Sky Sports NBA analyst Mike Tuck previews the NBA's Pacific Division, offers his prediction for division winners, and invites you to have your say in our poll.
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Pacific Division: 2018-19 standings
- Golden State Warriors - 57-25
- LA Clippers - 48-34
- Sacramento Kings - 39-43
- Los Angeles Lakers - 37-45
- Phoenix Suns - 19-63
The Clippers have made the two best signings of the summer in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. You now have the two best two-way players in the league on the same team. I like their whole team, from the front office and the coach to the deep roster.
They made huge strides last season. The only thing they lacked was a superstar player - and they've signed two! They got to the playoffs last year and now have two guys who can take them those steps further.
In addition to the two-way toughness of Kawhi and 'PG', you have Patrick Beverley on top of that. With those three guys in the game, opposition guards aren't going to be getting many shots off. The only downside is the injury history Leonard and George both have in recent years.
The Lakers are the biggest threat to the Clippers. Anthony Davis and LeBron James could do a lot of damage. Davis is a potential MVP candidate - we've never seen him on a big stage like this with a supporting cast able to consistently feed him the ball.
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LeBron is at an age and maturity level where it isn't about him getting his 'shine' anymore. For him now, It's all about winning championships and cementing himself as a legendary player able to make other guys better.
If LeBron can stay healthy throughout the season, the Lakers will be pretty dangerous. But can the supporting cast - Rajon Rondo, Javale McGee, Kyle Kuzma - step up? The Lakers have a lot of positives going for them heading into the season but I'm not quite sold on them yet.
Up in the Bay Area, the addition of D'Angelo Russell is a great pick-up for the Warriors. He is coming off a red-hot season in Brooklyn. Can he and Stephen Curry co-exist? I don't see why not. Curry made it work with Kevin Durant who can be very ball-dominant.
With Klay Thompson out long term, Curry and Russell will have plenty of minutes together to start figuring things out. And that opportunity also makes Curry an MVP candidate.
The Warriors lost Andre Iguodala and that's a huge blow. He was a big piece for them and a leader in the locker room. That and Klay's absence will hurt them. Defensively they look a little bit below average to me.
My pick to win the Pacific? LA Clippers.