his team, he has never won a playoff series. Now he has a decent team on paper with the Clippers but they are too small to really run the system Doc succeeded with in Boston, which by the way was created by Tom Thibodeau. Ultimately, Doc won’t matter. This team will go as far as Chris Paul takes them, provided they don’t run into a matchup nightmare because a bigger team like Memphis or the Spurs will eat them up.

1. Warriors +180

This is the ultimate, caution injuries may occur, team. They should be better but they need to stay healthy. If they can stay healthy Andre Iguodala is going to make them much better. They won’t be asking him to carry an offensive load, just to defend and get out and run which are the two things he is the best at. The loss of Jarrett Jack is really going to hurt their guard depth though. However, again, if they stay healthy Steph Curry and Klay Thompson shouldn’t need much relief time so it may not bite them too bad. But they are a better team than the Clippers and proved it during the playoffs last year. This is the team to watch in this division even with all the hype surrounding Doc and the Clips. Look for a monster year out of Klay Thompson and look for Draymond Green to step in and help out a lot more.


Friday, October 25, 2013

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