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Pacific Division Roundup: 10/23-10/29

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Los Angeles Clippers: 4-1

The Clippers had match-ups with the Jazz, Trail Blazers, and Pistons this week, going 2-1 against them. On Tuesday, they faced off against the Jazz, in a rematch of last year’s First Round 7-game series. The rosters were a little different than last April, with Chris Paul and Gordon Hayward no longer on their respective teams. The Clippers managed to pull out a win easily, winning 102-84. On Thursday, the Clippers played at Portland in a really fun and intense game versus the Trail Blazers. Both teams were going back and forth in an intense fourth quarter, with Blake Griffin hitting a game winning three-pointer at the buzzer to keep the Clippers undefeated. Their undefeated record didn’t last long, however, as the Clippers dropped a home game against the Detroit Pistons, losing 95-87. The Clippers gave the ball away 19 times and struggled to put up points in the 4th quarter. So far, the Clippers have looked good during this young season, winning games against some very talented, young squads. This upcoming week, they will continue their five-game home stand against the Warriors, Mavericks, Grizzlies, and Heat.

 

Golden State Warriors: 4-3

The Warriors might be the best team in the league, but the defending champs have a lot of work to do in order to go back-to-back in June. The Warriors concluded their 3-game road trip with a 133-103 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, bouncing back from Steph Curry’s mouthguard throwing game against the Grizzlies. The Dubs returned home for a three-game home stand against Toronto, Washington, and Detroit. In all three games, the Warriors found themselves playing lazy basketball and not playing well defensively. These bad habits led to double-digit deficits in all three games. However, during the fourth quarter against Toronto and Washington, the Warriors seemed to start caring about the games, easily erasing the deficits and coming back for nail-biting wins. Against Detroit, the Warriors were up by double digits for a majority of the first half. However, a lousy third quarter showcasing the most lackadaisical passes made the Warriors find themselves down ten late in the fourth. The Warriors made one last push, however untimely turnovers and clutch shooting from Detroit helped the Pistons walk out of Oracle Arena with a 115-107 victory. The Warriors have a tough three-game road trip coming up, starting with a matchup against the LA Clippers on Monday, followed by the Spurs on Thursday, and the Denver Nuggets on Saturday.

 

Los Angeles Lakers: 2-4

The Lakers had a rough time at the office this week. It started off well, with John Wall vowing to show rookie Lonzo Ball “no mercy”, only to have Ball and the Lakers come back and steal a win against Washington. However, after that, the week went downhill. The Lakers played the Raptors on Friday in a close game, losing 101-92. The Lakers had a lead early in the game, but the Raptors managed to pull away late and walk out of Staples with a W. On Saturday, the Lakers traveled to Utah for a one game road-trip against the Jazz. In a battle between two promising rookies, Donovan Mitchell got the upper hand over Lonzo Ball, with Mitchell dropping a career-high 22 points. The Lakers managed to make the game interesting late in the fourth, but it was too little too late. They have shown promise during this young season, especially with Lonzo’s ability to run the team in the fastbreak. However, they need to learn how to play defense for a full 48 minutes and play with pace and precision before they can make LaVar Ball’s claim of the playoffs come to fruition. This week, the Lakers return to Staples to play the Pistons on Tuesday, then travel to Portland on Thursday, and return back home for games against Brooklyn and Memphis on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

 

Phoenix Suns: 2-4

New coach, new motivation? It sure looks like it for the Phoenix Suns. Following their atrocious opening week, the Suns fired Head Coach Earl Watson and Eric Bledsoe requested a trade. The Suns named Jay Triano as their Interim Head Coach and shut down Bledsoe, and managed to go 2-1 this week. They played beat the Sacramento Kings 117-115, beat the Utah Jazz 97-88, and lost to a talented Portland Trail Blazers squad 114-107. Devin Booker closed out his career as a pre-21 year old with a 34 point performance against Portland. If this guy played so well as a kid among grown men, how well will he play now that he’s a legal adult? Only time will tell. The Suns continue their 5-game road trip this week with games at Brooklyn, Washington, New York, and San Antonio.

 

Sacramento Kings: 1-5

It was a rough week for Kings fans. The Kings played a close game against the Suns, losing 117-115 on Monday night. Then, Thursday night, DeMarcus Cousins returned to Sacramento for a clash against his former team. The Kings got off to a fast start and led for most of the game, only to have their beloved Boogie steal the game from them, dropping 41 points and grabbing 23 rebounds against his former team. The Kings lost 114-106. Then, on Sunday, the Kings closed out their week by getting trounced by John Wall and the Washington Wizards, 110-83. The talent is there on this Kings team, as they have a lot of young players who need time to develop. This upcoming week, the Kings will begin a three-game road trip against Indiana, Boston, and Detroit.

About Gautam Ratnam

Writer/Editor for NBALEAD. Born and raised in the Bay. #Dubnation. Twitter: @gautam_ratnam

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