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2016-17 NBA Over/Under Wins

Updated on October 26, 2016

NBA over-under season-long bets are a fun notion in the preseason but once the action gets under way the betters are at the mercy of a multitude of factors. Last season the east won 608 games while the west won 622. Eastern conference teams showed a marked improvement though, especially the playoff contenders at the bottom half of the bracket who were more competitive than their western conference equivalents. The cream still rises in the west but it sets up nicely in the east for Cleveland to pounce on whoever survives the western summit. It will undoubtedly be Golden State versus the Cavs in the end, but it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the journey, plus there will be plenty to gawk at along the way.

 
 
 
 
2016-2017 OVER/UNDER WIN TOTAL*
2015-2016 RECORD
ATLANTA HAWKS
43.5
48-34
BOSTON CELTICS
52.5
48-34
BROOKLYN NETS
20.5
21-61
CHARLOTTE HORNETS
42.5
48-34
CHICAGO BULLS
38.5
42-40
CLEVELAND CAVALIERS
56.5
57-25
DALLAS MAVERICKS
38.5
42-40
DENVER NUGGETS
37
33-49
DETROIT PISTONS
44.5
44-38
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
66.5
73-9
HOUSTON ROCKETS
44
41-41
INDIANNA PACERS
44.5
45-37
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
53.5
53-29
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
24.5
17-65
MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES
42.5
42-40
MIAMI HEAT
34.5
48-34
MILWAUKEE BUCKS
34.5
33-49
MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
40.5
29-53
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS
37
30-52
NEW YORK KNICKS
38.5
32-50
OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER
43.5
55-27
ORLANDO MAGIC
37.5
35-47
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS
24.5
10-72
PHOENIX SUNS
30
23-59
PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS
45.5
44-38
SACRAMENTO KINGS
34
33-49
SAN ANTONIO SPURS
56.5
67-15
TORONTO RAPTORS
50.5
56-26
UTAH JAZZ
49
40-42
WASHINGTON WIZARDS
42.5
41-41
 
*BOVADA
 

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid

Philadelphia 76ers (24.5)

Perennial bottom-feeder Philly is once again trotting out one of the least talented rosters in the league thanks to the pre-season injury to number one overall pick Ben Simmons; though this year does serve as a valuable gauge of several key assets Sam Hinkie acquired during his tenure, with Croatia’s Dario Saric venturing over and Joel Embiid reappearing onto a basketball court. Meshing with the young vibrant pair of Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel may prove challenging but a more adept roster exists beside them this year with additional manpower to support Robert Covington’s solid defense and shooting. Noel will also be starting off nursing an injury of his own, leaving Embiid able to seize a greater role out of the gate by playing the part of the leading man. Veteran guards Gerald Henderson and Jerryd Bayless are good offensive outlooks for the youths to look towards and likely one will have the ball in their hands during each final countdown. Simmons was expected to thrive in a facilitating role but his injury now opens the door for Saric to take on that responsibility while Spanish national team point guard Sergio Rodriguez’s role should also expand as a result. If Simmons is able to return at some point this year it should help their win total a bit but they should still be near the bottom of the overall standings and secretly loving it, 17-65. UNDER


Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin

Brooklyn Nets (20.5)

The franchise has been reduced to a punchline under owner Mikhail Prokhorov and they’re also looking at a seriously grim three year forecast, so why not bring back “Linsanity” to the hype capital of the world. Jeremy Lin should be able to put up numbers in his new gig and will look to lead an underrated offense out of the cellar with support from his backups, offensive plug Randy Foye and solid reserve Greivis Vasquez. A healthy Rondae Hollis-Jefferson sparks the defense a tad but they should still really struggle on that side of the ball. Brook Lopez continues to be an offensive fire cracker who has even gotten back to somewhat respectable rebounding numbers, but his companions may force him to grab more than he can handle this year. Trevor Booker can rebound and score enough to likely earn the majority of the power forward minutes with savvy veteran Luis Scola available for spurts there as well. Bojan Bogdanovich will be able to score for them in isolation sets and might be able to average enough points to land on some most improved ballots, if he can fend off Sean Kilpatrick. Trying to outscore their opponents enough to win twenty games will be hard, and even though early-season struggles could lead to changes, they still have very few assets to offer so they’ll likely have the same delightful group all year long; unless they elect to take the Brook out of Lin, 21-61. OVER

Justise Winslow
Justise Winslow

Miami Heat (34.5)

It’s been three years since they had any association with the “face of the association,” and now their own franchise favorite Dwayne Wade has gotten over his south beach sadness; luckily over the years Pat Riley has struck enough gold by uncovering valuable assets along the beach with a combination of youth and skill ready to unveil itself this year. Goran Dragic will be asked to provide leadership and likely ease back into his comfort zone as the primary ball handler this season while Hassan Whiteside is primed to light up the box scores, but he needs to worry about discovering consistency operating as the primary defensive stopper first. Justise Winslow will have an expanded role and likely earn hefty minutes because of his stellar defense while other second year player Josh Richardson should presumably shoot his way into the rotation again when healthy. The re-signing of Tyler Johnson solidifies a third guard to help occupy the majority of the backcourt minutes and Dion Waiters also factors into the equation as a potential lightning-rod scorer. Josh McRoberts hasn’t found a healthy stretch in his Heat tenure and may be looking at a window of opportunity if he can rediscover productivity while outperforming the likes of Luke Babbit, Derrick Williams, and the quietly serviceable James Johnson. Bad things happened after LeBron left and now following the extinction of the big three, Miami may be in store for a catastrophic collapse, 28-54. UNDER

Carmello Anthony & Joakim Noah
Carmello Anthony & Joakim Noah

New York Knicks (38.5)

On paper, the Knicks look like they could be good: elite scoring machine Carmelo Anthony, defensive anchor Joakim Noah, young phenomenon Kristaps Porzingis, and former MVP Derrick Rose; but recent troublesome play from their new floor-general Rose shouldn’t compute winning numbers when added together with the often hobbled Noah and isolation Anthony. Factor in a new coach with a frighteningly thin bench and the paper-mache mirage is fully revealed. Phil Jackson is starting to make bigger moves and while a fresh surrounding for both Rose and Noah couldn’t hurt, it could also be a smart gamble to help pacify the desperate-to-impress-now city-folks. Courtney Lee will be operating as a valuable wing defender and shooter to round out the starting lineup while Kyle O’Quinn offers some valuable bench support behind Noah. Brandon Jennings can provide a similar ineffectiveness to rival Rose’s, ensuring Coach Hornacek’s need to constantly remind his guards to give ample amounts of touches to Porzingis. Anthony can always offer his unique bunch scoring and consume a substantial rate of the offensive looks when necessary, but if the triangle trips them up, it could result in a sluggish start. With a heavy burden on an aging group of starters past their prime, they will likely sink below any lofty expectations of a grand return to Broadway, and Phil already knows it, 30-52. UNDER

Jabari Parker
Jabari Parker

Milwaukee Bucks (34.5)

While losing Khris Middleton is problematic for this current season’s aspirations, an obligatory offensive burden on the two cornerstones Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker is a good thing by allowing them limitless opportunities for enhancing their games while still seeking to become consistent primary scorers. They threw a lot of money at Matthew Dellavedova, four years thirty-eight million, but it gives them a few feisty players on defense now to help establish a gritty identity on that side of the ball. They signed long-ball specialist Mirza Teletovic to provide effective spacing on the front line and he will be coming off the bench along with Greg Monroe, who is currently the leading candidate to be the next man shipped out of town like MCW, who was forced to swallow the bitter truth of his current market value. Perhaps Tony Snell can crack the rotation with Middleton ailing and provide adequate defense while seeking a second chance to show his offensive value. Miles Plumlee is slated to start at center while John Henson still sits behind, leaking talent fast. This year is squarely about the development of Parker and Antetokounmpo so if Delly can provide occasional lobs and stay out of the way it could be Giannis fully in charge of operations, which is a very exciting scenario. While they are not expected to perform well enough to re-achieve playoff status, they could shock us again with exceptional play from their two budding stars, 39-43. OVER

Kent Bazemore
Kent Bazemore

Atlanta Hawks (43.5)

Dwight Howard brings a sense of misery wherever he goes, but now he’s decided to come to play for his hometown team, which doesn’t sound as bad. A completely different style player than Al Horford, coach Budenholzer will have to redesign a lot of what they do around Dwight but Dennis Schroeder is ready to roll with the starting point guard duties and should fill in nicely there. Kent Bazemore was widely courted as a free agent and ultimately re-signed with eyes on a slightly larger role this time around while his wing commander Kyle Korver attempts to reform his identity as one of the more dangerous threats behind the arc. Korver could regain some effectiveness with better health and running off of Dwight, but if he struggles expect Tim Hardaway Jr. to have an opportunity to showcase his offensive array as well as the tenacious Thabo Sefolosha always available for hire. Paul Millsap boils down to their most valuable player and while his scoring shouldn’t drastically increase, it’s his adjustment to playing with Howard that will determine which direction their season will head. Young prospect Walter Tavares could certainly benefit from studying the good habits of Howard during the year, but in the case of a Dwightmare, Tiago Splitter is still on the roster. Budenholzer has shown his chops but now will be his trickiest campaign to date as they struggle to remain in the hunt, 41-41. UNDER

Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler

Chicago Bulls (38.5)

Once upon a time a Bulls fan would have jumped for joy over Dwayne Wade signing and inversely trading Derrick Rose for Robin Lopez would have been devastating news. With Rajon Rondo now in tow, the situation appears murky having three ball-dependent players and a lack of any dynamic shooting, however, Wade should instantly supply leadership and if his production can stay elevated then it could give the team a chance to sneak back into the playoffs. Jimmy Butler will be carrying the load while being flanked by players with a shared competitive edge and a duo of Robin Lopez and Taj Gibson that could form a powerful defensive force. Nikola Mirotic is the favorite to start because of his shooting touch but he is often streaky with his scoring, while third year man Doug McDermott could be able to provide the most dependable three point touch as he continues improving. Off the bench there is hope for some young prospects and taking a chance on Michael Carter-Williams could end up being a brilliant maneuver if he’s able to mature, learn from the great players in front of him, and provide defensive versatility off of the bench. Fred Hoiberg has the pieces to put together a workable defense as well as an above average offense, but they better get off to a solid start or questions about Rondo and his compatibility could easily arise. Being the ones to move on from Rose and not the other way around was important as it lifts a weight off the franchise while additionally showing support for Jimmy. With plenty of new infusions, this team could conceivably rediscover some minor glory, 42-40. OVER

Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker

Charlotte Hornets (42.5)

Surprisingly, they were not a boring team last year as they played an up tempo style courtesy of their potent playmaking pair Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum while also jumping squarely back into the playoff picture. Last year’s success was in part thanks to Jeremy Lin and Courtney Lee who have both moved on to play for the two New York teams, so players like Jeremy Lamb, Ramon Sessions, and Marco Bellinelli will need to capitalize on their opportunities. Al Jefferson now plays for an eastern rival as well, so they brought in former child star Roy Hibbert to reprise his role as, Roy Hibbert. A healthy Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and a consistent Cody Zeller should be able to help provide some defensive stability while Frank Kaminsky and Spencer Hawes offer some offensive versatility, illustrating the rich diversity of this front line. For a supposed bust, Marvin Williams has enjoyed one hell of a career and now has found himself in a comfortable location as the stretch four for Coach Clifford. They possess the matching pieces to echo their fiery defensive minded approach while still boasting a functioning offense and should be aptly positioned to attempt to squeak past the rat race out east, 43-39. OVER

Marcin Gortat
Marcin Gortat

Washington Wizards (42.5)

Bradley Beal has yet to fully solidify himself as a star in this league and as a result John Wall has been left with too many responsibilities operating as the dual playmaker and leading scorer, meaning a Beal awakening is essential for any success this season. Second year prospect Kelly Oubre should share meaningful minutes in a tandem with Otto Porter Jr. at the small forward slot regardless of who wins the initial position battle and will be counted on to provide scoring. Markieff Morris seems to have a contentious attitude and could quickly find himself out of the league if his current situation also turns toxic, but for now he offers his high potential while addressing their need of stretching the floor and providing rebounding support. Behind Morris is Andrew Nicholson who could foreseeably split his minutes after his strong showings in the pre-season. Marcin Gortat will enjoy more space to operate in the post this year, but he’ll need to be effective to fend off Ian Mahinmi who can provide lively defense as well as a fine touch around the rim. Trey Burke will try to juggle learning his new teammates with leading the second unit, however, overworked John Wall will likely keep his minutes rather limited most of the year. The playoffs are no longer a sure thing out east and could come down to whether the load, "The Great Wall’s," been carrying starts to show any signs of degradation, 43-39. OVER

Elfrid Payton
Elfrid Payton

Orlando Magic (37.5)

Frank Vogel has the parts ready to assemble a dangerous defensive unit with length and athleticism from Elfrid Payton, Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon, Serge Ibaka, and Bismack Biyombo; unfortunately for them it does not include last year’s best offensive weapon Nikola Vucevic. A front line of Ibaka and Vucevic is a very talented offensive pairing up front so Vogel will need to figure out the right combinations fast as the east has plenty of teams waiting to join the hoopla. Fournier will aim to build upon his breakthrough campaign by looking to garner the good graces of his new coach and after Scott Skiles it should be a piece of cake. Ibaka gets an opportunity to showcase his offensive capability after stepping out of the shadows of two elite scorers and will try and balance his high efficiency with more shot attempts. Mario Hezonjia, Jeff Green, and D.J Augustin should form a solid second unit that will need to gather enough points to support their starters. A lot is heaved on the shoulders of Elfrid Payton as he serves as the team’s best creator but he will need to show signs of improvement on his shooting stroke in what will be a potential make or break third season. Aaron Gordon leads the planet in athleticism, and playing some small forward will test his abilities further while allowing him valuable minutes with the starters. Vogel has a deep roster that simply lacks star power, so if Serge is ready for more limelight than a trip to the post season could be in the works, 43-39. OVER

Andre Drummond
Andre Drummond

Detroit Pistons (44.5)

Last year they experienced a modestly productive season with elevations from several different players highlighted by Andre Drummond’s league leading 14.8 rebounds per game and now they’re faced with a potentially tougher road featuring a massive traffic jam of hopeful playoff participants in their path. Drummond seeks to take another step forward offensively and Tobias Harris is likely primed for a greater offensive burden himself, but the defense is where this team will make its mark. Marcus Morris and Reggie Jackson enjoyed career years also and while Jackson is on the shelf Ish Smith will be leaned on to pledge lengthy sessions of point-guard duty. Making the playoffs will be tough without Jackson for such a lengthy period, but betting against Van-Gundy is unwise; particularly with the team tailored to fit Drummond. They also possess several different wing options that could blossom around Drummond in Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Harris, Morris, and the second year pro Stanley Johnson. Any game could be the difference between the playoffs and the lottery for this quietly menacing squad, but Drummond’s swift and steady climb towards top-tier center territory bodes well for their upcoming trek, 45-37. OVER

DeMar Derozan
DeMar Derozan

Toronto Raptors (50.5)

Signs of sustainable success coupled with Canada’s overwhelming support has led to an increase in players’ desirability to play for Toronto and they’ve capitalized on this by taking care of their all-star backcourt duo the last two subsequent off-seasons. Cory Joseph was able to handle back-up guard duties last year and Norman Powell certainly had his moments at the wan of the season, making the guard rotation appear steady to begin the year, but DeMarre Carroll is coming off of an injury riddled season marred with inefficiency after previously balling-out in the post-season two years ago for Atlanta. He’ll likely get back on track and be closer to the wing stopper that they need this year while ceding a few minutes to the enigmatic Terrence Ross. Jonas Valanciunas may finally be given the heavy burden he’s sought and will be depended on to provide defensive stability while being gifted more offensive freedom. Jared Sullinger was their most sizable off-season addition and if he’s able to bounce back from an ankle injury then he could split his time at the four and five along with Patrick Patterson. They’ve found some semblance of achievement under Dwayne Casey, but they are much thinner on the front line now and the river still runs straight through LeBron, 48-34. UNDER

Myles Turner
Myles Turner

Indiana Pacers (44.5)

The engine appears to be purring again at the Indianapolis race track following a total rebuild around their classic frame Paul George. Nate McMillan takes over with a fresh selection of options to roll with and he’s likely already on the hot seat as Larry Legend is ready to compete now. Second year stud Myles Turner is primed to be featured more prominently and gets slotted in to an already threating starting lineup. There is no shortage of scorers on the roster with Al Jefferson ready to put in work in the paint, C.J Miles aiming away from a far, and Rodney Stuckey and Aaron Brooks’ propensity to shoot first, ask questions later. Paul George will be able to lock up the opposing team’s best option most nights but apart from him they’ll need to get inspired defense from the others to truly find success. Turner can block shots to impact games but he may not be ready to receive the nightly pounding from opposing behemoths. Offensively they should thrive with Jeff Teague deferring to George when necessary, allowing him to draw the defenders attention and opening up shop for the rest of the gang. Monta Ellis had a down year offensively but could be utilized more often with the second unit this year, which could increase his efficiency. In the east they could be one of the best teams, but ultimately to go as far as George takes them, 50-32. OVER

Jae Crowder
Jae Crowder

Boston Celtics (52.5)

A fan friendly season in Boston is underway as they will be given glimpses of number three pick Jaylen Brown while simultaneously watching their team contend for the eastern conference crown. Brown will be given the opportunity to join the rotation right away but will likely serve as the backup forward all year because Jae Crowder provides a key service that is worthy of bulk minutes. Al Horford will stamp his prints immediately on the court and Isaiah Thomas definitely needs to over-feed him the basketball. Giving Al healthy servings should result in a full functioning offensive flow and with one of the deeper roster they could make serious waves this season by having elite defenders Crowder, Horford and Avery Bradley. Throw in the blossoming bull dog Marcus Smart with the adaptable Amir Johnson and that is one scary skeleton crew to try and score on. Aside from Brown there are several other prospects that are looking to make an impact out on the floor, but time will likely be limiting factor for likes of Terry Rozier. Ace wizard Brad Stevens will have this team humming along and in positon to perhaps be in the right place at the right time, 54-28. OVER

Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving

Cleveland Cavaliers (56.5)

Championship City should be chirping cheers all season long as they continue to celebrate their awe inspiring title, but LeBron James certainly isn’t satisfied yet. After two straight finals runs the team has enormous amounts of confidence, enough to almost echo their leader. The regular season means very little for them, so an occasional lapse is possible, but they’ll be the oncoming storm cloud for the other twenty-nine teams this season. LeBron will not let us forget they are the champions and should be firmly in the MVP discussion while his running mate Kyrie Irving will take another big step forward after his monumental finals performance. Several front court pieces from a year ago are gone with Chris Anderson now the primary reserve behind Tristan Thompson who looks to thrive in his playoff role all year long. The backup point guard remains a question mark but this team gets by on their studs. Ample amounts of shooters and stars make this team one wish to take to the bank; also a full year of Tyronne Lue should mean a smoother start and a fantastic record, 61-21. OVER

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Devin Booker
Devin Booker

Phoenix Suns (30)

Eric Bledsoe is a force on the court that locks down on defense and can take over offensively occasionally as well; but with the eager second year slinger Devin Booker and last year’s leading scorer Brandon Knight still onboard, the team will be angling for a hell of a lot of nets from out of the backcourt this season. Tyson Chandler and Alex Len will have opportunities in abundance to position themselves for offensive rebounds and that could be key to their success in addition to establishing a dependable protection surrounding the rim. A positive off-season addition was bringing back veteran Jared Dudley, who returns joining P.J Tucker as the starting forwards because both have three point range and a defensive frame of mind, but they likely will struggle to contain size while also serving as possible placeholders for the young talent. Rookie Marquese Chriss will demand minutes early and with the potential for prioritizing player development looming, they could give him a shot right away with time to spare at the power forward slot. Inexperience throughout the roster could cause concerns regarding consistent decision-making and Earl Watson might struggle as well in his first full-fledged campaign. If veterans’ Dudley and Chandler can keep the boat from rocking too hard then they could remain competitive while floating peacefully along, content with their chances of landing that big fish in the next draft, 24-58. UNDER

Willie Cauley-Stein
Willie Cauley-Stein

Sacramento Kings (34)

DeMarcus Cousins is too talented to have bounced this many coaches like they’re bad checks without getting placed some of the onus on himself, and even though he’ll likely get his coveted All-Star spot this year, the team will once again miss the playoffs and probably blame Dave Joerger. Unless Cousins raises his intensity they could be in trouble of falling into a lackadaisical pit after already beginning the year with a disgruntled Rudy Gay as well as their troubled point guard tandem. Ty Lawson is their latest rehabilitation project and he’ll be seeking to walk in the light of Rajon, back into relevancy, while their other point-guard with character issues, Darren Collison, will be the team’s starting point guard after his return from suspension because of his familiarity with DeMarcus’s frequent feeding schedule. Rudy Gay, Aaron Afflalo, and Ben McLemore will all end up battling each other for Cousins’ leftovers, likely leading to a clustered offense, while Willie Cauley-Stein and Kosta Koufos will attempt to establish a defensive tone on the other end. Matt Barnes can provide good energy and step into a vital defensive role for them but he could easily clash his way out of town just as fast. Without Collison for the first few weeks they could start slowly, with their play probably echoing the mood set by Cousins after that, 24-58. UNDER

Lou Williams
Lou Williams

Los Angeles Lakers (24.5)

A new day rises in LA and casting calls are officially underway for the next face of the franchise. D’Angelo Russell seizing the role is probable as he is their best playmaker and can score at an electric rate. Newcomer Brandon Ingram likely will have to settle for being a role player initially with veteran Loul Deng occupying his position, but he’ll certainly get time to flash more than just his smile this season with minutes at either forward position within his grasp. Julius Randle could creep forward this season with more consistent showings and join Timofey Mozgov on what should be a dramatically improved defensive unit. Jordan Clarkson and Lou Williams each provide instant offense and one of them will be in the running for sixth-man of the year while the other will hope D’Angelo tosses them the ball enough each game. Luke Walton had success in the regular season coaching the super star Warriors last year but this will be a different type of process where his patience now could pay dividends as soon as next season with this young, upcoming club, 27-55. OVER

Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis

New Orleans Pelicans (37)

Touted as the next future guaranteed MVP, Anthony Davis has already lost his illustrious intrigue after Karl-Anthony Towns burst onto the scene looking like a more polished version of him last year. The signs of Davis’s eventual extradition out of New Orleans are all around as he has continuously had to deal with a decaying roster every year with the talented pair Tyreke Evans and Jrue Holliday never being around, Omer Asik not panning out, and Davis himself possessing the propensity to get nicked up. Davis still operates at a monstrously devastating efficiency on the offensive end even though last year’s step out to the three point line took away what he does best, if he can master the range than the un-guardable becomes god-mode. Between Asik, Alexis Ajinca, and Terrence Jones there should be enough cumulative consistency to provide Davis with a decent running mate for most of this year and at least they were able to give Tim Frazier a trial run as the point guard last season. They also brought in two other playmakers, Langston Galloway and E’Twaun Moore, to help form a serviceable bridge until Evans and Holliday return. Davis could find himself back into the MVP conversation real fast if he’s able to carry the team back into contention, but he’s against improbable odds, likely leading to an early summer, 32-50. UNDER

Nikola Jokic
Nikola Jokic

Denver Nuggets (37)

They are potentially a fun team with oodles of assets at their disposal, but consistency could still haunt them by leaning on second year point-guard Emmanuel Mudiay coupled with a relative lack of repetitions throughout the roster. Their cache of guards and wings is lucrative, with Wilson Chandler, who was nearly traded for a first round pick two years ago, returning from injury; though he’ll have to fight for minutes behind Danillo Gallinari, and his value will drag as a result. Behind Mudiay the veteran Jameer Nelson will provide his steady hand and the shooting guard spot will likely be Gary Harris’s eventually but Will Barton could certainly stake his claim on the role with Harris beginning the season injured. The frontline tandem reeks of intrigue with youngsters Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic unearthed onto the scene and they should produce mixed results throughout the long season because of their lack of experience, but their presence breeds an exciting present and future for Denver. Kenneth Faried should provide mile-high energy off of the bench and he also represents one of the many possible trade chips in their holding that other teams will likely look towards around the deadline, so depending on how they begin the year they could possibly be buyers as well as sellers, 37-45. PUSH

Marc Gasol
Marc Gasol

Memphis Grizzlies (42.5)

Bouncing back from injury is the theme in Memphis these days as their key trio Mike Conley, Chandler Parsons, and Marc Gasol are all retuning from their specific maladies. Gasol seems to heal unnaturally fast, but Chandler Parsons is being brought along slowly so James Ennis might see a larger role out of the gates as a result. Zach Randolph is a fine candidate for sixth man of the year especially if he can provide the rebounding numbers to accompany his binge-scoring, but the bench around him leaves something to be desired. The ageless Vince Carter is around for more than just his wisdom as he’ll be asked to hit some open threes and maybe Troy Daniels can carve out a similar niche. Everything depends on health and Gasol, who’s lethal with his efficiency and playmaking. By removing Randolph from the starting lineup, Gasol will be compelled to shoot it often for them to optimize their chances while Conley and Chandler will aim to over-perform and validate their large contracts. The west is not as competitive near the bottom anymore so they could find themselves square in the middle of a race for the eight seed, but also seem to be leaning on their last leg, 37-45. UNDER

Deron Williams
Deron Williams

Dallas Mavericks (38.5)

One potential winner following the Durant decision, as Harrison Barnes gives the franchise a decent building block to start to think about life after Dirk while Andrew Bogut provides an instant defensive upgrade with the hopes of competing now. Nowitzki is still uber-efficient in his twilight years and represents one of the many sharp shooters on the roster joined by the backcourt trio of Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews, and Seth Curry. Dirk is owed another trip to the post-season and coach Carlisle has enough to get him there with a resurgent campaign expected from Matthews after a full year recovery following his torn Achilles tendon. Dwight Powell will remain productive off the bench behind Dirk and with J.J Barea and Devin Harris still around they are rich with playable guards. Bogut can provide the missing defense needed for playoff success along with Barnes, who has so far disappointed in prime time but should fit in nicely here occupying both forward spots. At Dirks advanced age, the lead scoring role may be up for grabs but likely end up being a cluster between their starters, sans Bogut. They’ll be in the race for the final spot out west and could push through if some other teams underperform, 39-43. OVER

James Harden
James Harden

Houston Rockets (44)

Drinking D’Antoni on the rocks this year could result in a crazed statistical outcry for newly named point-guard James Harden as generally having the ball in his hands is good for the offense because he keeps it zipping around adequately enough to elevate his teammates while also putting up elite scoring numbers at will. Coach Mike D’Antoni has never been known for his defensive scheming but this roster has some pieces that will need to receive steady minutes with Patrick Beverley, Trevor Ariza and Clint Capella expected to start together when healthy, adding a much needed defensive balance to the floor. The off-season purchasing of two Pelican adds to their offensive arsenal as Ryan Anderson could really thrive on Harden kick outs while Eric Gordon figures to be a secondary ball handler with plenty of access to open shots as well, but both are minus defenders with streaky shots. While Eric Gordon fills in for the injured Beverley, Corey Brewer and Pablo Prigioni operate a bench possibly featuring minimal contributions from Sam Dekker or K.J McDaniels and the veteran NeNe and Montrezl Harrell could both carve out a bigger role with the starters. Ultimately this is Harden’s show, and if he can raise his teammates up a level, then they may be able to find success again but D’Antoni will have to be willing to commit to defensively able units for them to likely remain competitive enough, 40-42. UNDER

C.J. McCollum
C.J. McCollum

Portland Trail Blazers (45.5)

Shedding stars swung open the door for other gems to shine in Portland last year as Damian Lillard represented the lone survivor of the old guard with C.J McCollum serving as his reliable second-hand man, thus experiencing a large statistical jump that escalated the high scoring duo into the running for second best back court behind the splash brothers. Al-Farouq Aminu enjoyed a career season shooting threes while remaining an effective source of rebounds and defensive versatility, landing him as the opening night power forward to work next to the promising, Maurice Harkless, giving them two long, quick defenders capable of switching frequently to cause disruption. Miles Plumlee’s multifaceted game was showcased last year and now Festus Ezili joins an already extensive rotation of fluctuating big men which includes Ed Davis, Noah Vonleh, and Meyers Leonard. Evan Turner may be the backup point guard, and will be an important piece along with Allen Crabbe for a second unit that should enjoy several great successes this season, 45-37. UNDER

Rudy Gobert
Rudy Gobert

Utah Jazz (49)

Teetering towards the postseason the past two campaigns under Quinn Snyder has revealed the potential of the young nucleus and now it will be seen as a major disappointment if they end up missing out again. They have a first-class frontcourt with Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors representing the key to any success for the squad, especially while lead scorer Gordon Hayward is indisposed. Newcomers Joe Johnson and George Hill could seize starting roles but will be vital cogs in the rotation either way because they bring an additional playmaking element to the table. Rodney Hood has shown improvement each year and will be leaned on early in the season to set a tone scoring the ball. Their deep roster hides Dante Exum and Alec Burks with likely only limited minutes available for Exum to offer his defensive length and three point shooting and for Burks to provide his bunch-scoring. Crafty ball moving big men Joe Ingles and Boris Diaw round out the roster along with Trey Lyles who should be featured more heavily in the second unit this year and offers upside as a stretch-four. With such high expectations this year they’ll need to get Hayward back quickly, but without him they still enjoy a deep enough roster capable of sustaining enough success to gain access into the post-season party, 45-37. UNDER

Karl-Anthony Towns
Karl-Anthony Towns

Minnesota Timberwolves (40.5)

There is almost too much to be excited for in Minnesota right now that the city may soon forget all about the Vikings early-season success. With Tom Thibodeau seizing control of an ultra-dynamic core of young individuals, hard changes are likely to occur under his run-ragged style. Thibs mantra is defense, and by no coincidence he’s selected this young core with several skillful defenders, actually that was probably just a bonus that came from wanting to team up with Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns is special and already a premiere center in the league who will look to further diversify his net worth on the court this upcoming season in unimaginable ways. Zach LaVine and Andrew Wiggins will try to improve defensively within their new system but both players have already shown their offensive potential playing together for two seasons now. Ricky Rubio will need to fend off talented rookie Kris Dunn as well as continue to develop a three point shot, but he should ultimately be able to provide the stabilization necessary for this team to make the next jump forward. Gorgui Dieng should thrive as a defensive compliment next to Towns under Thibs tutelage as well as find ways to contribute positively offensively with screening, passing, and some scoring. Cole Aldrich and Nemanja Bjelica form a uniquely capable backup front line team along with Jordan Hill and Shabazz Muhammad has frequently shown his worth as a scorer so far in his career. They could cruise over several rival teams this season on their way into the playoffs and conceivably approach for a soft landing somewhere near the 5 hole, but it will require even more hard work than they have talent, 46-36. OVER

Russell Westbrook
Russell Westbrook

Oklahoma City Thunder (43.5)

“Russell Goes West,” is the classic tale of a lonely gun-slinger as he stampedes through another western expedition, this time though, without his trusty sharp-shooting best mate and now he must act quickly to find some new friends along the way by demonstrating how good-old-fashioned hard work and sacrifice can unlock the American Dream. Victor Oladipo will likely struggle initially to learn how to surf the Westbrook wave, but if he can figure it out he can offer some relief playmaking and hyper athleticism to go along with an expanding offensive game. Backup guard Cameron Payne should have plenty of time to dance his way to buckets on the court this year and may be depended on for sixth-man duties when he’s ready. Enes Kanter has proven his ability to score baskets as quickly as he allows them, but pairing him with Steven Adams did reveal a potentially dangerous situational lineup that they can turn to. Ersan Ilyasova is a new addition who provides some spacing and rebounding similar to Serge, but he doesn’t set nearly the same defensive tone. Rookie Domantas Sabonis may find a role on the team ahead of Ilyasova if he’s able to play better defense and will likely be made to look good at times offensively by playing with Westbrook. This year could crater if Russell tries to do too much, but if Oladipo is able to share the burden, then they could ride their wave into the same shark infested-waters they found themselves last season, 47-35. OVER

Blake Griffin
Blake Griffin

Los Angeles Clippers (53.5)

The “Chief Complaint Clubhouse,” constantly run their mouths into fists, or vice versa, and try to once again lead all contending teams in disharmony. Chris Paul, lead intimidator, can’t be very much fun to play with, but he sure makes everyone look good as still one of the best point guards in the galaxy. The backcourt is stronger this year with Raymond Felton joining the constantly slinging Jamal Crawford and defensive stopper, “Son of Coach,” Austin Rivers. Weary traveler Paul Pierce lends his mind and shooting stroke to the Doc for one last ride, while DeAndre Jordan often finds himself impacting games with his defense or bad free throw shooting. Blake Griffin is back on his skyrocket to stardom after that unscheduled stop on “Freindslap Island,” and continues to gather “orbs of range,” on his quest to unlock interplanetary shooting. As they have lost their luster from a few seasons ago, they have also increased their danger by logging valuable experiences while still remaining a fairly stacked team. For frontcourt depth they added Marreese Speights and Doc-Alum Brandon Bass, which adds shooting, but the defensive liability remains solely with DJ. On the court they still boast elite talent and Rivers has the experience to continue to dial up plenty of wins along the way, 55-27. OVER

Tony Parker
Tony Parker

San Antonio Spurs (56.5)

Take a timeout to properly think about Tim Duncan and all of his great deeds because he quietly slid out the back door right in the middle of Kobe’s good-bye speech. Tim will also sorely be missed on the court by the transition Spurs this year with Pau Gasol replacing him in a lineup which is devoid of Duncan for the first time in nearly twenty years. Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili will again attempt to battle their adversaries while managing their ailing bodies and will be necessary for any notions of playoff continuation this year. Kawhi Leonard is fantastic and the more confidence he gains as a scorer the more dangerous the team becomes, as his already unrivaled defense gives them an enormous edge over the field. Danny Green will start the year hurt, so perhaps Kyle Anderson can crack pop’s snap-tight rotation this season to provide playmaking and some defensive know-how. Patty Mills is still around to rain timely threes and David Lee really hopes to have found a home that plays him more than a handful of minutes. This team belongs to Leonard now, and with Popovich still scheming it should be a successful regular season, but barring a Kawhi clone it’ll be tough getting past the favorites, 57-25. OVER

Kevin Durant & Stephen Curry
Kevin Durant & Stephen Curry

Golden State Warriors (66.5)

Kevin Durant made his very smart basketball decision and now he must harness the hatred headed his way towards stellar teamwork and defensive intensity to match his already champion Warriors’ mates. The Durant signing puts them in the discussion as possibly being one of the greatest teams of all time, but it was just one marquee free agent coming on board unlike in recent super-team scenarios; the aspect that is tough to swallow about this team is the number of quality professionals taking minimum dollars hoping to hitch a ride on the championship bus. They will be must watch TV every time they touch the floor, but defense could end up being their kryptonite as ZaZa Pachulia represents the opposite of Bogut in terms of rim protection. Fortunately their key bench contributors Andre Iguodala and Sean Livingston were able to stay on board for the upcoming festivities and both are ecstatic for all the cheap assists that Kevin will provide. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green will have to sacrifice a little bit by ceding some looks this season but will certainly still end up busting free out on the court. During the year there may be questions about whether Stephen Curry is still their best player, but regardless of how drastically Durant effects his statistics he still is the reigning MVP seeking redemption; giving this lightweight assassin all the proper motivation he needs to even improve on last season. Steve Kerr will have to remember to still coach this team because they are going to be winning a lot of games in which they play poorly, and while last seasons’ high water mark is likely unobtainable, still sniffing seventy seems suitable, 70-12. OVER

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