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Reacts: The Pacific Division is a bloodbath

The Clippers keep seeing contenders pop up right next to them.

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NBA: NOV 28 Warriors at Clippers Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NBA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged-in LA Clippers fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts. Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.

When Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson both went down with long-term injuries in the 2019 NBA Finals, there was a sense that the era of Golden State’s hegemony in the Western Conference had come to an end. The Clippers acquired both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the ensuing offseason, and their championship window was open.

Except the Pacific Division kept popping out contenders like a Whac-A-Mole. The Warriors had a down year, and the Lakers emerged to win it all in 2020. When the Lakers had injury issues in 2021, in came the Suns out of nowhere to win the conference and even take a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals.

At some point, it should be the Clippers’ turn, and it might be once Kawhi Leonard returns from his partially torn ACL. But in the interim, all three of those Pacific Division teams have eyes on the prize this year, and two of them look particularly menacing in their pursuit.

In the latest Reacts survey of NBA fans, two of the top biggest stories in the league this season are the return of Golden State and the encore performance of the Suns, who have proven that last year wasn’t a one-off.

When fans were asked which team was most likely to win the West, 64 percent picked the Warriors and 30 percent picked the Suns. Steph Curry was also chosen as the most likely MVP winner, with Chris Paul coming in fourth right behind Durant and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The road to an NBA championship is rough, and the toughest battles for the Clippers continue to be right in their own backyard.

If you’d like to vote in upcoming Reacts surveys and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.