Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012 NBA Preview: Pacific Conference

Well, before I got into my Pacific Conference prediction, I wanted to do a small section for the Warriors win in Chicago. Now this won't be like a normal post dedicated to the W's, but I just wanted to make a few quick points about the win over Chicago before I got into my Pacific Preview.

First off, good to see Steph get back on track, but then to see that injury at the end of the game had me holding my breath. Luckily, it doesn't appear to be too bad, but he is out for Wednesday night's tilt with New York, a game which they really needed his scoring. Look for Brandon Rush to step in at 2 guard with Monta sliding to PG for the night. Both he and Monta had the team outrunning the slower Chicago team and that's what made the Warriors so good back in 2006. Ellis continues to show why this guy really needs to be considered untouchable in any trade scenario. He's going to score and now he's all the sudden rebounding like a small forward and finally handling the ball like a point guard. The Warriors had excellent perimeter defense, and Kwame/Andris/Lee did a bang-up job controlling Boozer and Noah. Brown showed you exactly why the Warriors hired him for the season last night. That's really all I want to say, I gotta do my preview, but if the W's keep up like that, which I think they can since they're young and can handle these back-to-back games, then look out Pacific!
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Pacific Conference

1st Place: Los Angeles Clippers (#1 seed)

Lineup
PG Chris Paul
SG Chauncey Billups
SF Caron Butler
PF Blake Griffin
C DeAndre Jordan
6th: G Mo Williams

The Clippers have overtaken the balance of power in LA and the Pacific with the add of Paul and Billups, who basically fell on their lap when they needed him the most. The Paul/Griffin connection should light it up for years to come and with DeAndre Jordan in there disrupting shots, the veteran influence and scoring from Butler and Billups, you really have something. Look out Western Conference!

2nd Place: Los Angeles Lakers (#4 seed)

Lineup
PG Derek Fischer
SG Kobe Bryant
SF Devin Ebanks
PF Pau Gasol
C Andrew Bynum
6th: F Metta World Peace (aka: Ron Artest)

I just don't like the Lake show's makeup this year, they just lost too much with Lamar and then pissing off their number 2 by publicly trying to trade Gasol in the Howard offers. They're finally finding out what it feels like to strike out on going after players you covet. I just didn't get the Odom deal though, seems like they could have amnestied someone or something to get below the cap. Kobe will still put up 25/5/5, and if they get Howard without giving up everyone, it should improve their chances. They've also needed a new point guard for about 4 seasons now/DFish is not an NBA starting caliber PG. Actually, he's about 2-3 years away from coaching a team I think!

3rd Place: Golden State Warriors (#8 seed)

Lineup:

PG Stephen Curry
SG Monta Ellis
SF Dorell Wright
PF David Lee
C Andris Biedrins
6th: G/F Brandon Rush

No matter how you shuffle the top-2, most publications have the Dubs no higher than 3rd, where they may even have a shot at playoff basketball. So long as Curry/Monta/Lee/Wright stay healthy, they are going to score a ton, and it looks like they got some new defenders in there in Rush and Kwame Brown. Love how they added Rush 3 days before season and he's becoming their 6th man already! Biedrins still showed his Jekkyl and Hyde ways in the first two games, but he does look a lot better overall. I think Brown will push him to stay on his game. The W's are again fun to watch and should win 35+ if they defend decently.

4th Place: Sacramento Kings

Lineup:

PG Tyreke Evans
SG Marcus Thornton
SF John Salmons
PF Chuck Hayes
C DeMarcus Cousins
6th: F J.J. Hickson

I just love the Kings the depth, and I think Jimmer is going to be Jason Williams (remember him) 2.0, the improved version. Evans really should be a 2-guard and they should have Jimmer running point, but Thornton can play too. Their real star though lies in the center of the floor in DeMarcus Cousins though, as I think this guys is the next Al Jefferson, he's that good. The thing with Sac, like with the W's, will be their defense, but also for them, ball-sharing. They have a lot of guys that like to get their shots on their team, even on their bench, so coach Westphal needs to make sure that locker room stays focused on the goal of winning and not individual numbers. If Freddette lights up like he did in preseason though, this could be a sneaky 8th seed candidate!

5th Place: Phoenix Suns

Lineup
PG Steve Nash
SG Jared Dudley
SF Grant Hill
PF Channing Frye
C Marcin Gortat
6th: G/F Shannon Brown

I'm very surprised the Suns haven't dealt away Nash yet, as they are just inches away from landing into full-blown rebuild mode. They have two guys in Hill and Dudley who have no business starting on an NBA team and their PF Frye (granted he had his moments with Nash last season), is one of the worst starting PF's in a PF-rich league. Their brightest young star too, like with Sac, is their young center Gortat. What Phoenix needs to do is concede this 66-game season, deal Nash to LA or some other contending team lacking a real good point guard to give him his final shot at a Championship like Kidd got his in with the Mavs. He's still probably got 2-3 good seasons left in him, so he's running out of time! Give Telfair the chance to be the next Billups!
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Note: That concludes our divisional previews, now we just have our Playoff/Award predictions next and we're done with our "sped through" NBA Previews! With P/A post only taking a small portion, look for the Warriors Rundown to again start running down the Warriors!

1 comment:

Marvs said...

As much as we wanted to be updated about Houston Texans, not all the time we can make it by just waiting for some blogs.. Better jump start your day with a Texans tickets to see them playing on the stadium! BUt Thanks though for posting this article. Keep updating us!