- David Troy
2022 NBA Pacific Division Sports Betting Preview
I wasn’t right about everything last year. In fact, there were some bad stretches, there were some calls that I wish I could have back. That’s how it bounces sometimes, and if it was something that really went wrong, I extended client packages free of charge. I want us to be profitable together. Still, after any tough times, we ended up over 40u for the year and I feel even better about this year having gotten my “rookie” season for BTB out of the way. Let’s crush it together.
Phoenix Suns 64 – 18 last year, 1st in division
The Suns are coming off of the most embarrassing Game 7 loss I can ever remember. On their home court, they were absolutely thrashed by the Mavericks. Aside from that game, their season was actually pretty impressive. Devin Booker continued to grow, their bench looked better, Chris Paul is seemingly ageless, and Mikal Bridges solidified himself as one of the best on-ball defenders in the game. There is one big question, though. What’s going to happen with Deandre Ayton? Did he give up on his team last year? Will the fact that the Suns basically said “Go get a contract and then we will decide about you” play into the team chemistry? Monty Williams is a great coach, but he may have his hands full here though.
Golden State Warriors 53 – 29, 2nd
Steph hoisted the trophy, finally. No, not the Championship trophy, although he raised that, too. I’m talking about the Finals MVP trophy. It was an unnecessary knock on his superb career thus far, and he now has it crossed off of his list. The Warriors are back to that Splash Brother combo, a solid squad that finds ways to win even when you think they might not. It isn’t all gold here though – without Draymond Green the Warriors really struggled for games. Not offensively, but defensively, he makes a huge difference. They get James Wiseman back, but they lost some key players from last year. They still return Jordan Poole and picked up Dante DiVincenzo, a better addition than you’d think. I also like the depth that JaMychal Green offers. The Warriors will be just fine and have a great chance to repeat.
Los Angeles Clippers 42 – 40, 3rd
You might be surprised to see that the Clippers are the favorite for the NBA championship. I personally am not, but also don’t think they are a lock to win. Kawhi Leonard is back, Paul George showed after his return that he is still a force to be reckoned with, and their team is better from mid-season trades last year. They also have John Wall coming over. Now, I’d normally say a team that has two 30+ year old players in their starting lineup that haven’t seen court action within a year is a bad combination, but I think the Clippers are going to be fine. I’m not playing over their total wins though. I also am not touching their under. I have no idea what to expect in the regular season from them. They might rest Leonard, Wall, and George so regularly that they don’t get a top-four seed. Or they may play often enough that they compete for the top spot in the West. No clue. I can just tell you they have 10 guys that can ball on their team. Their second unit might be better than some roster’s starting lineup.
Los Angeles Lakers 33 – 49, 4th
Did the Lakers get better in the offseason? Um, I’m not really sure. LeBron James got a year older and will have the focus on his scoring record break (I’ve already given out a free play on him breaking it before January 31, 2023). Anthony Davis will undoubtedly have another injury this season. Russell Westbrook is still on the team so no luck there. Basically, they got Patrick Beverley on the team. Defensively that will help. Offensively, it is one less guy that needs to have the ball. They might have the worst bench in the entire league though. Kendrick Nunn shows flashes of brilliance, Austin Reaves had one good game, Juan Toscano-Anderson is better known for a dunk competition appearance than anything, Lonnie Walker IV could be okay. It will be a struggle for the Lakers again, and I wouldn’t be shocked if they don’t make the playoffs, again.
Sacramento Kings 30 – 52, 5th
I’d love to sit here and tell you that the Kings are going to be a competent franchise but it seems like any time they do anything, it backfires on them. This could be the best roster they’ve had since the days of Chris Webber, though. I really like their team, but only time will tell if they are going to be successful together. Mike Brown is a fair coach, and I think he could implement some of the things he learned while with Golden State. Still, this will be one of the first times he has to win without a superstar, can he do it? De’Aaron Fox needs to make fewer mistakes and play defense, Kevin Huerter is a nice addition and good shooter, Harrison Barnes is a good veteran but not a guy that scares on either side of the court, Keegan Murray is a nice look for Rookie of the Year, and Domantas Sabonis is a really good player. That’s their starting lineup. If they can’t win with that and Davion Mitchell and Malik Monk off the bench, I’m not sure winning will happen in Sacramento. They went 10-16 after the Sabonis trade last year, so it wasn’t like the team was in a big turnaround after, but they did at least look better.