NBA Pre-season win predictions: Western Conference, Pacific Division

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Oct 4, 2015; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Toronto Raptors fans cheer from the stands prior to the Raptors game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Clippers

Last season: 56 – 26

This season: 52 – 30

Oh no, scream all the Clippers fans, you’re downgrading our team. Yeah, from 56 wins to 52 – it’s a rough life.

This team is like the Raptors, only more so. They have been strong for several years, yet can’t get over the hump in the playoffs. Last season they had a 3-1 lead over the Houston Rockets in the West semi-finals, and couldn’t seal the deal. They had a 19-point lead with just over a quarter to play in Game 6, at home…and still lost.

The song remains the same. The Clips boast a starting five headed by Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, with serious secondary help from J.J. Redick, Paul Pierce and DeAndre Jordan, the league’s top rebounder two straight years. Their bench is fine, thank you, with Jamal Crawford providing an offensive jolt, rim protection and hustle from Cole Aldrich, Lance Stephenson, who will give them God knows what; regardless, it’s a more than solid team.

These guys will make mincemeat of most Eastern teams they face, and should be on your short list of title contenders.

Next: Speaking of title contenders....