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Pacific Division Roundup: Week of 10/16-10/22

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Los Angeles Clippers: 2-0

The Los Angeles Clippers opened up the regular season with two commanding victories over Pacific Division foes. In their “road” opener, the Clippers took on heralded rookie Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers. Blake Griffin has been playing sensationally, averaging 29 PPG and 10 RPG through the young season. The Clippers also defeated the lowly Phoenix Suns by 42 points on Saturday night. The young season hasn’t been perfect for the Clippers, as they lost their rookie playmaker Milos Teodosic to a plantar fascia injury in his left foot. He will be sidelined indefinitely. This is an enormous blow to the new-look Clippers, as Teodosic showcased superior court vision and the ability to shoot from beyond the arc. The Clippers will face Utah on Tuesday night, then travel to Portland, and come back home to play Detroit this week.

 

Golden State Warriors: 1-2

This may come as a surprise to many people, but the Warriors are not going to go 82-0 this season. Not even 81-1. Jokes aside, the Warriors have come out the gate slowly, blowing a double-digit lead to the Rockets on opening night, and falling behind by over 20 to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. Even in their win against the Pelicans, the Warriors had to rely on a gigantic comeback in the second half to pull away. Everyone within the organization seems to be suffering from the championship hangover. Stephen Curry may also be sidelined for a couple games, as his mouthguard throwing antics may result in a suspension from the NBA. The champs are favorites to repeat this year, but the team has to get on the same page for there to be any chance of that happening. The Warriors conclude their three-game road trip against the Mavericks and then return home to play Toronto, Washington, and Detroit. Klay Thompson has pledged $1,000 per point for the Northern California fire victims during these three home games, so expect Klay to get buckets this week.

 

Sacramento Kings: 1-2

The Kings have performed as per expectations in the first week of the season. They narrowly lost to the Rockets, beat the Mavericks, and got blown out by a solid Nuggets squad. The young Kings have shown a lot of promise, with De’Aaron Fox tallying 18 points in the loss against Denver. As the Kings continue to rack up games with their young core, they should be able to see a lot of progress from Fox and Justin Jackson, the rookie from UNC. Another key moment in the Kings’ week was their hiring of Jenny Boucek as an assistant player development coach. Boucek is the second active female coach in the NBA, along with Becky Hammon from the San Antonio Spurs. The Kings travel to Phoenix to conclude their road trip and will come home to play New Orleans and Washington this upcoming week. Look forward to the New Orleans game, as it is DeMarcus Cousins’ return to Sacramento.

 

Los Angeles Lakers: 1-2

The Lonzo Ball era has kicked off in Los Angeles. The rookie phenom had a subpar debut against the Clippers, tallying 3 points and 9 rebounds, but bounced back in a big way against the Phoenix Suns. Ball scored 29 points while picking up 11 rebounds and dishing out 9 assists. He proved that the Lakers will go as far as Ball takes them, as his ability to move the ball and initiate the offense was evident on the court. The Lakers also lost a nail-biter to the Pelicans on Sunday night, storming back from a 20-point deficit, but falling just short. The Lakers have home games versus Washington and Toronto and travel to Utah for a one-game road trip this upcoming week.

 

Phoenix Suns: 0-3

The Suns have had a terrible week on and off the court. They were demolished by 48 points on opening night against the Portland Trail Blazers, an NBA record for worst opening night loss. Then, they were narrowly beaten by Lonzo Ball and the Lakers, 132-130, nearly giving up a triple-double to the Lakers star rookie. Finally, they were thrashed by 42 points by the LA Clippers. All of these losses resulted in the Suns firing Head Coach Earl Watson and sending the franchise back to square one. Oh yeah, and Eric Bledsoe wants out of town too. Everything seems to be sunny in Arizona right now. The Suns will have two home games against Sacramento and Utah, followed by a road game versus Portland this week.

 

About Gautam Ratnam

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

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