The Pacific Division was the most discussed one this offseason. What will the Lakers do? Well, the made a huge trade for Anthony Davis. How will the Los Angeles Clippers respond? They added Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. What about the Sacramento Kings? They managed to keep their core together and added some veteran help. The Phoenix Suns found their PG with Ricky Rubio. So on and so forth, making for an interesting 2019-20 NBA season.
But the real questions were thrown at the Golden State Warriors. Can they keep Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson? No. Durant is now in Brooklyn and Thompson will watch most of the season from the bench. But the Warriors did add D’Angelo Russell. This will be an exciting year for the division as changes have been plentiful.
Here Is How The Pacific Division Will Play Out in the 2019-20 NBA season.
The Sacramento Kings are not loaded with household names, yet. But a closer look will reveal that De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield will be very soon. The Kings backcourt gave opponents fits last season and they’re still learning. The addition of veteran Harrison Barnes was a great one. He will add leadership, defense, and perimeter scoring.
Giving Marvin Bagley the starting nod was a wise decision the Kings will love as the season progresses. In the middle, Dewayne Dedmon is not the best of choices but the Kings had no choice after losing Willie Cauley-Stein this offseason. Are the Playoffs in their sights this season? No. The Kings will struggle for wins but the team is making the right decisions in building for the future. It just takes time.
Last season, the Phoenix Suns displayed a revolving door in their backcourt. Thanks to injuries and inconsistencies, things didn’t go as planned. This offseason, the Suns snagged PG Ricky Rubio in hopes of adding stability to a position the Suns were in desperate need of. The Suns are a young team coming off just 19 wins last season. Is this the year they should expect more?
What makes this an exciting season for the Suns is the possibility that it brings. Devin Booker is a star in making. Kelly Oubre has potential as a great two-way player and the addition of Dario Saric should not be overlooked. But the true measurement of their success will be in the paint with Deandre Ayton. If he can continue to improve, so will the Suns’ chances of success.
Golden State Warriors
What will happen to the Golden State Warriors this coming season? Kevin Durant is gone. Klay Thompson will start the year on injured reserve and their big free-agent signing just happens to play the same position as the face of their franchise. Stephen Curry and Draymond Green are still on board but the absence of Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala will put a dent in the reserve’s production.
The Warriors are still coached by Steve Kerr so that means running, more running and three-point shooting. However, the defense will need to be the true focal point with the rest of the division making upgrades to their rosters. They will put up points, but what happens when D’Angelo Russell struggles or Green can’t get his offense going?
Los Angeles Clippers
Not so fast Clippers. The Clips had a great offseason by walking away with two big names in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. But should they have done more? The Clippers will need to shore up their second unit for them to be taken as serious title contenders. Can they win it? Yes. How many had the Toronto Raptors down to walk away with the trophy last June?
As far as defense goes, the Clippers will be stingy on that end of the floor but they will need Patrick Beverley to focus just a bit more on the offensive end. Dribble penetration will be a big reason for their success as Beverley, George, and Leonard are all capable of getting to the basket with ease.
The Los Angeles Lakers get the nod here because of the Dwight Howard signing. With LeBron James and Anthony Davis leading the way, the Lakers are set for a playoff berth. However, the addition of Howard, if healthy, puts them above the Los Angeles Clippers because of what they can bring defensively and on the boards.
The X-Factors for the Lakers will be Rajon Rondo and Kyle Kuzma. If Rondo can provide defense at the point of attack and continue to find the open man, the Lakers will be tough to beat in a seven-game series. If Kuzma can accept being a third option, all should be well in Lakers’ land. While the second unit is a bit shabby, the starters mixed with a few reserves should not cause the team to fall back on their heels.