Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NBA Preview; Pacific Division

Los Angeles Lakers
Coach: Phil Jackson
Projected Finish: 58-24
Projected Starters
C – Andrew Bynum (13.1 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 2.1 bpg)
PF – Pau Gasol (18.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 1.5 bpg)
SF – Vladimir Radmanovic (8.4 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.9 apg)
SG – Kobe Bryant (28.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 5.4 apg)
PG – Derek Fisher (11.7 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 2.9 apg)
Key Reserves
G - Sasha Vujacic
F - Lamar Odom
F - Trevor Ariza
It is truly scary how much depth Los Angeles has. The only two legitimate threats they should have of representing the Western Conference again in the NBA Finals are the New Orleans Hornets, and the health of the Lakers team. If Gasol, Bynum, and Kobe can all play at peak performance, it will be a fun ride for the fans at the Staples Center

Phoenix Suns
Coach: Terry Porter
Projected Finish: 53-29
Projected Starters
C – Shaquille O'Neal (13.6 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 1.4 bpg)
PF – Amare Stoudemire (25.2 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 2.1 bpg)
SF – Grant Hill (13.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 2.9 apg)
SG – Raja Bell (11.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.2 apg)
PG – Steve Nash (16.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 11.1 apg)
Key Reserves
G - Leandro Barbosa
F - Boris Diaw
I am going to pose the same question I have had since I first heard the announcement; what prompted the Phoenix Suns Team Owner Robert Sarver to hire Steve Kerr as General Manager? The Suns are now without Mike D'Antoni, and Shawn Marion, instead they have Terry Porter and Shaquille O'Neal. The decline starts this season.

Golden State Warriors
Coach: Don Nelson
Projected Finish: 49-33
Projected Starters
C – Andris Biedrins (10.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 1.2 bpg)
PF – Al Harrington (13.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.6 apg)
SF – Corey Maggettee (22.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.7 apg)
SG – Stephen Jackson (20.1 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 4.1 apg)
PG – Marcus Williams (5.9 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.6 apg)
Key Reserves
F - Ronny Turiaf
G - Monta Ellis
Monta, Monta, Monta! Oh what you have done! Not only does Ellis miss the first two months of the season after his moped escapades, he opens a divide between team ownership and management. Ellis will be suspended without pay while he rehabs, a move Chris Mullin Warriors General Manager was against. You can never count out a Don Nelson team, but right now Golden State is a ship without a rudder.

Los Angeles Clippers
Coach: Mike Dunleavy
Projected Finish: 35-47
Projected Starters
C – Chris Kaman (15.7 ppg, 12.7 rpg, 0.6 bpg)
PF – Marcus Camby (9.1 ppg, 13.1 rpg, 3.6 bpg)
SF – Al Thornton (12.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 1.2 apg)
SG – Eric Gordon (Rookie)
PG – Baron Davis (21.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 7.6 apg)
Key Reserves
G - Ricky Davis
F/C - Brian Skinner
Mike Dunleavy loves to come off as victimized. He still can't stop whining about losing Elton Brand. This team could be a lot better than the record I have predicted for them. Lots of "ifs" though, if Chris Kaman truly had a breakout year last season. If Al Thornton, shows more of what he showed in his rookie year. If Baron Davis and Dunleavy can maintain a good relationship. If Eric Gordon can have a good rookie campaign.

Sacramento Kings
Coach: Reggie Theus
Projected Finish: 30-52
Projected Starters
C – Brad Miller (13.4 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 1.0 bpg)
PF – Mikki Moore (8.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.6 bpg)
SF – John Salmons (12.5 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.6 apg)
SG – Kevin Martin (23.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 2.1 apg)
PG – Beno Udrih (12.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.3 apg)
Key Reserves
G - Bobby Jackson
F/G - Francisco Garcia
The Maloof brothers own casinos, you would think they would know better than to let Tru-Warrior call their bluff. The Maloof Boys blinked and Ron Artest is now in Houston. Reggie Theus was a pleasant surprise in his first year as coach. Beno Udrih was the steal of the campaign, and Brad Miller is one of the most underrated centers in the Association. K-Mart will again score a lot of points, but this team is back at square one.

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