The offseason seemed to be gone in a blink of an eye. A ton of money was thrown around and some players are a few pounds of cash heavier.
NBA owners will want another ‘amnesty clause’ in the next CBA to bail themselves out from some of these deals. There are some guys who should have been wearing ski masks when signing their new deals.
The Golden State Warriors won the Western Conference last season and are early favorites to repeat this season. Any sleepers out there worth a bet?
Here are our over/under season wins total picks for the NBA’s Western Conference.
Dallas Mavericks – 38 1/2 Wins – UNDER
I guess anything could happen when you have PF Dirk Nowitzki on your roster, but the Mavericks aren’t very deep. I also don’t like the SF Harrison Barnes signing. If you piece that with them losing SF Chandler Parsons, this team looks like just a below-average Western Conference team.
Denver Nuggets – 37 – OVER
The Nuggets won 33 games last season and I can see them winning a few more games this season. If they can get at least 75 games from a healthy SF Danilo Gallinari, the Nuggets could almost be a .500 team. I think this is an over, but it’s close.
Golden State Warriors – 66 1/2 – OVER
The Warriors added megastar SF Kevin Durant this offseason, so I have a feeling the Warriors will once again win 70+ games this season. I have no qualms about this pick at all.
Houston Rockets – 44 – UNDER
The Rockets were a .500 team with Dwight Howard and will probably have the same record without him. They should be a pretty good three-point shooting team, but nothing else catches my eye.
Los Angeles Clippers – 53 1/2 – OVER
The Clippers are roughly the same team as last year. They are a perennial 56-win team, so that’s where they will probably end up again.
Los Angeles Lakers– 24 1/2 – UNDER
The Lakers are a team in transition. Kobe Bryant is retired and the Lakers are just a team full of young dudes. Many thought PG D’Angelo Russell should be the team leader, but from all reports, his teammates hate him for being a snitch. The Lakers have some pieces, but the Lakers should probably bottom-out again to get another top lottery pick.
Memphis Grizzlies – 42 1/2 – OVER
The Grizzlies were killed by the injury bug last season and still managed to win 42 games. It’s nearly impossible for the team to have that many injuries again this year. I think this is an automatic over in my eyes.
Minnesota Timberwolves – 40 1/2 – OVER
The Twolves are a fun team to watch. They are sound for a defense as young as they are and are great on the fast break. I think Minnesota will make a big jump this season.
New Orleans Pelicans – 37 – UNDER
I want to like the Pelicans since my boy Lance Stephenson signed there this offseason. I wish he was back on the Pacers so I can watch him with ease. The Pelicans aren’t very deep and to win 37 wins in the NBA this season, you need a little more depth.
Oklahoma City Thunder – 43 1/2 – OVER
The Thunder will be without SF Kevin Durant and PF Serge Ibaka this season. They are attempting to replace those men with SG Victor Oladipo, PF Ersan Ilyasova and rookie PF Domantas Sabonis. Oh man, it could be a long season. As long as PG Russell Westbrook stays healthy, I think this team can still win 44+ games. I worry about his health since he doesn’t have much help. I am counting on C Steven Adams to take another leap in his development.
Phoenix Suns – 30 – UNDER
I should love this team since I’m a fan of Kentucky basketball. The Suns have five ex-Kentucky players on this team. Unfortunately for the Suns, all of them are guards and you can’t play them all at the same time. There’s no way this team wins 30 games this season.
Portland Trail Blazers – 45 1/2 – OVER
I’m on the Portland bandwagon! I have loved SG C.J. McCollum since college and he’s such a pure scorer. He’s exactly the kind of wing player PG Damian Lillard needs to push the Blazers into the postseason. I like a lot of the young pieces on Portland like SG Allen Crabbe and C Meyers Leonard.
Sacramento Kings – 34 – UNDER
I really hate to bury the Kings again, but what the hell is this team doing? They have a great center in DeMarcus Cousins, a sold wing Rudy Gay and they reunited the 2007 UCLA backcourt duo of Darren Collins and Arron Afflalo…but that’s about it. They have too many front-court players on their roster during a time in which real NBA contenders are trying to play small ball. Can they just fire their owner?
San Antonio Spurs – 58 1/2 – OVER
Tim Duncan retired this offseason and the Spurs did a solid job by signing C Pau Gasol and PF David Lee to replace him. The Spurs won 67 games last year while they battled the Warriors for the best record in the NBA. I don’t think they will focus as much on trying to get homecourt in the Western Conference…although they will win 59+ games.
Utah Jazz – 49 – UNDER
Utah is an improved team after acquiring PG George Hill, SF Joe Johnson and C Boris Diaw. I also think players like SG Rodney Hood and PG Dante Exum will improve on the court. A nine-win jump is a pretty big jump. I think they will come a win or two short of 49 wins.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.