Anyway, it's on to the Pacific division as the previewing continues.
L.A. Lakers: At this point do the Lakers really need a preview? I mean seriously, everyone knows what's in store for this team. The biggest off-season move was bringing in Ron Artest, so myself, along with millions of other writers/analysts believe that will make Western Conference dominant Lakers only better. As much as I hate the Lakers, I'm man enough to admit they're amazing. There's your preview.
Phoenix Suns: Suns' GM Steve Kerr has made some questionable calls in recent years. He completely revolutionized the team when he fired Mike D'Antoni last summer and replaced him with Terry Porter. But the Porter experiment didn't work at all, and he didn't even last to the second half of the year. Alvin Gentry took over his duties, and while the Suns showed improvement, they were just short of the playoffs. Not to mention the powerhouse Shaquille O'Neal now resides in the state of Ohio. While I like the Earl Clark draft, I'm not ready to put the Suns in the playoffs until I see better decision making by Steve Kerr.
L.A. Clippers: The Clippers had an awful 2008-2009 and fell short of all expectations. The tides may be changing however with the #1 draft pick of Blake Griffin. Griffin has the potential to be one of the best big men in the NBA, and I think he'll improve the Clippers dramatically. If Marcus Camby can stay healthy, Baron Davis actually gives a damn, and Blake Griffin performs how I think he'll perform, the sky's the limit for LA. The chances of making the playoffs next year are slim, but the potential for the Clippers in the future (IF all works out) is endless.
Golden State Warriors: Larry Riley, Warriors GM, likes offense. He REALLY likes offense, and it shows when the Warriors put up nearly 150 points on the Suns. But it appears Riley doesn't have an interest in defense--and that's a huge problem. I LOVE the Stephon Curry draft, and it adds to the limitless offense in Oakland. But the lack of defense is a big issue for the Warriors, and it will probably keep them out of the playoffs in 2009-2010. But I fully expect an improved Warriors team, and I'm liking them as the dark horse in the West.
Sacramento Kings: The Kings were the worst team in the NBA last year, but they'll have a ton of money to spend in the summer of 2010. Unfortunately Sacramento fans, don't expect much, if anything, out of the Kings this year. In no way, shape or form, will the Kings make it past 30 wins and the playoffs are a very distant possibility. However, Kevin Martin continues to emerge as a superstar, and I really like the Tyreke Evans draft. But all in all, expect the Kings to have a very busy July 2010 and in bring much needed help to revamp the team.