After a thrilling season, the NBA is officially over for another year. So, the team at SportsTips thought it would be a good idea to go through every team in the Pacific Division, and have a look at the year that was!
Golden State Warriors
The 2021-22 season was a dream year for the Golden State Warriors as they finally got Klay Thompson back after two years away with injury and made a run at their fourth championship in the last eight years. Stephen Curry had another great season in his legendary career, breaking the all-time 3-point field goals record along the way.
The former unanimous MVP also got his first NBA Finals MVP trophy after leading the Dubs over the Boston Celtics in 6 games. Bob Meyers deserves so much credit for his roster construction of drafting guys like Jordan Poole and swinging trades like the Andrew Wiggins one.
“He’s one of the greatest players this league has ever seen.”
Stephen Curry’s 2022 NBA Finals was absolutely spectacular. pic.twitter.com/AA9OFeGnSq
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) July 4, 2022
Wiggins had a great season for the Warriors and earned himself a spot as an All-Star starter while Poole made a name for himself as a legit offensive threat in this league after spending time in the G-League. The scary part is that the Warriors are the top threat to win again with all of their main pieces still intact and performing at a high level.
They are also going to get center James Wiseman back from injury after sitting out the entire 2021-22 season. The former number 2 pick averaged over 11 points a game as a rookie in just 39 games. A repeat is very much in the cards for these guys with this foundation.
Los Angeles Clippers
The 2021-22 season was never going to be a success for the Los Angeles Clippers after the news that Kawhi Leonard’s knee injury was going to hold him out for the entire season. The former Finals MVP was their best player on both sides of the ball and the duo of him and Paul George would have been good enough to carry them to multiple series wins in the postseason.
Unfortunately, that was never able to happen and in fact the Clippers were without both for long periods of time as Paul George also went down with an injury during the season. Thanks to the leadership of head coach Tyronn Lue and a cast of scrappy players, they were still able to be competitive and sneak into the play-in tournament.
— LA Clippers (@LAClippers) July 7, 2022
In the play-in, Los Angeles lost the first game to the Minnesota Timberwolves and then were put in a do-or-die situation needing to win the next game to make the playoffs as the 8 seed. Unfortunately Paul George, who had just come back from injury, tested positive for COVID and was forced to miss the game which they lost to the New Orleans Pelicans.
For next year, the Clippers will be right back as one of the top teams in the West with their superstars back and the solid head coaching. I’m definitely buying low on their stock at the moment.
Los Angeles Lakers
After the 2021 season where the Los Angeles Lakers were put out in the first round by the Phoenix Suns, it was obvious they would make a big move in the offseason. That move turned out to be a trade for Russell Westbrook and sending away Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope.
The price was steep for Westbrook in the salty department as well, as Russ was set to make $44 million with a player option for even more the following season. It would have been worth it if he came in and made things better but unfortunately the team did not mesh well at all.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 5, 2022
Anthony Davis was also out of the lineup repeatedly for injuries and despite LeBron having one of his best scoring seasons to date, the Lakers missed the playoffs. Their 33-49 record was bad enough to get head coach Frank Vogel fired and they hired Darvin Ham to take his place.
Ham has his work cut out for him with the Lakers not making any big moves for any free agents or swiping a trade. They are hoping for a healthy season from LeBron and Anthony Davis which would be enough for them to compete as a middling playoff contender.
The Phoenix Suns had a lot to look forward to in the 2021-22 season after a run to the NBA Finals where they fell just short to the Milwaukee Bucks in 6 games. They surely did not disappoint in the following act as they won 64 games en route to the top seed in the Western Conference.
They were able to rack up so many wins because they ranked near the top of the league on both ends of the court, and the combo of Chris Paul and Devin Booker was lethal. However, the playoffs would not treat them as well this time around as they learned the hard way how hard it is to get back to an NBA Finals.
The Book cover. pic.twitter.com/itnxmaXP70
— Phoenix Suns (@Suns) July 7, 2022
They snuck by an up and coming New Orleans Pelicans team in the first round, needing 6 games to advance to the next round. In the second round, it was a meeting with Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks which would not go so well.
The Mavericks hung around and forced a Game 7 in Phoenix, which the Suns no-showed to and lost by over 30 points. The season will be looked at as a failure for many reasons but there’s a lot of positives that came out of it for the Suns.
Head coach Monty Williams was voted coach of the year and the team was legitimately one of the best teams in the league for large parts of the year. They just happened to have a few off nights at the worst time and it ultimately was the reason they fell short of expectations. This will once again be a team to watch out for in the upcoming year.
It was another tumultuous year for the Sacramento Kings that resulted in another missed postseason. That was the expectation going into the year and they did not do anything to exceed those. The bad start to the year resulted in the Kings firing head coach Luke Walton and having Alvin Gentry take over the rest of the year on an interim level.
— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) July 6, 2022
The team also traded away a lot of their young talent like Tyrese Haliburton, and Buddy Hield in exchange for former All-Star Damontas Sabonis and future draft picks. This proved that they are willing to go all-in on a future built around combo guard De’Aaron Fox who averaged over 23 points and 5 assists a game.
With the hiring of Mike Brown to be the head coach at the end of the season, it could be an interesting little squad that could sneak up on some teams if the combination of Fox and Sabonis works out perfectly. I wouldn’t bet on it though, and I’m pretty confident it will be a 17th consecutive season with no playoffs.
Even though the season has finished, we’ve got you covered with all the latest information on the NBA! We keep you as up to date as possible, so you don’t miss any of the action this off-season.