January 21, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots the ball against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second quarter at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Clippers 106-99. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

2013-14 NBA Season State Preview: California

This state has four teams in it. We got the Lakers, Clippers, Warriors, and Kings.

Lakers used to run this state, but, they’ve fallen on hard times lately. Well…last season really. The Dwight Howard thing didn’t quite work out and then Kobe went down and who knows if he’s still got anything left. This season, they’re going for one last hurrah with Kobe. I mean, this team is old. They have to blow it up soon unless they can draw in a star or make another Pau Gasol type trade. I would think they are a playoff team but it comes down to when Kobe can come back and how effective he would be when he came back. Also, while he’s gone, you have to hope that the team is not too deep in a losing hole to even make the playoffs.

Clippers were once the laughing stock of the league. Now, they are close…very close to a championship. It’s interesting because the Lakers used to run things in LA. Now that the Clippers are here, the Lakers have fallen on their face. I would’ve loved to see a great rivalry between these teams with both teams being contenders. There’s your battle for Los Angeles. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin lead the way with new coach Doc Rivers who is a great coach. They made some roster upgrades; nothing that really makes you say “Wow” but they got better. This season, they will be in a fierce battle with Warriors for the title of best team in California.

Speaking of the Warriors, I happen to really like this team’s make-up. Each position, when healthy, can take on the best. They have a great balance of offense and defense. The key acquisition is Andre Iguodala who can do anything at least pretty well. He fits in perfectly with what the Warriors are doing. As I said though, this team’s biggest issue is health. Andrew Bogut struggles to play. What about Stephen Curry’s foot/ankle?

And then we have the Kings. I would say they are the worst team of the bunch. But, with a new coach that really plans on making some atmosphere changes, one could think that they are finally heading in the right direction. If this new coach can get through to DeMarcus Cousins, then this team will be serious soon. Not this season, but soon. They have the most potential out of the teams and by the time the Warriors and Clippers get old, the Kings will be in their prime and hopefully capable of taking over the state. I’ll bet the fans miss the Chris Webber days. Sixers fans don’t.

So…who’s gonna win California? Well, cut out the Lakers and Kings and you’re left with the Clippers and Warriors. Here’s my standings:

  1. Warriors (9-3)
  2. Clippers (8-4)
  3. Lakers (4-8)
  4. Kings (2-10)

I went with the Warriors because I think that Andrew Bogut will stay on the floor. With Iguodala and Bogut, their defense will be elite and, with an already awesome offensive game led by Curry, this team will be able to take the Clippers and the rest of the state.

I should explain how I got this result because there was some calculations involved. In my Florida post, there were only two teams and there was a clear winner. I just guess the season series against each other. Remember, it’s a competition between the teams in the state. How they fare against the rest of the league barely matters. Each team plays four games against other members of the division. So, each team has 12 games against other California teams. I predict the records and they are next to the teams in my final rank. To make sure the records make sense, I will also break down the records vs each team.

Warriors vs Clippers: Tie 2-2

Warriors vs Lakers: Warriors win 3-1

Warriors vs Kings: Warriors win 4-0

Clippers vs Lakers: Clippers win 3-1

Clippers vs Kings: Clippers win 3-1

Lakers vs Kings: Tied 2-2

And there ya go. Let me know what you think. Who wins California?

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Tags: Golden State Warriors Los Angeles Clippers Los Angeles Lakers Sacramento Kings

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