2017-18 Pacific Division Preview Thread

Discussion in 'Basketball' started by peternorth, Sep 26, 2017.

Put it out there
?

Who will win the Pacific Division?

  1. Golden State Warriors

    58.3%
  2. LA Lakers

    8.3%
  3. Sacramento Kings

    16.7%
  4. Phoenix Suns

    16.7%
  5. LA Clippers

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. peternorth

    peternorth Facts Machine

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    Welcome to the Pacific Division Preview thread for 2018-19.

    It was only yesterday when the Durant led GSW created history and claimed the 16-17 NBA Championship. It was full of dare, flair punctuated by the new villain Kevin Durant. How will the landscape change now that the dust has settled on the West Coast? In arguably the leagues most exciting division there are many questions that remain unanswered.....

    From Hollywood to Malibu. From the scorching sun of Arizonas finest to Disneyland. From the cowbells that ring so true of Sacramento to cultural hub of Oakland. You can have your Dunkin Donuts east coast, we'll have our In-N- Out!

    Will West side be the best side?

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  2. peternorth

    peternorth Facts Machine

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    The most storied franchise in possibly American sports, if not the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers (or Lollers/Losers to the haters) have amassed 16 championships. Countless hall of famers have donned the purple and gold, colours synonymous with winning and partying.

    This off season have provided the brand with a new outlook and face in the back office. It took a while since the hugely sad passing of Dr Jerry Buss to bring this team back to the fold (not yet there I know), but it took steps, big steps. Out go Jim Buss and Mitch Kupchak, both fired by the beautiful Jeanie Buss, and in come a breath of fresh air in Rob Pelinka (seems tanned 24/7) and HIV survivor Magic Johnson. A new direction?

    The Roster


    A new Showtime is coming in the shape of number 2 draft pick Lonzo Ball. Known more for having the crazy father really. But those who followed his career have seen a tremendous young athlete who led the Bruins to 3rd place in the competitive Pac12 last season.

    Here's Lonzo Ball proudly wearing the new Nike jersey complete with WISH sponsor. Let's wish the Lakers can rise to the top once again.
    [​IMG]

    He joins dynamically fluid guards perfectly suited to Coach Waltons game style in Jordan Clarkson and the man who nufan once told me "the unfortunately named" KENTavious Caldwell-Pope. Backup guards expected to be Tyler Ennis and Summer League standout Alex Caruso. Whilst a bit of scoring punch is lost with the departure of DeAngelo Russell to the Nets, the arrival of Ball should assist well.

    Forwards.
    The problem I have with the Lakers is who gets the ball in crunchtime? Most expect Brandon Ingram to be the man. The lanky second year wingman possesses the skills required to succeed in the NBA. Walton wanted him to focus on defense last season to add to his scoring ability. Ingram needs to bulk up IMO, although being rake thin has not hindered Kevin Durant becoming an NBA Champion. Ingram will learn in time to absorb more physical contact. Expect him to take a giant step forward (excuse the pun). Lonzo to Ingram sounds tasty.

    Randle is a fascinating prospect. Undersized PF with short t-rex arms. He has lost weight in the off season and trimmed down. His game doesn't seem to suit the NBA. He has zero perimeter offence but I understand he has worked on this. With the exception of caroms per game, Randle increased his averages last season.



    Does he start though? Larry Nance Jr offers more explosiveness and dunks. But Randle's ball handling offers playmaking that Walton loves.

    Luol Deng and his contract is still around. Would be good to unload him, perhaps Minnesota? Would be a fairytale finish right Messenger
    How about Corey Brewer? A savvy vet who I think provides some maturity and leadership.

    Kyle Kuzma is a prospect and a real find. Got nice range.


    Depth at center has been boosted by the arrivals of Brook Lopez, Stevey Zimmerman and Aussie Andrew Bogut. It's been years since the Lakers have had 3 white centres. I predict BLo will be traded mid season. Here is Bogey.

    [​IMG]

    If the Lakers can stay healthy I think they can make a shake for 8th spot in the West.
     
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  3. mickelboy182

    mickelboy182 Norm Smith Medallist

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    Leagues most exciting division? Where's that sarcasm font...
     
  4. silverscope

    silverscope Brownlow Medallist

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    We have one vet in every position to go with our developing players. Hill, Temple, Carter, Zbo, Koufos are the vets of the team and I don't think we'll probably struggle to win 25 games for the year but as long as the young guys keep developing and Buddy and Fox can work on their chemistry we'll be ok.

    Look out for Skal to do big things this year and while, for Kings fans anyway, there is a lot of hype for Bogdan I think he'll probably take a year or so to really adjust to NBA play but he'll get there.

    Probably one of the more interesting seasons for us. For the first time in a long time we have a plethora of talent across the board waiting to develop and although we're not going to win it I'm excited about what the team can develop into.
     
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  5. Look2Me4Guidance

    Look2Me4Guidance Not A Campaigner

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    Wait till you see my preview
     
  6. WWSD

    WWSD Premium Platinum

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    Cauley-Stein could be on the verge of having a breakout season. If he and Hield improve on last years output the Kings will win over 30 games.
     
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  7. miggs

    miggs Brownlow Medallist

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    Death, Taxes and the Kangz being shit

    Atleast we have hope this season. Plenty of young talent. Can’t wait to see Fox evolve and I really hope Bogdan is the player I think he can be. Skal will have a breakout season. Willie showed glimpses last year that he can hold is own. Must confess I don’t really know a lot about Hill as I usually only watch kings games and no other. Buddy might take another step towards being a star but I’m not as high on him as some others.
     
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  8. Look2Me4Guidance

    Look2Me4Guidance Not A Campaigner

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    IMG_0004.JPG
    2016/17 Record: 24/58 (15th in the West)
    Scored 107.7ppg (9/30) Off Rtg 106.6 (22/30)
    Gave up 113.3ppg (30/30) Def Rtg 112.2 (28/30)

    Additions: Josh Jackson (Pick 4 - University of Kansas) Davon Reed (Pick 32 - University of Miami, Mike James (Panathinaikos Athens), Troy Daniels (Memphis Grizzlies)

    Subtractions: Leandro Barbosa, John Jenkins, Ronnie Price, Jarell Eddie.

    Depth Chart
    PG: Bledsoe, Ulis
    SG: Booker, Daniels, Reed (injured - miss most of season)
    SF: Warren, Jackson, Jones.Jnr
    PF: Chriss, Bender, Dudley
    C: Chandler, Len, Williams (injured - miss most of season)

    The Suns decided to to embrace the youth movement in the latter part of the 16/17 with shutting down Bledsoe and Chandler around March. The keys were handed to Booker, Chriss and Ulis and they certainly showed enough to give a glimmer of hope in the desert.

    In the off season, GM Ryan McDonagh opted to hold onto cap space and go chips in with the kids and thus "The Timeline" came to be. It's no joke either with 5 players expected to be in the regular rotation, aged 21 and under.

    The Suns will be at the pointy end of the lottery again in 2017/18 in what is a stacked Western Conference and you'd be a brave person to think they'd pass last season's 24 win mark.

    So what do we look forward to?

    IMG_0005.JPG

    The drafting of former Pee Wee hockey stud and lover of Joey Potter in Josh Jackson is certainly one thing. The knock on Josh Jackson aka The Matrix Reloaded was his shot but seeing him in preseason suggests it won't be an issue. He has clearly worked on it and is not hesitant in taking shots when open which defences will dare him to do. He is a great rebounder, can run the floor and can shoot the 3. Whilst it would be full homer to declare him ROY, I think he'll make the all rookie first team. I expect him to come off the bench initially behind TJ Warren, but can see he and Warren playing alongside each other in small ball line ups.

    Devin Booker. Enough said really. He's not Mudiay, this is true but you can't have it all. This is Booker's team. The big watch this year will be watching him adjust to defences focused on him. I can see him averaging 25ppg, 4 assists and 4 boards this year. His defence is still below average, but is showing signs of improving ever so slightly and he still is 20 years of age.

    Pivot points (no, not talking about LeBron in the post)

    What becomes of Alex Len?

    He'll get the arse from my avatar for starters if he doesn't deliver. The off-season was no doubt a reality check for the 7 footer as not one team gave him an offer and he signed his qualifying offer to be back in Phoenix. Yet you can feel a but coming right?

    IMG_0006.JPG
    Alex Len missing yet another close range target.

    The talk from training camp was that Len's role in the offence had been simplified and it appears to have paid off based on the small sample size that is the off-season. A staggering stat is when Len holds the ball for less than 2 seconds he shoots 54% from the field, if he holds it for longer than 2 seconds, he shoots 32%. Len shot 65.8% from shots 5 feet or less during the pre-season and averaged a healthy 14 points per game during this contest. His footwork looked sharper and he was even finishing in the pick n roll, which is as rare as DangerSloane admitting he was wrrrr.......wrrrrr.......wrrrr well you get the picture. With Big Sauce Williams down for the main part of the season the time for Len will be there. What can he do with it?

    Dragan Bender is another who will polarise fans. Still yet to turn 20, he has shown glimpses of greatness whilst at other times as looked more lost than Primetime Pricey at the top shelf. He appears to possess all the attributes of the ideal modern player but needs to improve. Hopefully some continuity after missing time with an ankle last year will address this.

    So what to expect? A fast team that will be entertaining to watch as they will put up points. The Suns were ranked second in pace last year and have openly expressed their desire to play faster. They are young and will get blown out semi-regularly, particularly as they are poor defensively and will usually dare teams to shoot over them in plenty of space. However, there will be times when Booker in particular will get hot and that will be a sight to see.

    Prediction: 22 wins
     
  9. Primetime Pricey

    Primetime Pricey Degenerate Punter

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    Nice little mention, forever in L2M4G heart :hearts:
     
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  10. DangerSloane

    DangerSloane Hall of Famer

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    Mudiay breakout year for Denver.
    Booker to shoot 20% on the season.

    Heard it here first.
     
  11. Son of Skeletor

    Son of Skeletor Brownlow Medallist

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    Could become the best J. Jackson of all time.

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    Already got him covered I reckon.


    [​IMG]


    Her too.





    Now here's where the real competition starts.
     
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  12. Look2Me4Guidance

    Look2Me4Guidance Not A Campaigner

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    Look forward to him "steppin out" to hit the 3 ball
     
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  13. Look2Me4Guidance

    Look2Me4Guidance Not A Campaigner

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    I think you mean breakout year of NBA