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NBA 2019/20 Predictions – Pacific Division

by Dan “Giant Twin” Kelly

Los Angeles Lakers

PG: Rondo, Bradley, Cook
SG: Green, KCP, Caruso, Daniels
SF: James, Kuzma
PF: Davis, Dudley
C: McGee, Howard

Thoughts – Showtime is back (surely). After showing some promise in the first half of last season, the wheels well and truly fell off around Christmas once James went down with a groin strain. Follow this with the A Davis saga of trying to trade everyone we could (including Rambis) for it all to fall through and then then try to salvage some trust for the remainder of the year. A young core of players was never going to work with James, HOWEVER, we are now looking forward and I like what I see from this reshaped roster, which has a lot of flexibility and depth.

Prediction – Get down to your local TAB or jump on your sportsbet account. “Load Management” will come into things throughout season, keeping Lebron fresh for a deep playoff run and trying to keep Davis healthy will be key for a higher seeding in the stacked West. IF (a big IF) we can keep both these guys in the 70 games type of range, I think somewhere around 54-28 and in range of top 4 seed. Davis will push close to MVP, Lakers go to the finals and send a sulking Embiid home in at best a 5 game series. James Finals MVP.

Los Angeles Clippers

PG: Beverley, Shamet
SG: McGruder, Williams
SF: Leonard, Harkless
PF: George, Green
C: Harell, Zubac

Thoughts – overachieved last season with a slightly better than average team but the money and lure of playing in LA without the pressure of playing for the Lakers has drawn Kawhi and George together. Easy to think that plugging these 2 into a team that “pushed the Warriors” will mean success but I don’t buy it. More so than theLakers, keeping both these guys fit and fresh will be the challenge, both of which have missed large chunks of time in the past through injury (or just sitting a season out for the fun of it).

Prediction – expect with the talent they have and being well coached they are likely to get on some good runs of wins, but Kawhi, this is now the stacked West and your load management will be far more difficult to manage here than the East. We could have it that very few games separate the top half of the West come playoff time and with a team like GSW likely to maybe scrape into the playoffs, you don’t want them in the first round. I will take Clippers being similar to Lakers 52-30 in range of top 4 seed.

Golden State Warriors

PG: Curry, Burks
SG: Russell,
SF: Thompson, Jerebko
PF: Green, McKinnie
C: Cauley-Stein, Looney

Thoughts – injuries to Klay and KD is what stopped the GSW train motoring through for another ring last season and gifted Kawhi another.

Prediction – this season can go two ways for the Warriors. If Steph can stay on the court they can win enough games to scrape into the playoffs (maybe), if he misses stretches of games they are no chance. Having looked through this roster, minus Steph and likely most season without Klay they are a very average team. GSW are in for some hurt this season 44-38 give or take and somewhere between seed 8 to 10.

Sacramento Kings

PG: Fox, Hield
SG: Bogdanovic, Ferrell
SF: Ariza, Bagley
PF: Barnes, Bjelica
C: Dedmon

Thoughts – entertaining team to watch last season and I would expect much the same this time around. Interested to see what Walton can do with this team outside of the spotlight in LA.

Prediction –similar to last season, they will win some games they are not expected to and drop ones they are. The West is too good for them to be a serious playoff threat and I think teams like Pelicans and Mavericks will be better than last season, so the Kings will drop some places. Somewhere in the low to mid 30 game wins and in a fight with teams like the Suns, Grizzlies and Wolves for bottom 4 in West. 33-49.

Phoenix Suns

PG: Booker, Rubio, Carter
SG: Johnson, Jerome
SF: Diallo, Oubre Jr
PF: Bridges, Saric
C: Ayton, Baynes

Thoughts – didn’t expect much from the Suns last season and they delivered, some exciting talent though on this roster. I am struggling to write more than a sentence on the Suns, so let’s think back to their glory days of Marjele draining 3’s versus the Bulls.

Prediction – I do expect them to improve on last season, slightly, and be in a bit more of a fight in the bottom 3 to 4 teams. Only winning 19 last season would be a huge ask to move anywhere from bottom considering Mavericks were 14th with 33 wins. So I will take the Suns to come last, but maybe in the mid-20 range of wins. 24-58 and last in West.

2 thoughts on “NBA 2019/20 Predictions – Pacific Division”

  1. Welcome Dan, great post!! always fun to predict what might happen, then we’ll have Jesse wrap it up for us to see how wrong we were at the end of the season!!
    Lakers v Clippers in this division for sure, unless either team is derailed by injuries. I’ll admit I like the Clipper help a little more than what the Lakers have – Lakers have some big names there, but with that will come big personalities which may clash?? So Clips to win this Div.
    Kings are a chance to catch GSW if these injuries continue. I just like what SAC are building, although I hope the Hield contract doesn’t cause grief??

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