It’s finally that time: rosters are set, training camps are about to begin and it’s time to start judging NBA basketball again!
The final moves of the offseason are here and the trade deadline is nearing before the start of training camp. And with that, Las Vegas has released the win totals lines for all NBA teams.
So let’s look at what teams stand where, and whether you should expect more or less than Vegas has predicted, starting with the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta Hawks – 25.5 Wins
The Hawks are in rare territory for the last couple of decades, sitting squarely near the bottom of the NBA standings. The Hawks have the second-lowest win total of any team, and for good reason: this roster is pretty bare. Dennis Schroeder is the lone holdover from the playoff teams of old, and this team just doesn’t have a lot of scoring.
Boston Celtics – 55.5 Wins
The Celtics have had the highest win total set of any East team at 55.5. And that makes sense, what with last year’s team winning the most in the East. But there are a ton of new players on this roster to gel together and it’ll take time. Still, this is a really, really talented team and should get close to 60 wins.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) September 2, 2017
Brooklyn Nets – 27.5 Wins
The Nets have a revamped squad, and it looks like they might win something of substance this season. Russell is talented, and so is the rest of this roster, something they couldn’t say a year ago. Still, they don’t scream “fringe playoffs” and I’m worried about how all these young guys will gel. The Nets are better, but I don’t know about eight wins better.
Charlotte Hornets – 42.5 Wins
The Hornets had a busy offseason, drafting Malik Monk and Dwayne Bacon, and adding Dwight Howard. They have a really deep roster, and while only Kemba Walker and Howard will make you turn your head, this team is still really solid. Forty-two wins is just above .500, and I actually think this roster is a top-five one in the East.
Cleveland Cavaliers – 53.5 Wins
So, this seems disrespectful, right? The Cavs played in the Finals again last year, and still Vegas has them just above their win total ofa year ago. But actually, I don’t like this. Kyrie Irving is gone, and Isaiah Thomas won’t play until near the All-Star Break. And they only won 51 last year. This may be a coasting season for LeBron and company to just get to the postseason.
.@Isaiah_Thomas’ 28.9 PPG in 2016-17 trails only Larry Bird (29.9 PPG) in Celtics history.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) August 25, 2017
Detroit Pistons – 38.5 Wins
The Pistons had an odd summer, mostly standing pat on the acquisition front by letting KCP walk. But they made a big splash by being the team that pulled the trigger on nabbing Avery Bradley from the Celtics for cheap. He makes that lineup much more interesting, and I think they should see more than a one-game improvement on last season.
Indiana Pacers – 31.5 Wins
The Pacers had a rough offseason to put it mildly. Paul George is gone, leaving Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis in his wake. And Jeff Teague was shipped off to Minnesota, leaving a giant hole where the point guards used to be. Darren Collison and Aaron Brooks will take over, and the rest of the roster is pretty much Myles Turner and some average talent. This team isn’t going to win a lot, and 31 wins is a bottom-10 team, which I think this roster is.
Miami Heat – 43.5 Wins
The Heat had an oddly quiet offseason after trying to nab some of the bigger names. Instead, they snatched up Kelly Olynyk and re-signed existing talent. They are a young group, and mostly the same roster from a season ago plus some upgrades. The East is significantly weaker this year, and the Heat should hover around .500 and compete for a playoff spot.
Milwaukee Bucks – 47.5 Wins
The Bucks have retained the bulk of their lineup from a season ago, but they still aren’t where they want to be. They swung and missed on a lot of point guards they were after in free agency and ended up still needing to rely on Giannis to run the point. Still, this team is good, and only stumbled to a .500 record due to injury. Jabari Parker is scheduled to be back in February, and the roster is gelling. I think this team can realistically win close to 50, but it’s going to be tight.
Can Giannis fulfill Kobe’s MVP challenge?
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 2, 2017
New York Knicks – 30.5 Wins
The drama that is the New York Knicks continues for 2017-18. The Knicks are mostly back as normal, minus Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. That means rookie Frank Ntilikina will get the full load this season. He’s talented, but it’s still a step down for now. Still, do you think this roster got worse by losing those two guys? I’m not sure they’re that bad.
Orlando Magic – 33.5 Wins
The Magic kept their core together despite shopping them around. They’ve brought in Jonathon Simmons and rookie Jonathan Isaac, but the rest of the roster is pretty much the same. And they weren’t great last year. This doesn’t spell a four-win improvement to me, especially with the new young pieces.
Philadelphia 76ers – 41.5 Wins
The Sixers are supposedly back and healthy, and they’ve added some veterans to the mix to help offset the youth on this roster. If everyone stays on the court, this looks like a 50-win team, but that’s a big if. Still, this roster is every bit of 41 wins good. Especially if just one of Simmons or Embiid stay healthy.
Toronto Raptors – 48.5 Wins
The Raptors are back to take a swing at an Eastern Conference title, with the Cavs taking a step back. They have a low win total projection, and that’s mostly because of the loss of some veterans on this roster. Still, the Lowry-DeRozan pairing is good enough to hover around 50 wins, and I like their chances to get there.
Washington Wizards – 48 Wins
The reigning Southeast Division champs are back, fresh with a massive new contract for John Wall. Still, the bench is pretty thin, and that’s going to keep them from being a top team. They knocked on the door of a top Eastern team last year though, and they didn’t get worse. I still like this team more than any other in that division.
Is John Wall the best two-way point guard player in the league?
RT – Yes
LIKE – No pic.twitter.com/3UT3YVGuPw
— BallersHype (@BallersHype) September 3, 2017