This will be the first installment in the "I know what we did, how about the rest of the west?" series. I will be covering the key addition and subtraction of the rest of the west and provide a brief analysis. First, we are starting with the Pacific and the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers. I'll be right back as I'm going to go puke real fast after typing that sentence.
Los Angeles Lakers
Current Laker Roster: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/teams/roster?team=lal
Key Additions: Steve Blake
Key Subtractions: Jordan Farmer
Projected Line up: PG-Fisher SG-Bryant SF-Artest PF-Gasol C-Bynum
Analysis: The Lakers lose a tough front line defender off the Bench in Farmar in favor of Steve Blake AKA Suns Master Pwner. Blake will bring consistent three point shooting (39.3% for his career) and be able to distribute the ball more than Farmar. (4.8 APG For Blake 1.8 for Farmar). I also think Blake may eventually become the Lakers starting point guard in favor of Derek Fisher who can't buy a shot unless it's in the playoffs. All in all, I think this move may be bigger than people expect as it will spread the floor out more for the Lakers. So, pretty much The Lakers are still going to be the Lakers and that sucks for the rest of us.
Current Clipper Roster: http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/teams/lac/roster
Key Additions: Blake Griffin (Injury), Ryan Gomes, Randy Foye, Eric Bledsoe, Brian Cook (LOL, JK)
Key Subtractions: Steve Blake, Travis Outlaw
Projected Line up: PG-Davis SG-Gordon SF-Butler PF-Griffin C-Kaman
Analysis: Originally considered to be a key player in this years Free Agent Frenzy the Clippers chose the conservative route. No, they didn't get Lebron James but they did add two really solid players in Randy Foye and Ryan Gomes. Ryan Gomes is a versatile player who can play 2-4. He is basically like Travis Outlaw plus forty pounds and some serious defense. He will add some much needed depth and toughness to this team. Randy Foye is an explosive scorer off the bench who can be your primary ball handler or be a very effective shooting guard, Think Barbosa. Through the draft The Clips got their guy in Eric Bledsoe. He's the Clippers version of Earl Clark in a point guards body. He could either contribute right away with his speed and quick first step or warm the bench all year. The Biggest addition will be last years overall first pick in Blake Griffin who missed all of last year due to injury. All reports on his recovery are great and he will be expected to be their starting PF. Along with Kaman he will be a terror on the glass and a match up nightmare for any team. This is my pick for the surprise team of 2010. At the very least their line up and rebounding will cause headaches for Suns fan. I would not be surprised to see this team make the playoffs next year. The biggest question will be whether or not Baron Davis is going to show up and be this team's superstar like he is capable of.
Current Roster: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/teams/roster?team=sac
Key Additions: Samuel Dalembert, Demarcus Cousins
Key Subtractions: Spencer Hawes, Andres Nocioni
Projected Line up: PG-Evans SG-Garcia SF-Casspi PF-Landry C-Dalembert
Analysis: This team is young and exciting. While, they did lose Nocinoi who is a nice all around guy there is a lot of confidence that Omri Casspi and Donte Greene will be an exciting tandum at the three. In a move that suprised a few people, the Kings sent Spencer Hawes along with Nocioni to the Sixers for Samuel Dalembert in return. What they lose in Hawes is a center who can shoot it from anywhere on the court and is a decent rebounder. What they gain in Dalembert is a big, tall athletic center who rebounds like it is nobodies business and plays tremendous post defense. He is also a guy you don't have to run plays for because he gets them all on second chance points. I feel this is another team who with Dalembert and their young talent will improve a lot from last year. They perhaps wont contend this year but they are not far off.
Golden State Warriors
Current Roster: http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/teams/roster?team=gsw
Key Additions: David Lee, Charlie Bell, Dan Gadzuric, Dorell Wright
Key Subtractions: Corey Maggette, Ronny Turiaf, Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike
Projected line up: PG-Curry SG-Ellis SF- Wright PF-Lee C-Biedrins
Analysis: With Anthony Morrow going to New Jersey and CJ Waston still being a RFA there are still some holes on this roster. The Warriors seemingly blew up last years roster and traded away some talented guys in favor of more stable veterans in guys like Charlie Bell and Dan Gadzuric. I thought bringing in David Lee was a smart move despite giving up Randolph, Azubuike and a scrapster in Ronny Turiaf for him. Lee will have the same if not better numbers as last year and his defensive defencies will be covered up by Biedrins and his 1998 Gelled Spikey hair look. While Mr. Maggette has all of the talent in the world, he has a poor work ethic and has caused some grumblings in every club house he has been. I think with his departure it will allow more touches for Stephen Curry which is always a good thing. Dorrell Wright will bring solid defense and athleticism at the three spot and will fit well into Nellie's chaotic small ball offense. Overall, I don't think this team isn't a playoff team but I believe they will be a lot better than last years version. I LITERALLY CAN'T WAIT to see The Warriors and Suns play this year. I wouldn't be surprised to see these teams each having 140 points in the fourth quarter.
So, all in all this division has improved, especially the non-playoff teams. Unfortunately, the Lakers are still going to be the Lakers and we still can't rebound. Overall, this will be a fun division to watch and I'm quite looking forward too it. I see a nice comfy second place Pacific finish for us this year.
1. LA Lakers
2. Phoenix Suns
3. LA Clippers
4. Golden State Warriors
5. Sacramento Kings
What do you guys think about this years transaction by the Pacific? Am I absolutely insane for using Playoffs and Clippers in the same sentence?
By the way, Andris Biedrins managed to PULL THIS OFF!!!!!!!!!!!