The Pacific Division has the best team in the NBA with the Golden State Warriors and the biggest star in the game with LeBron James. The Warriors are heavy favorites to win the Pacific division and win another NBA title, but can LeBron James turn around the L.A. Lakers fast enough to actually contend with the dominant Warriors?

LeBron James
LeBron James leads the upstart Lakers in the Pacific (Image: Getty)

Golden State Warriors

Last Season: 58-24 (No. 2 Seed)
Projected Record: 62-20
Odds to Win Championship: 1/2
Odds to Win Pacific: 1/15

The Warriors stormed back from a 3-2 deficit to beat the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Championship, then went on to sweep the Cleveland Cavs and LeBron James in the NBA Finals.

The Golden State Warriors are the favorite to win the NBA championship for a third year in a row and for the fourth time in five seasons. Warriors trying to be the first team to three-peat since the Lakers from 2000-2002.

The Big 3 Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson are in their prime. Only severe injuries will be their downfall.

The Warriors added Boogie Cousins in the off season. Boogie will be sidelined for the first half of the season while recovering from Achilles surgery.

Projected Starters: Stephen Curry (PG), Klay Thompson (SG), Kevin Durant (SF), Draymond Green (PF), Boogie Cousins (C)

LA Lakers

Last Season: 35-47
Projected Record: 48-34
Odds to Win Championship: 12/1
Odds to Win Pacific: 9/1

Does LeBron James (34 in December) have enough gas in the tank to lead the Lakers back to the Promised Land? The Lakers have a supporting cast of young players and veterans (JaVale McGee and Michael Beasley) this season. Most of the gossip this season will be which big-time star signs with the Lakers next summer.

Josh Hart was the MVP of the NBA Summer League for the Lakers and expected to flourish under LeBron’s tutelage.

LeBron has his hands full turning around a team that only won 35 games last year. When LeBron returned to Cleveland, the Cavs jumped from 35 to 55 wins in one season. The Lakers with 55 wins seem impossible. LeBron can push the Lakers to be better than a .500 club, but they still have a long way to go to be a legit contender in the West.

Projected Starters: Rajon Rondo (PG), Josh Hart (PG), LeBron James (SF), Brandon Ingram (PF), JaVale McGee (C)

LA Clippers

Last Season: 42-40
Projected Record: 37-35
Odds to Win Championship: 300/1
Odds to Win Pacific: 33/1

The Clippers are back to being the #2 team in Los Angeles with LeBron joining the Lakers.

Doc Rivers led the Clippers to 42 wins last year, but they bubbled the playoffs. The Clippers lack a true superstar and have a roster loaded with supporting talent like Tobias Harris, who was acquired in the Blake Griffin trade.

Patrick Beverly is one of the top defenders in the league and he’ll be tasked with stopping opposing gunslingers like James Harden and Klay Thompson.

Projected Starters: Patrick Beverley (PG), Avery Bradley (SG), Danilo Gaillinari (SF), Tobias Harris (PF), Marcin Gortat (C)

Phoenix Suns

Last Season: 21-61
Projected Record: 29-53
Odds to Win Championship: 500/1
Odds to Win Pacific: 100/1

The Phoenix Suns were one of the worst teams in the NBA last year. The Suns landed the top draft pick with Deandre Ayton.

The Suns are a young team that has the next Shaq/Kobe tandem on the horizon with Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker. Plus, there’s some raw talent with Josh Jackson and TJ Warren.

Igor Kokoskov won the Euro League finals, but this is his first head coaching job in the NBA. The Suns hope Coach K can establish a winning attitude and help develop a core group of young players.

The Suns won only 21 games last year and a league worst home record at 10-31. Things can only get better, right?

Projected Starters: Elie Okobo (PG), Devin Booker (SG), TJ Warren (SF), Ryan Anderson (PF), Deandre Ayton (C)

Sacramento Kings

Last Season: 27-55
Projected Record: 26-56
Odds to Win Championship: 1000/1
Odds to Win Pacific: 100/1

It’s tough to play for the Sacramento Kings when there’s rumors the team will be moved to parts unknown. Where will the Kings play next season? Anaheim? San Diego? Seattle? Las Vegas?

In a high-scoring league, the Kings were the lowest scoring team averaging 98.8 ppg.

The Kings are the youngest team in the NBA with four out of five starters 25-years old and younger. The Kings are loaded with young, but unpolished talent. Some of the other youngsters include Marvin Bagely, Harry Giles, Buddy Hield, and Frank Mason.

Zebo will be the Yoda in the locker room to a team of Luke Skywalkers.

Projected Starters: De’Aaron Fox (PG), Buddy Hield (SG), Bogdan Bogdanovic (SF), Zach Randolph (PF), Willie Cauley-Stein (C)

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