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A (Dubious) Pacific Division Preview

TZ over at fellow SBNation Blog Sactown Royalty was kind enough to wish us at ClipsNation a warm welcome this week.  Unfortunately, he also authored a questionable Pacific Division overview for The Big Lead the day before.

We can all agree that if Amare is anything like Amare, Phoenix will win the division.  Fine.  Sacramento second?  OK, we'll allow a little homerism from a fellow blogger.  Goodness knows it's going to happen here at CN plenty. But the Lakers third?  If there's ANYTHING a Kings blogger and a Clippers blogger can agree on, it's that we both HATE the Lakers, right?  

But, assuming we leave the baggage at the door, and rank the teams objectively, how can anyone predict that the Lakers (or the Kings for that matter) will finish ahead of the Clippers this season?  It's difficult not to feel that the Lakers overachieved last season, and that the Phil zen magic will wear thin soon.  And the Kings lost a starter and replaced him with John Salmons.  Meanwhile, the Clippers young, deep, talented squad only figures to be better this year as Kaman and Livingston continue to improve.  The Clippers were second in the Division last year, and I sure don't see ANYTHING that the Kings or Lakers did in the off-season to imply that they will pass them.

It is interesting that the Pacific Division is easily the best represented at SBNation.  Should make for some lively debate.