The countdown to tipoff of the 2017/18 NBA season is really on now. So with only a few hours to go, here’s a quick look at some thoughts on the final 2 divs we haven’t previewed yet – starting with the Pacific.
Golden State Warriors
PG: Steph Curry, Shaun Livingston
SG: Klay Thompson, Patrick McCaw, Nick Young
SF: Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala
PF: Draymond Green, David West
C: Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee
When considering the Pacific in isolation, the Warriors should just about have the division title wrapped up by the time Santa rides Rudolph and the other reindeer into town late December. The MVP’s, an SG who once scored 37 in a single quarter, the ultimate Swiss army knife of the NBA at PF (or small ball C), bench depth and experience. The Warriors have it all. They win the Pacific easily and once again have the inside rail for June – although others have improved so it won’t be all their way in the playoffs.
Prediction: 66-16, first in the Pacific.
PG: Pat Beverley, Milos Teodosic
SG: Austin Rivers, Lou Williams
SF: Danilo Gallinari, Sam Dekker
PF: Blake Griffin, Montrezl Harrell
C: DeAndre Jordan
The downgrade at PG is huge. Not only was CP3 the cornerstone and general of the franchise, he ensured Griffin and Jordan were well fed every night he was out there. So with him gone, they not only lose what he brings, but I expect both Griffin and Jordan to struggle a little more this season. Beverley is a solid PG, great defender for sure. But that backcourt looks suspect for now. They still wind up in the playoffs, but the title window is closed right now.
Prediction: 44-38, second in the Pacific.
Depth Chart – look elsewhere, I’m time saving now!!
I’ll admit I’m keen to check out some Suns games this season. Devin Booker, Marquese Chriss, TJ Warren, Josh Jackson, and others – there’s a lot to like here with potential to burn. On paper, the framework is there for a really good squad to be built over the coming seasons. They will have some big scalps this year and some shocking losses to match.
Prediction: 32-50, third in the Pacific.
Depth Chart – look elsewhere, I’m time saving now! Besides, you will only watch the Lakers this season for Lonzo Ball – admit it!
It’s all about Ball. If he hits the ground running and is as good as everyone is expecting in the big league, then they can attract some stars next season and beyond and be back in the race. If he struggles, the ability to attract star talent will diminish and they remain towards the cellar of the West for a while to come. Ingram and Randle a nice side act to watch at times, lets see what Hollywood can deliver.
Prediction: 28-54, fourth in the Pacific.
Depth Chart – youth and age, rooks and journeymen.
On paper, it looks a mish-mash of youth and a couple of aging stars (Vince and Z-Bo). I’m not on board thinking this group will work, hence I have then down here. But I’ll deploy a safety and say if (big “IF”) it all clicks, the vets lead the youth, guys like Cauley-Stein, Fox, Bogdanovic and Jackson work well together and Vlade Divac keeps the front office functional, they have the possibility to be a surprise packet. Just not on my pack of Weeties.
Prediction: 25-57, last in the Pacific.