The Los Angeles Clippers are the team to beat in the Pacific Division.
The team addressed their biggest need with an offensive big man that could create space. The solution? Spencer Hawes. Next, is the continued improvement of Blake Griffin‘s overall offensive approach and defensive game, another year of DeAndre Jordan‘s improving defensive fundamentals, and the next chapter for the game’s best pure point guard, Chris Paul.
In the Pacific Division, there is only one other team that compares with the sheer firepower of the Clippers: the Golden State Warriors.
While, Phoenix may intrigue some NBA observers, the Warriors could be a bump in the Clippers’ run to another division title.
Most of the threat may be from the head coaching’s offensive philosophies. Steve Kerr‘s schemes should emulate the triangle offense of Phil Jackson. If so, the Warriors may be a team with some offensive records on the season agenda.
Combine two of the best pure shooting guards in the league, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, with a veteran frontcourt of David Lee and Andrew Bogut and add the versatile defending wing, Andre Iguodala in a set offense and there should be fireworks. It’s a starting five that rivals any top team, but the results just haven’t been there in recent seasons.
The biggest issue that continue to derail the Warriors’ train is the threat of injury. Whether it was Curry’s ankle issues, Bogut’s season-ending injuries, Lee or Iguodala’s various ailments, this team was a hospital bill.
If the team shapes up and plays well in the newly transitioned offensive schemes of Kerr, there wouldn’t be a clear winner in the Pacific. Yes, the paper division champions may be the Clippers, but the Warriors should not be too far behind.
Maybe the motivation of being an underdog will help accelerate the transition for the hard-luck Warriors.
Photo Credit: Kyle Terada | USA TODAY Sports
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