With free agency coming to a close, the win projections have been released and the debate for who the 2020 title winner will be has begun.
|Team||2018-19 Wins||2019-20 Win Total||OVER||UNDER|
|Golden State Warriors||57||47.5||-130||+110|
|Los Angeles Clippers||48||55.5||-110||-110|
|Los Angeles Lakers||37||51.5||-120||+100|
|New Orleans Pelicans||33||37.5||-110||-110|
|New York Knicks||17||27.5||+105||-125|
|Oklahoma City Thunder||49||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Portland Trail Blazers||53||45.5||-120||+100|
|San Antonio Spurs||48||43.5||-110||-110|
Houston Rockets (Under 51.5 wins): With the addition of Russell Westbrook, the Houston Rockets have become a spotlight team in the NBA. They have two former MVPs on the same roster now, which could create some beautiful basketball or result in a complete train wreck. They have potential, but I don’t know if the fit is there. When James Harden and Russ were on the Thunder together, they were a Finals team. They also had Kevin Durant. The spacing will be off and we must probe the question of who the primary ball handler will be. There are many concerns surrounding their depth and the future of head coach Mike D’Antoni as well. With a tight playoff race in the West, I have the Rockets making the playoffs as a lower seed, falling slightly under the estimated win total.
Miami Heat (Over 42.5 wins): With Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra in the picture, the Heat will always be competitive. The Heat have been a middle of the pack team for a while, ever since the break up of the big 3. Last year, they won 3.5 fewer games than their estimated win total for this year. With the big free agent acquisition of Jimmy Butler and core pieces remaining on the team, I see this as easy money. All the Heat have to do is make the playoffs, which I am pretty confident they will, to cover. People forget Goran Dragic, Dion Waiters and Justice Winslow are still there. Young guys like Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo have promising futures as well. Butler will be the leader this squad has yearned for.
New Orleans Pelicans (Over 37.5 wins): Last year the Pelicans won 33 games with injuries and the Anthony Davis drama looming all year. Let’s take a look at who they have added this past month: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Lonzo Ball, Derrick Favors, Josh Hart, Jaxson Hayes (who looks to be one the NBA Draft steals), Brandon Ingram, JJ Reddick, and #1 overall pick Zion Williamson. They still have Jrue Holiday, who may be one of the leagues most underrated players, and Jahlil Okafor too. I would be shocked if this team couldn’t win 5 more games.
Toronto Raptors (Under 45.5 wins): I think a championship hangover is ahead for Toronto. Marc Gasol, Serge Ibaka, and Kyle Lowry are old. In addition, the cap situation is not great. The Raptors won’t be bad, but I don’t believe they will be contending whatsoever. The future of this team, in my opinion, is in Pascal Siakam’s hands. Again, this is not a bad thing, but losing Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green will be a big adjustment. I love Nick Nurse too, but a year or two of regression will come before we start seriously talking about Toronto again.
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