Saturday, October 25, 2008

Irish Warriors Western Conference Preview

Apologies for the delay in comipiling this but without further ado here goes my perdictions for the Western Conference. Like the Eastern Conference the teams listed are in no order. Here we go

LA Lakers I said this list was in no order but regardless the Lakers shouldn't have any trouble negotiating their way throug the Western Conference baring injuries of course. Whether they can win the whole thing is also another blog post for another day but Gasol, Bynum and Odom being the most feared frontcourt it's their conference to lose

V the Warriors in 07-08 2-2. In what was the most heart inducing game for the Warriors this year they ground out a first win at the Staples Center for several years before being robbed the following night on a Fisher flopping no call. Yet despite the 2-2 record it was quite easy to see how the Lakers finished 10 wins above the Warriors

V the Warriors in 08-09 The Warriors travel to LA on the 28th of December before hosting them on the 7th of January and 7 of February beofre heading back there on the 17th of March.

Laker connections Ronny Turiaf is the most obvious. The question on every fans lips is can he do what Croshere was suppossed to do last year let our starters get some rest and make sure we don't get destroyed on the boards. Here's hoping

Phoenix Suns Seems a bit rich people are perdicting the Suns demise this year. Granted I don't see them coming close to winning a Playoff series but their talent means a postseason appearance should be thirs

V the Suns in 07-08 2-2. Getting Shaq in was one of the few benefits last year for the Suns when playing teams like the Warriors as it finally meant they had a defensive pressence in the lane to stop the Fastbreak.

V the Warriors in 08-09 It's not until February that this series kicks off with a game back to back before hosting the suns on March 15th. Then Bizarely rumours are abound that because the US Airways Center is in use during April 15th the Warriors will travel to the Staples Center for the last game of the season

Suns connections Matt Barnes is the obvious one here as well. Here's hoping that the likeable Barnes manages to have the type of season he did with Phoenix as he did in his first season with the Warriors. Just don't get too many points against us.

Sacramento Kings The Kings despite the roster they had won 38 games last season but have suffered form a bad offseason save for resigning Udrih and drafting Jason Thompson. Reggie Theus is a decent coach able to get the best out of the Kings but nevertheless expect struggles in Cowebell town.

V the Warriors in 07-08 3-1. The loss in Sacramento where the Kings had their way insdide reminded the Warriors at that time that a trade was neede to improve in this area someone like Ron Artest. Nothing happenned

V the Warriors in 08-09 Travel to the Kings on 11/9 and 5/4 hosting them on 14/1 and April Fools day.

Kings connections No direct comparassions but as always one of the most underrated aspects of Theus's career is not the job he did in New Mexico State leading them to the big dance but the role he played as a High School Basketball coach in the TV Series. Hangtime Back then it was one of the many children shows that was compulsive viewing

LA Clippers Back in July when the Clippers splashed out on Baron Davis life felt good for the Clippers minority. For the first time since 2006 they were relevant and a Davis and Brand combo would put them back in the spotlight. Then Brand or David Faulk backstabbed them but Marcus Camby is still an upgrade. Eric Gordon the kid from Spacejam and Ricky Davis means this team will be fun to watch but not a playoff contender

V the Warriors in 07-08 3-1. The Clippers were one of the few bad Western teams the Warriors beat handily.

V the Warriors in 08-09 The much anticapted Baron return doesn't come until the 25th of January but before that Maggette makes his return to LA land on 11/15 and 23/2. We then get a second look at Baron in the Oracle on St Patricks Day.

Clippers connections Will the Warriors regret going after Maggette as a consolation prize for not getting Brand. Credit to Mullin for trying hard to get Brand but going after Maggette and not saving that money for the much vaunted class of 2010. In between this no matter how many nights he took off when you look at the PG list of the Warriors right now they sure could use Baron Davis

Dallas Mavericks The bewildering Jason Kidd left many head scraching and at times it's difficult to see how this Mavericks team transformed from a group of young hungry players who were a dodgy call away from winning the 06 NBA finals to an expensive, old and not-so-deep squad

V the Warriors in 07-08 3-1. Granted one of the losses we missed Jackson but unlike when they rose to the occassion in May the Warriors underperformed against their Texas counterparts

V the Warriors in 08-09 The Warriors head to Dallas on the 28/1 and 25/3 before hosting Dallas and 13/4 ironically the unluckliest day of the year.

Mavericks connections Numerous but the most obvious is Don Nelson who coached here for six years and made the Mavs the power they are today. Many people forget he was one Dirk injury from reaching the NBA Finals in 2005. Avery Johnson the recently canned Dallas coach also played Point here. And who can forget the nine player trade in 2003 that saw Antawn Jamison Danny Fortson Chris Mills and Jiri Welsch traded for Van Exel, Evan Eschmeyer, Avery Johnson plus forwards Popeye Jones and Antoine Rigaudeau.

Houston Rockets Now that Ron Artest has been added to the Rockets already formiddable Frontcourt the question is will the Rockets challenge for an NBA title. The Artest addition means the Rockets will be hard to score against almost every night but unless T-Mac and Yao play all 82 games which is doubtful it's hard to see the Rockets challenging. Defintelly a team to watch though

V the Warriors in 07-08 2-2. The last two Houston wins were plucky but then again Adelamn because of the 21 game winning streak has an arguement about being robbed of Coach of the year.

V the Warriors in 08-09 5/12 in Houston, 12/12 in Oakland, 31/1 in Houston and then 10/4 in Oakland.

Rockets connections Rick Adelman. Coached for two seasons and overacheived with the roster we had before being fired. Generally considered a players coach (sure doesn't look like one) Adelman should get a lot out of this roster

San Antonio Spurs After surronding their Western conference crown to the Lakers last season anyone would write them off only for the Spurs to prove them wrong. Yet in an offseason when nothing happened on their roster I think it;s fair to say they deserve to be written off

V the Warriors in 07-08 2-1. Traditionally one of the teams the Warriors are suppossed to lose to didn't happen. Just don't say it loudly that Duncan was out in the 1st encounter

V the Warriors in 08-09 San Antonio host the Warriors on 6/12 and 24 24/3 while the Warriors host the Spurs on 2/2 and 13/4

Spurs connectionsYou wouldn't know it but Popovich and Don Nelson are close friends both conviently owning Castle Rock Winery in the Nappa valley

New Orleans Hornets The addition of Posey means that in this ridicously competive Western Conference the Hornets are well placed to advance as deep as they did last year. Are they well placed to beat the Lakers is a question that will be left unanswered for the time being

V the Warriors in 07-08 2-1 Maybe it was because Chris Paul played like an MVP candidate every time but the Hornets owned the Warriors. The Warriors never played great on the road against fellow Conference teams the main reason for the Hornets easy wins

V the Warriors in 08-09 In just four days the Warriors face off against the Hornets on opening night and we get to see how Demarcus Nelson the rookie senation fares against Paul and long after that Monta faces ofdf against him on the 3/4. New Orelans host the Warriors. New Orleans then host the Warriors on ESPN 1/30 and 22/3.

Hornets connections Needless to say the Baron Davis for Speedy Claxton trade was a perfect example of Mullin giving away so little for so much though fans have wondered would we have been better off tanking for Chris Paul.

Memphis Grizzlies Put this team down as garbage. OJ Mayo will be like Kevin Durrant get a lot of points but have a bad shooting percentage.

V the Warriors in 07-08 0-4

V the Warriors in 08-09 Can the Warriors not play the Grizzlies four times in a row just to boost their early win season toal. No?. Okay well they go to Memphis on 11/4 one of the earlier road games and host 11/7 and 30/3.

Grizzlies connections The dubs were just one pick away from landing RudyGay one of the few reasons to watch Memphis this season. Taking POB the pick after well call it misfortune

Oklahoma City Thunder The Thunder's ownership must have trouble looking at themselves in the mirror every morning after taking away the Sonics from one of the best Basketball towns you'll ever see. That said the players,fans and coaches don't deserve any flak for this and they could well surprise a few people in their unfamiliar surrondings

V the Warriors in 07-08 0-4 The Thunder always made it interesting, but the Warriors were able to hold them off in all four contests.

V the Warriors in 08-09 Warriors go to Oaklahoma on the 8/12 and 31/12 and then it goes to the Oracle on 21/1 and 21/2.

Thunder connections In what was a blkatant attempt at copying our mascot the Sonics (sorry Thunder ) stole our mascots name and used it to call it their NBA Franchise. Bad going guys

Denver Nuggets The Nuggets have had to deal with losing two of their best transition Defensive players Najera and Camby and the jury is still massively out on whether they return to a 6th consecutive postseason

V the Warriors in 07-08 3-1. The April game which literally decided who would make the playoffs was a case of crowd rising to the occassion but unforunately the players didn't with the Nuggets putting a rare decent Defensive performance

V the Nuggets in 08-09 At Golden State on 11/5, in Denver 12/13 and 3/28.

Nuggets connections Does style of play count?. Both teams love to run and gun without realising that in todays day and age that gets you nowhere.

Utah Jazz Same old year same old Jazz this meaning they will repeat last years performance of another Division title but another second round playoff loss.

V the Warriors in 07-08 3-0 the only Western Conference team to sweep the Warriors. Put it simply expect another sweep this year.

V the Warriors in 09-09 The Dubs visit Utah on 5/1 and 11/4 while hosting the Jazz on 2/8 and 3/3.

Jazz connections Nothing

Portland Trailblazers Because of their draft moves and some wise free agency spending I will state the obvious. Portland is going to really good this season and will likely surpass the Warriors.

V the Warriors in 07-08 Both teams winning convincinngly at home with Steve Blake the Warriors killer exploding for a ridiculous 20 points. This season expect a reverse in Portlands favour

V the Warriors in 08-09 In Oakland 18/11 and 12/2 and Portland 10/1

Trailblazers connections Ike Diogu one of the numerous Warriors first dround draft picks is now a reserve here

Minnesota Timberwolves Luckily for the Warriors , Kevin McHale has proven to be one of the more inept GMs in the NBA over the years. But I actually like the moves he made this summer, including trading O.J. Mayo for Kevin Love and Mike Miller. The Wolves remain far from decent however.

V the Warriors in 07-08 1-3 One of the most painful losses in last seasons campaign was a one point memorial day loss as the T-Wolves rode a Ryan Gomes 35 point game to win only their 3rd game on the road that year.

V the Warriors in 08-09 11/11 in Oakland, 2/1 in Minnesota, 3/3 in Minnesota and 8/4 in Oakland

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