Thursday, January 23, 2014

NBA Midseason Report: Pacific Division

1. Los Angeles Clippers 29-15
Good news: 
Blake Griffin has developed into the best Power Forward in the game and Center DeAndre Jordan has also shown significant improvements in his offensive game. And with experienced coach Doc Rivers leading the helm, the Clippers are legitimate title-contenders. 
Bad news: 
Chris Paul will still be sidelined for 4-6 more weeks, but aside from that, Los Angeles has been playing pretty well this season. 
First Half Grade: A- 

2. Golden State Warriors 26-17
Good news: 
Andre Igouldala has been a premier lockdown defender this year, and provides a defensive presence that, last year, was not felt outside of Andrew Bogut. And Harrison Barnes makes a nice 6th man. 
Bad news: 
The team is incredible offensively when streaky shooters Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are hitting shots, but can falter when both go cold. 
First Half Grade: B+

3. Phoenix Suns 24-17
Good news: 
The Suns have been surprisingly good this season, and have looked like a playoff team, led by an efficient backcourt duo of Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic, a nice perimeter player in Channing Frye, and two quality big men in Miles Plumlee and Emeka Okafor. 
Bad news: 
Bledsoe is currently out with an injury, and Phoenix has sputtered a little without him. He'll need to come back fully healthy, and soon if the Suns are to make the playoffs. 
First Half Grade: B 

4. Los Angeles Lakers 16-26
Good news: 
Uh...Center Jordan Hill has been better than expected...I guess...
Bad news: 
Pau Gasol is no longer an All-Star level player, and Kobe Bryant re-injured himself right after signing a contract that made him the highest paid player in the NBA. 
First Half Grade: C-

5. Sacramento Kings 15-25
Good news: 
Rudy Gay came from the Raptors and was expected to be an inefficient ball-hog, but he has been great for the team because he has been put with fellow-scorers Isaiah Thomas and Demarcus Cousins, which helps make the Kings...nearly relevant. 
Bad news: 
Well...the Kings have been awful as expected but not much has happened in the win/loss column that wasn't anticipated. 
First Half Grade: C- 

Pacific Division All-Team (through the first half) 
PG Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors 
SG Goran Dragic, Phoenix Suns 
SF Andre Igouldala, Golden State Warriors 
PF Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
C Demarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings 

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