Win projections for all 30 teams: Part 1

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It’s finally here – the dawn of a new season is upon us. While the basketball world is still trying to piece together the remnants of an unprecedented NBA offseason, basketball analysts are doing their best to forecast how each team will fare in the 2017-18 campaign.

Typically this preseason task is about as straightforward as playing table tennis blindfolded. Given the added layer of complexity due to superstars swapping teams at such an extraordinary rate, this year’s effort is more like playing table tennis without a table.

What this translates to: The upcoming season should be extremely fun and exciting, but also ridiculously unpredictable.

Below I do my best at predicting the unpredictable. Using OddShark as a baseline, I take my best shot at predicting whether each team will over- or underperform compared to their estimated win total. Let’s get to it!

**This is installment 1 of 2. The first 15 teams can be found in part 2 here. **

Miami Heat 43.5

Erik Spoelstra never seems to get the credit he deserves. Regardless, the Heat won 21 of 25 to start the 2017 calendar year, and since have added guys that look capable of contributing immediately in Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo. OVER

Milwaukee Bucks – 47.5

It’s beginning to look like Denzel Washington is the only guy capable of slowing the Bucks hype train at this point. Uber-athletic but still light on shooting, Milwaukee seems a year or two away from that 50-win plateau. UNDER

Minnesota Timberwolves – 48.5

Tom Thibodeau has virtually no bench, but then again he’s never really fancied them anyway. Andrew Wiggins has yet to prove he’s anything more than a scorer, and I’m not sure Jimmy Butler can singlehandedly propel the Wolves to EIGHTEEN more victories than last year. UNDER

New Orleans Pelicans – 39.5

Rolling out two of the best big men in the game while the rest of the league is rapidly shifting to small-ball is a bold move. The Pelicans make my head hurt. UNDER

New York Knicks – 30.5

The Melo-drama is finally over! With Carmelo Anthony in Oklahoma City, the Kristaps Porzingis era is now fully underway. Bagging the prehistoric triangle offense can’t hurt either. OVER

Oklahoma City Thunder – 50.5

Reigning MVP and fashion savant Russell Westbrook won 47 games almost all by himself last year. Can the additions of Carmelo Anthony and Paul George boost that total by four? Yeah, I’d think so. OVER

Orlando Magic – 33.5

Jonathan Isaac could be a star one day. In the short-term, however, Orlando will need some literal magic to be in the playoff conversation. UNDER

Philadephia 76ers – 41.5

The Process has been trusted. It looks like Philly is finally turning a corner, but with Joel Embiid likely on a minutes restriction, I doubt their win total jumps by a whopping 14 year-over-year. UNDER

Phoenix Suns – 29

The Suns refused to part with fourth overall pick Josh Jackson in trade discussions with the Cavaliers this summer, and with good reason. Jackson is likely to contribute from day one, adding a new weapon alongside the already lethal Devin Booker. OVER

Portland Trail Blazers – 42.5

After acquiring Jusuf Nurkic from Denver, the Blazers went on a tear winning 17 of their final 26 games to close the season. So they’ll probably win a few more regular season games before being bounced in the first round again… OVER

Sacramento Kings – 27.5

The Kings had what appears to be their first strong draft since the Reagan Administration was in office. Additions of Zach Randolph and George Hill should also help this year’s outlook as well. OVER

San Antonio Spurs – 54.5

If there’s anywhere Rudy Gay can revive his career after recovering from an Achilles injury, it’s in San Antonio. After all, Gay spent the last three years in Sacramento – a.k.a. basketball Mars – and remains a capable scorer and strong defender. Gregg Popovich always has answers. OVER

Toronto Raptors – 48.5

Win about fifty games, lose early in the playoffs in front of Drake, rinse, repeat. The Dinosaurs can surmount this projection, but it doesn’t change their playoff fate. OVER

Utah Jazz – 41

Gordon Hayward is in Massachusetts, which means Utah's new number one scoring option is the collection of fossils formerly known as Joe Johnson. UNDER

Washington Wizards – 48

Doing their best Toronto Raptors impersonation, the Wizards will return almost an exact replica of last year’s good-but-not-great roster. The difference, however, is that John Wall, Brad Beal and Otto Porter Jr are still ascending. OVER


Christopher Kreider | @krydr1