Connect with us


NBA Preview 2017-2018

Atlanta Hawks

Regular Season Projection: 30 Wins

Outlook: This team is thin to say the least. Who’s going to rebound? Who’s the go to scoring option? I’m definitely a fan of Dennis Schroder, who I believe will make the All-Star roster. Aside from Schroder, this roster will struggle to find wins. I’m interested to see if Dewayne Dedmon can leave the Pop system and become a double-double guy. Sorry Hawks fans, but this roster won’t play past April 15.

Boston Celtics

Regular Season Projection: 55 Wins

Outlook: Perhaps the most intriguing team coming into the season, with this revamped team, and interesting additions/subtractions to the roster. Let’s start with Kyrie Irving. Can he lead a franchise? History says no, considering his first few years in the league. This was obviously before he hit the game winning shot in Game 7 of the NBA finals. Pair him with Gordon Hayward, another great acquisition, and the rest of this young roster (aside from Al Horford), and you got yourself a Top 2 seed in the weaker Eastern Conference. The main question is: Can this team beat Cleveland in a 7-game series? The answer is no in my estimation.

Brooklyn Nets

Regular Season Projection: 21 Wins

Outlook: The only positive about this team is they don’t play in dirty Jersey anymore. D’Angelo Russell can score, and might make the All-Star team by force. To put it bluntly, this team is awful. If D’Angelo Russell is your best player, you won’t go very far. In a weak Eastern Conference, this team might steal some wins. But against the top half of the East, and basically all of the west, the Nets have no chance.

Charlotte Hornets

Regular Season Projection: 44 Wins

Outlook: The Hornets are interesting on paper. Emphasis on the “on paper”. I’ve been a fan of Kemba Walker since UConn. The guy is cold-blooded. Aside from Kemba and Nic Batum, this roster is a bit underwhelming. Dwight Howard adds a paint presence Kemba hasn’t had since Al Jefferson. Hopefully Coach Clifford can keep Howard focused and in check (I don’t see that happening). The Hornets are a lot better than most of the Eastern conference teams, but this team is not better than the Raptors, Bucks, Wizards, Celtics and Cavs. If Charlotte can make the Eastern Conference Semis, I would consider that a successful season.

Chicago Bulls

Regular Season Projection: 32 Wins

Outlook: Who is the best player on this team? Zach Levine? Robin Lopez? Aside from those two guys, their isn’t a lot of experience or consistent production from anyone on this team. Kris Dunn will definitely get minutes, so we’ll see what he’s made of this year. Justin Holiday looked pretty good on a dysfunctional Knicks team, but he’s just a role player. This team will struggle to get wins against any team in the NBA. 32 wins would be a successful season in my eyes. The best thing about Fred Hoiberg is he probably gets into restaurants because he looks like Aaron Eckhart. Good luck Chicago.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Regular Season Projection: 59 Wins

Outlook: The Cleveland Cavaliers have the deepest roster in the NBA. They also have LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Dwayne Wade, all on the same team. But let’s get down to the nitty gritty: Can this team beat the Golden State Warriors? It’s possible, but not probable. The Warriors still have the best starting 5 I have ever seen (despite Zaza being in that starting 5). However, if Cleveland uses their depth appropriately, they should sail through the playoffs, and be fresh to take on the Warriors. The only team who’ll push the Cavs in the East is Boston. If this team can stay away from the injury bug, the sky is the limit for this roster.

Dallas Mavericks

Regular Season Projection: 40 Wins

Outlook: Dennis Smith Jr. is the real deal. I hate talking about him because he should be Knickerbocker (Goodbye Phil Jackson). This Mavs team has an interesting blend of veterans and young guns. Entering his 19th season, the living legend Dirk Nowitzki continues to take less money to play with the franchise that drafted him in 1998. With Harrison Barnes, Dorian Finney-Smith and Wesley Mathews, to go along with Seth Curry, JJ Barea and Yogi Ferrell, this team should compete for a playoff spot this season. I wouldn’t be shocked if this team missed the playoffs in a very deep Western Conference.

Denver Nuggets

Regular Season Projection: 47 Wins

Outlook: This Nuggets team is much improved. With the addition of Paul Millsap, having a top 5 big man in the NBA in Nikola Jokic, to go along with the young backcourt of Gary Harris, Emmanuel Mudiay and Jamaal Murray, this team will compete on a nightly basis. Denver should contend for the 7th or 8th seed this coming season, in a stacked Western Conference. I can’t see this team making it past the Spurs or Warriors in the first round. If this team can figure out a way to make the 6th seed, perhaps the Nuggets can squeak their way into the 2nd round.

Detroit Pistons

Regular Season Projection: 38 Wins

Outlook: With the addition of Avery Bradley, this team will be a tough team to beat night in night out, specifically because of their defense. Led by Andre Drummond in the middle, this will have to rely on its defense to compete. Finding points will be a constant struggle, even with the scoring ability of Stanley Johnson, Reggie Jackson and Tobias Harris. Again, we’re back to discussing the Eastern Conference. But facts are facts, and the East on paper is weak. Detroit should vie for a position in the playoffs.

Golden State Warriors

Regular Season Projection: 64 Wins

Outlook: As mentioned earlier, this is best starting 5 in the league. But I want to discuss something beyond Steph, KD, Klay, Draymond etc… The culture Coach Steve Kerr has created is quite remarkable. Kerr taught the Warriors to overpass. Pass up a good shot for a great shot. 3 is worth more than 2 (which contradicts Kerr’s opinion on ‘Open Court,’ where he discussed the new culture of the NBA and the 3PT Shot). Kerr basically changed the landscape of the NBA. He eliminated the essence of positions and put clones (6’4-6’9 long shooters) on the court. At this point, if you’re a big on the court who can’t shoot, you’re a liability. Kerr reinvented the game way before Kevin Durant ever arrived. Add Durant, and you’re looking at the most unstoppable team since Shaq & Kobe in the Phil Jackson triangle. See you in the finals GSW.

Houston Rockets

Regular Season Projection: 57 Wins

Outlook: Chris Paul is done throwing lobs (maybe a few to Clint Capela). Paul is now playing with the runner-up MVP James Harden and crew. The crew includes 6th Man of the Year Eric Gordon, Ryan Anderson, Trevor Ariza, Nene and a bunch of guys you’ve never heard of. The Rockets will run, shoot a boat load of 3s, and probably play minimal defense. But are the Rockets true contender’s? No chance. What I see are guy’s like Chris Paul and Coach Mike D’antoni who have never gotten over the hump. I believe Harden is ready to take that next step, and Paul will help, but this team won’t get past the Western Conference Semis. WCF would be a successful season.

Indiana Pacers

Regular Season Projection: 32 Wins

Outlook: Face it; Paul George is gone. One positive to take away: We’re going to find out what Myles Turner’s got. I’m a big fan of Domantas Sabonis, one of the players acquired in the Paul George trade. Victor Oladipo has always been underwhelming. Unless Coach McMillan comes in to play PG, there are no quality distributors on this roster. If ‘Pacer Nation’ is relying on Darren Collison, this season will basically be a wash. A Nate McMillan coached team will play hard, but sorry Pacer nation; no playoffs for you.

Los Angeles Clippers

Regular Season Projection: 36 Wins

Outlook: The Clippers lost Chris Paul and JJ Redick in the same offseason. Paul leaving the team will give a new air to the locker room. The Clippers are sticking with Griffin and D. Jordan in their frontcourt. The backcourt will consist of a bunch of guys who can play. The best player the Clippers received for Paul is the defensive wizard Patrick Beverley. This guy has a motor and plays with a certain edge. Another guy to watch is Serbian basketball Icon Milos Teodosic. Teodosic is a 30-year-old rookie point guard, who is considered one of the best non-NBA players in the world. Many teams have inquired in recent years, but this is the first year Teodosic finally took the bait.  This team will be fun to watch until the end of April.

Los Angeles Lakers

Regular Season Projection: 34 Wins

Outlook: The Lakers feel like a roster built for the arrival of LeBron James. There’s just one problem; LeBron’s still in Cleveland. The Lakers are young to say the least. Only Deng, Bogut and Brewer are over the age of 30. Brook Lopez is 29, but the next closest guy is Jordan Clarkson. Clarkson is 25. Kyle Kuzma looked great all off-season, and has been killing it in preseason (I know, it’s just preseason). This season will be the Lakers audition for King James. No playoffs, but expect plenty of highlights.

Memphis Grizzlies

Regular Season Projection: 39 Wins

Outlook: As long as Marc Gasol and Mike Conley are still around, this team will compete. It’s been nearly a decade since the Grizzlies have won less than 40 games in a season. This is the last chance I’m giving Chandler Parsons. The former SEC Player of the Year needs to take that next step for this team to have a chance. Averaging 6 pts a game in the 34 games he started is just not going to cut it. I realize the injury was hampering Parsons. But with the loss of Z-Bo and Tony Allen, this season should be a perfect opportunity for Parsons to show out. Consider this team a fringe playoff team.

Miami Heat

Regular Season Projection: 40 Wins

Outlook: This team will be the same as last year. With the failure to acquire Gordon Hayward, this Heat team has a lot of good players, but no great ones. The only players I consider borderline great is Hassan Whiteside and sporadically Dragic/Waiters. Both Dragic and Waiters clearly have the talent to win games. A 7-game series vs.  the Bucks? I’d go with the Bucks. The Heat are still recovering from the Wade/LeBron/Bosh era. We’ll see if playoffs are on the menu after finishing 9th last year.

Milwaukee Bucks

Regular Season Projection: 44 Wins

Outlook: This is the team to watch in the East. Giannis is poised to be an MVP candidate this season. The combo backcourt of Dellavedova and Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdan will help, but this team will need a healthy Jabari Parker to make a real run in the postseason. The Bucks will make the playoffs, but how far will they go? This may be a stretch, but I have the Bucks losing in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Regular Season Projection: 51 Wins

Outlook: With the additions of superstar Jimmy Butler, Jeff Teague and Jamal Crawford, this Wolves team is going to be a Top 5-7 team in the NBA. Wolves center Karl-Anthony Towns is a once in a generation type of player. Even with the addition of Butler, this is still Towns’ team. Throw in Wiggins, Taj Gibson and a defensive Coach in Tom Thibodeau, and you got yourself a bonafide playoff team. On paper, this team should be in the Western Semis. Paper is just paper. We’ll see how these pieces gel together.

New Orleans Pelicans

Regular Season Projection: 38 Wins 

Outlook: Rondo and Tony Allen make this team better, but I can’t see how Anthony Davis and Boogie Cousins are supposed to work. This is not Tim Duncan and David Robinson. Both of these stars love the ball, especially Boogie, which makes it tough on Coach Gentry to find the leader. Eventually, the cream rises to the top, and the leader has to take over. Is Boogie going to accept Davis being the number 1 option? I can’t see it, but this team is too talented not to win some games. I can’t see the playoffs for this team unless AD and Boogie figure it out.

New York Knicks

Regular Season Projections: 34 Wins

Outlook: Bye Melo. Bye Phil Jackson. And one day, bye James Dolan. The Knicks are finally in the sun, after being under the Melo and Phil Jackson tropical storm for months. Hopefully this will release the inner Kristaps Porzingod. Adding former, and now current Knick Tim Hardaway Jr. was a nice pickup, along with acquiring Enes Kantor in the Carmelo deal. However, this season is really about Porzingis. If he is, who all Knick fans hope he is, then this will be a big year for KP. Expect the Knicks to compete, but once again, the 2018 Knicks will be finished on April 11th.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Regular Season Projections: 54 Wins

Outlook: Put the reigning MVP and walking triple double Russell Westbrook with Carmelo Anthony and Paul George, and you got one hell of a team. A lot of people are wondering whether Melo and Westbrook can play on the same team, including me. Both players love the ball, and Westbrook’s usage rate is insane. However, if this team learns to coexist, and you throw in a little grittiness in Steven Adams, you got yourself a team to compete with the Warriors. Pending chemistry issues, expect a deep playoff run from this high-octane team.

Orlando Magic

Regular Season Projections: 25 Wins

Outlook: Take out Nikola Vucevic and you couldn’t tell me the Magic’s 2nd best player. Elfrid Payton? Aaron Gordon? Evan Fournier? The Magic have only 4 guys over the age of 28. The Magic are a rebuilding team; building towards next year’s draft. All kidding aside, this roster is just not talented enough with shooters or guys who can get their own shot consistently. I’m sure Coach Frank Vogel didn’t envision this after leaving the success he had in Indiana. Tough sledding for the foreseeable future. 35 wins would be astonishing.

Philadelphia 76ers

Regular Season Projections: 36 Wins

Outlook: Is this finally the year Philly makes a push for the playoffs? Health is the main concern for the 76ers. Pending health, Joel Embiid is poised for a career year, especially playing next to two number 1 picks; Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons. Add a great veteran like JJ Redick and we might be looking at a playoff team. If Simmons or Embiid goes down for an extended period of time, this season will be much of the same as last year.

Phoenix Suns

Regular Season Projections: 23 Wins

Outlook: The Suns are going to lose…. a lot. Playing in the Western Conference doesn’t help, but this roster isn’t pretty. There are players on this roster I like. Devin Booker is obviously the man on this team. The guy is only 20 years old, and he scored 70 points in a game last year! Between Booker and the 1st rounder from Kansas, Josh Jackson, Suns nation has a bright future. Key word: Future. In the meantime, this team will compete for the worst team in the league award.

Portland Trail Blazers

Regular Season Projection: 46 Wins

Outlook: Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are still a Top 5 backcourt in the NBA. The Jusuf Nurkic pickup last year didn’t have any time to develop. Nurkic is a center with a lot of offensive ability. Throw in some Al-Farouq Aminu and Evan Turner, and you got yourself a playoff team. This team will go as far as the backcourt takes them. And considering neither guard is a perennial defender, this team shouldn’t make it out the 2nd round.

Sacramento Kings

Regular Season Projection: 32 Wins

Outlook: If you asked me who the best player on this team is, my answer would be Buddy Hield or De’Aaron Fox. Let that sink in. This team has some interesting young talent in Fox, Buddy Hield and Justin Jackson. Veterans like Zach Randolph and Vince Carter will definitely aid the young players, but this team has zero chance of contention. I see a few quality wins, but mostly a rebuilding season for Sacramento.

San Antonio Spurs

Regular Season Projection: 53 Wins

Outlook: Clearly Aldridge did not gel with the Spurs last season. Will another offseason help? I’m sure Coach Pop is thinking “Thank god for MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard”, who is clearly entering the prime of his career, and is the best two-way player in basketball. With the resigning of future Hall of Famer Paul Gasol, and the addition Rudy Gay, the Spurs will once again compete for a spot in the Western Conference Finals, and possibly, the NBA Finals.

Toronto Raptors

Regular Season Projection: 49 Wins

Outlook: I gave the Raptors 2 less wins than last year, mainly because they lost PJ Tucker and Patrick Patterson in the offseason. Other than those two players, the Raptors brought back the same core from last season. Will Jonas Valanciunas take it to the next level? Will Kyle Lowry ever become the man Raptor nation needs him to be in the playoffs? Will DeMar DeRozan ever take pride in his defense like he does with his offense? The answer to all 3 questions is a big fat no. This team will be the same unless they add somebody other than Serge Ibaka. Ibaka is a good pro, but he doesn’t fill the Raptors cracks. Playoffs: Yes. Conference Semis: Yes. Anything beyond the Semis would be a very successful season. Losing in the first round is also on the table.

Utah Jazz

Regular Season Projection: 34 Wins

Outlook: Sadly, the Jazz are about to take a huge step backwards with the loss of Gordon Hayward. Hayward was the soul of this team. The Jazz have basically the same roster as last season, minus their best and most important player. Joe Ingles showed he can play last season, and we know Rudy Gobert is a stud. With the acquiring of Ricky Rubio, the Jazz will win some games this season. Going from the 5 seed to out of the playoffs is 100% on the table, and in fact likely. If the Jazz make the playoffs I will be very shocked and impressed.

Washington Wizards

Regular Season Total: 45 Wins

Outlook: If you look at last year’s outlook on the Wizards, it will look very similar to this year. John Wall and Bradley Beal are maybe the best backcourt in the NBA. A mix of role players like Markieff Morris, Otto Porter Jr. and Kelly Oubre Jr. will be a lot of what we saw last year. Very competitive. The Wizards can beat any team on any given night. But John Wall is the engine. If he’s locked in, this team can make a very deep playoff run. However, I would be lying if I said the Wizards can’t lose in the first round of the playoffs. This team will probably make it to the final 4 in the East, with the Cavs, Celtics and Bucks. The question will be whether they can beat any of those teams mentioned above in a 7-game series. History tells us no, but that’s why you play the game.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Featured Articles

Featured Writers

More in NBA