2010 NBA Off Season Recap: Pacific Division

With Amare Stoudemire gone from this division it looks like it could be the biggest runaway of any division except for maybe the Atlantic. It's the Lakers then everyone else a distant second.

1. Los Angeles Lakers

C - Andrew Bynum
PF - Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, Derrick Caracter
SF - Ron Artest, Luke Walton, Devin Ebanks
SG - Kobe Bryant, Sasha Vujacic
PG - Derek Fisher, Steve Blake

The Lakers haven't really made any changes. They didn't need to. They added two guys in the second round who could make the team this year as 11th and 12th guys. They only added one player, Steve Blake, who could play 15-20 minutes. Derek Fisher is back to waste away the regular season and hit some big shots in the playoffs. If Shannon Brown is resigned then everyone who played meaningful minutes for the champs last year will be back. The key will be if the Lakers can win another championship without superstar Adam Morrison, who is on to bigger and better things.

2. Phoenix Suns

C - Robin Lopez, Channing Frye
PF - Hedo Turkoglu, Hakim Warrick, Gani Lawal, Dwayne Collins
SF - Josh Childress, Jared Dudley, Earl Clark
SG - Jason Richardson, Grant Hill
PG - Steve Nash, Goran Dragic

It's hard to figure out the Suns. For years they were cheap when spending a bit of money could have delivered them a championship, they let Amare Stoudemire go then sign a couple backup level players. Not to mention they took on a huge contract in Hedo Turkoglu. Now they have quite a few undersized, soft big men to pair with a good back court of Jason Richardson and Steve Nash. I think they are still good enough to make the playoffs as long as Nash is there, but with this collection of soft bigs I don't see them standing a chance once they get there.

3. Los Angeles Clippers

C - Chris Kaman, DeAndre Jordan
PF - Blake Griffin, Brian Cook
SF - Al-Farouq Aminu, Ryan Gomes
SG - Eric Gordon, Randy Foye, Willie Warren
PG - Baron Davis, Eric Bledsoe

Like we always seem to say about the Clippers.  They have some young pieces and could be on the verge of making the playoffs. Then someone gets hurt and they end up in the lottery again. They essentially add two rookies to the starting lineup with Blake Griffin and Al-Farouq Aminu. It will be interesting to see how Griffin comes back from missing a whole year. His game was predicated on explosiveness and leaping. Hopefully he bounces back better then Greg Oden has. Aminu has looked up and down during the Summer League, and while it's just the Summer League, the Clippers should really have tried to find someone to start at the position. The free agent well has dried up, however, and they only added a couple backup caliber players in Ryan Gomes and Randy Foye. Eric Gordon continues his nice development, and Chris Kaman puts up numbers. Also, Baron Davis is still effective when healthy.

4. Golden St. Warriors

C - Andris Biedrins, Dan Gadzuric, Ekpe Udoh
PF - David Lee, Brandan Wright
SF - Dorell Wright, Reggie Williams, Vladimir Radmanovic
SG - Monta Ellis
PG - Stephen Curry, Charlie Bell

The Warriors, always retooling and rebuilding. Good news is with new ownership aboard the Don Nelson nightmare may be over soon. Like always, the Warriors do have interesting pieces. They added David Lee, while overpaid and with inflated stats, is a good player. If Andris Biedrins can bounce back from a lost season, they have two scrappy players who can rebound the ball and score. Lee has also developed a nice mid range jump shot. Of course, the back court is what make the Warriors go. Stephen Curry was so much better then advertised last year, and Monta Ellis is a scoring machine. They drafted Ekpe Udoh a very high 6th overall, and he will probably miss half the season. I thought Greg Monroe would have been a better pick and we'll see if Udoh ever bounces back from the lost time.

5. Sacramento Kings

C - Samuel Dalembert, DeMarcus Cousins
PF - Carl Landry, Jason Thompson, Hassan Whiteside
SF - Omri Casspi, Donte Greene
SG - Francisco Garcia
PG - Tyreke Evans, Beno Udrih

While I am ranking the Kings 5th and don't think they will win more then 25 games in 2010-2011, I love their future and how they are rebuilding this team. This team is extremely young and talented, led by ROY Tyreke Evans. They added a veteran in Samuel Dalembert, but I wouldn't call him veteran leadership. Still, he fits with the Kings well, his blocked shots should start a lot of fast breaks. Carl Landry is as underrated and productive as they come, and they have a lot of young big men in Jason Thompson, Hassan Whiteside and DeMarcus Cousins. I expect Cousins to become one of the best centers in the league in the next few years. Donte Greene also continues to come on and could score around 15 ppg this year. The Kings are going to be bad this year, but they are following the Oklahoma City Thunder blueprint. With cap space and a lot of young talent, Sacramento will be back soon enough.

Jonathan Carrano

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