Much has been made of the level of competition which the Lake Show has faced thus far this season. With the schedule ramping up, the number of teams above .500 will only increase starting tonight against Utah. But you can’t blame the schedule makers alone. After all, how did they know the Pacific Division would be as bad as it is?
As it stands right now, the Lakers are the only team above .500 in the Pacific. Holding an 11 game lead over the second place Suns about sums it up. That and the fact that 4 of the 7 teams with losing records in the Western Conference play in the Pacific. With Phoenix falling faster than Jay Cutler’s popularity it would appear that narrow window in the desert is all but closed.
The team on the rise and new ESPN highlight darling L.A. Clippers are a full 14 games behind the Lake Show and are still 9 games under .500 despite some much improved play. Propping up the Pacific are those lowly Sacramento Queens with just 10 wins so far.
Despite all the woe in the Pacific, the Lakers have still managed to lose to both the Suns and Clippers already with the Clipps nearly beating them twice. Needless to say, winning the division should not be a problem. It would be among the all-time greatest meltdowns in sports history if the Lakers aren’t champions of the Pacific by season’s end. Not exactly a stiff test for playoff prep. Thus it becomes vitally important that Phil Jackson gets his team to take advantage of their primary competition. While the distinction of worst division in the NBA still belongs to the Central in the East, it is the Pathetic Pacific that wears the crown in the West.