2012-13 Pacific Division Preview
Los Angeles Lakers
2011-12 Record & Division Standing: 41-25 (1st)
Key Off-Season Additions: Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Antawn Jamison Jodie Meeks, Chris Duhon, Earl Clark and Eddie Jordan (assistant coach)
Key Off-Season Losses: Andrew Bynum, Ramon Sessions and Matt Barnes
Outlook: With the addition of Howard and Bynum the Lakers are once again title contenders.
On the Bright Side: The Lakers starting lineup has four surefire Hall-Of-Famers. Bench play should be much improved with additions of Jamison, Earl Clark, Jodie Meeks and a more experienced Jordan Hill
Be Concerned: Defensively, the Lakers will be even slower with Nash but more mobile with Howard as the last line of defense. Will Mike Brown get enough defensively out of them to stop younger/quicker teams like OKC? How far they go depends on their ability to integrate Howard/Nash into the Princeton Offense that Eddie Jordan has implemented.
2011-12 Record & Division Standing: 40-26 (2nd)
Key Off-Season Additions: Jamal Crawford, Grant Hill, Lamar Odom, Ronny Turiaf, Matt Barnes, Ryan Hollins and Willie Green
Key Off-Season Losses: Mo Williams, Randy Foye, Reggie Evans and Nick Young
Outlook: An intriguing team- defeated Memphis in 1st round but got swept by Spurs in 2nd round of 2012 playoffs- the Clippers should have a good regular season.
On the Bright Side: DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin should continue to improve and the additions of Hill, Odom and Crawford should stabilize a young team. The Clippers are extremely quick and athletic with Jordan, Paul, Griffin, Crawford and Eric Bledsoe.
Be Concerned: Injuries are an issue with Griffin (knee surgery), Chauncey Billups (torn achilees tendon) and Chris Paul (hand) recovering from injuries. The Clippers may lack consistent perimeter shooting outside of Chauncey Billups and Caron Butler. Vinnie Del Negro would like Jamal Crawford to help, but he has never proven to be a consistent perimeter shooter.
2011-12 Record & Division Standing: 23-43 (4th)
Key Off-Season Additions: Harrison Barnes (rookie), Carl Landry, and Jarrett Jack
Key Off-Season Losses: Nate Robinson, Dorell Wright
Outlook: If healthy, the Warriors should be close to .500. Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee, and Andrew Bogut are talented, team players that tend to make good decisions.
On the Bright Side: The Warriors have a nice nucleus with Curry, Thompson, Lee, and Bogut. How much rookie Harrison Barnes will contribute is uncertain.
Be Concerned: Key players Curry and Bogut are injury prone. The Warriors are a poor defensive team when Bogut is not on the floor.
Key Off-Season Additions: Luis Scola, Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson and Kendall Marshall (rookie)
Key Off-Season Losses: Steve Nash, Grant Hill and Robin Lopez
Outlook: The post-Nash era begins with some interesting additions in Scola and Beasley. While the Suns have some talent, it’s unclear how they will fit together. And without an All-Star, they will be challenged to compete.
On the Bright Side: The Suns have interesting pieces on their frontline: Beasley, Scola, Marcin Gortat, and Markieff Morris. They can pose short term problems for many teams.
Be Concerned: A lack of All-Star talent and players with questionable chemistry is not good. The Suns’ wing/guard play consists of Goran Dragic, Shannon Brown, Jared Dudley, Wesley Johnson and rookie Kendall Marshall.
Key Off-Season Additions: Thomas Robinson (rookie) and Aaron Brooks
Key Off-Season Losses: Terrence Williams
Outlook: With the talent they have, the Kings could finish 3rd but, if history is any indicator, they will finish at the bottom. On the court, the Kings have too much instability and uncertainty in DeMarcus Cousins and Tyreke Evans.
On the Bright Side: The Maloofs have yet to be able to move the Kings out of Sacramento. There is the possibility, however unlikely, that Cousins and Evans will use their talents consistently and on both ends of the floor to make their teammates better. Newcomer Thomas Robinson could stabilize the team and give fans some reason for optimism.
Be Concerned: The Maloofs would like to move the team if they can get more money elsewhere. The Kings have too many undersized guards: Isaiah Thomas, Jimmer Fredette, Marcus Thornton, and Aaron Brooks.