With the NBA season around the corner, the Pacific Division could be the most competitive in the entire league. From top to bottom, each team in the Pacific brings a unique playing style and lots of talent.
Obviously, the Golden State Warriors are the class of the division off of a title run. However, the Los Angeles Clippers are coming off a playoff run where they were one game away from the Western Conference Finals.
The Phoenix Suns were one of the best teams to not make the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Sacramento Kings own just enough erratic talent for a boom or bust condidacy in the 2015-16 season. Plus, the Los Angeles Lakers feature Kobe Bryant and some high draft picks from the past two draft classes.
This year should be an interesting year in the Pacific division, as there is lots of talent.
But what if the five best players from the Pacific were on the same team? Who would be the starting five for the 2015-16 All-Pacific First Team?
Point Guard: Steph Curry, Golden State
The 2014-15 MVP should continue lighting up defenses with a quick release. Curry will also benefit from adding Steve Nash to the coaching staff. He also benefits from having a stellar team around him and a head coach who tailors the offense for him. ÃÂ Plus, Curry gets the nod for winning the big game faster than Chris Paul ever did.
Runner-up: Chris Paul, Los Angeles
Shooting Guard: Kobe Bryant, Lakers
It does not matter if Bryant missed more shots than he made last season. It does not matter that he missed more games than he played in the last two seasons. Bryant is the best competitor across sports, and he deserves the benefit of the doubt. Maybe Klay Thompson will be here in a year or two, but Bryant is rested for a rejuvenated year.
Runner-up: Klay Thompson, Golden State
Small Forward: Rudy Gay, Sacramento
It might seem logical that 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala holds this spot. However, Iguodala might not even be the best small forward on his team. He will probably come off the bench again. Gay gets the nod because he improved his field goal percentage a year ago. Gay should continue growing his game with another summer of USA Basketball put behind him.
Runner-up: Andre Iguodala, Golden State
Power Forward: Blake Griffin, Los Angeles
Griffin averaged more than 20 points and 8 rebounds last season. More impressively, he added 5 assists per game. Not many people put up Griffin’s stat line, nor do they play with Griffin’s grace and explosiveness. Griffin will continue improving his defense and jump shot in 2015. He could become the best power forward in the entire league.
Runner-up: Markieff Morris, Phoenix (If he stays in division)
Center: DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento
Cousins is one of the best post players in the entire league. He finishes well around the rim and provides shooting range. He missed a chunk of last season with a weird injury and it cost his team a lot of games. This could be the year he finally leads the Kings to a playoff game.
Runner-up: DeAndre Jordan, Los Angeles
Overall, the Pacific Division holds enough talent to have its own All-Star game. It is difficult limiting it to only five players, but these guys will have the best 2015-16 year in the Pacific Division.
What is your All-Pacific team? Tell us by tweeting @Petecertified or @Sportswest1.