We run through the entire Western Conference to and break down each team's season win total line. What moves were made in the offseason, and how will each squad fare in comparison to the rest in this stacked conference?
Dallas Mavericks Under 35.3
In: Josh McRoberts, Dennis Smith Jr., Jeff Withey.
Gone: DeAndre Liggins, Jarrod Uthoff.
The Mavericks are coming off one of their worst seasons in recent years, and while the face of the franchise, Dirk Nowitzki, is nearing age 40, Mavs’ fans can all rally around this year’s draft selection. Mark Cuban and Co. might have gotten the steal of the draft when they nabbed 19 year old Dennis Smith with the ninth pick, and the former NC State point guard has already been compared to Derrick Rose, Steve Francis and Penny Hardway.
For the most part, the Mavericks are running back the same squad that only managed to earn 33 wins last season, and the team will likely use this season as a ‘passing of the torch’ scenario, as Dennis Smith learns the ropes and ultimately gets handed the keys to the franchise.
Cuban is a businessman, and his franchise has decided to invest in its future rather than it’s present. Don’t expect many wins, but do expect rookie Dennis Smith to light up the highlight reels.
Denver Nuggets Under 45.5
In: Trey Lyles, Paul Millsap.
Gone: Danilo Gallinari, Roy Hibbert, Mike Miller.
The Nuggets narrowly missed the playoffs last season with 40 recorded wins, pushing them over last year’s win total of 34.5.
This summer the team made a major improvement when they unloaded Gallinari and acquired four0time All-Star Paul Millsap. Nikola Jokic was also named the league’s most improved player last season, and will Millsap in his corner, you can only expect his game to improve.
While the offense has some promise, the Nuggets really struggle defensively. The West is packed full of firepower, and it will take a few seasons for Denver to find a defensive solution that allows them to stay competitive.
Congrats on the Millsap acquisition, but even with this upgrade, topping 45.5 wins is not going to come easily.
Golden State Warriors Over 67.5
In: Omri Casspi, Nick Young.
Gone: Matt Barnes, Ian Clark.
What more can we say about this team? They are favored to win just about everything, and after a 67 win season and a 16-1 run through the playoffs, we could be looking at the best team in NBA history.
As far as offseason moves, Golden State mainly focused on locking down its talent for the next few years (sorry LeBron), but did add some swag with the signing of Nick Young, who is coming off of his best shooting season of his career.
And if you thought the warriors couldn't get any better, many feel that their selection of Jordan Bell in this year’s draft was one of the better picks, and Bell will see the court for valuable minutes in his first season.
It’s almost hard to see this team losing less than 70 games, so we will jump on the Over here.
Houston Rockets Over 55.5
In: Tarik Black, Luc Mbah a Moute, Chris Paul, P.J. Tucker.
Gone: Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Montrezl Harrell, Louis Williams.
I have already put together a detailed look at this the Houston Rockets season win total but will do my best to summarise here.
The Rockets are capable of outscoring just about anyone on any given night, and the addition of Chris Paul only improves the patentability of their offense. And when it comes to the defensive weakness that this team showed last season, Houston added P.J Tucker and Luc Mbah A Moute.
I expect this team to set the all-time three-point record as they cruise through the Western Conference earning a 2 or 3 seed in the playoffs. Also give them a look for the Division, where some sportsbooks have them incorrectly sitting just behind the injury-prone Spurs
Los Angeles Clippers Under 43.5
In: Patrick Beverley, Sam Dekker, Danilo Gallinari, Montrezl Harrell, Marshall Plumlee, Willie Reed, Milos Teodosic, Louis Williams.
Gone: Alan Anderson, Brandon Bass, Jamal Crawford, Raymond Felton, Luc Mbah a Moute, Chris Paul, Paul Pierce, J.J. Redick, Marreese Speights.
The Clippers have rightfully put a limit on Doc Rivers’ influence over this franchise, and a quick look at the above ‘In’ and ‘Gone’ list show just how quickly things have changed in LA.
Starting with the obvious, team leader Chris Paul has jumped ship to chase a title with the Rockets, and while this is probably the best move for the advancement of Blake Griffin’s development, this is a team that is going nowhere fast.
While Danilo Gallinari adds some offensive input, this team lacks deep threats and opposing defenses will be able to crowd the paint and make it difficult for the Clippers’ bigs. Blake can play physically, but he has a history of injuries. The pressure of carrying this team on his back combined with a lack perimeter players to help spread the floor, an injury could be more likely than not.
The total of 43.5 is ten short of last season’s 53.5 offering, and I just can’t trust Griffin’s health enough to back the over in this situation.
Los Angeles Lakers Over 33.5
In: Lonzo Ball, Andrew Bogut, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Brook Lopez.
Gone: Timofey Mozgov, Thomas Robinson, D'Angelo Russell, Metta World Peace, Nick Young.
So LA won the Summer League and Lakers’ Nation finally seems to have something to be excited about. But despite the excitement surrounding Lonzo Ball, this team still has a long way to go before becoming anything that resembles a threat in the West.
The Lakers franchise has one mission and one mission only this season: To lure in and land big talent next summer.
With rumors of LeBron James and/or Paul George looking to move West, the Lakers must prove that they not only offer one of the most visible stages in the world of basketball but also offer a young, talented supporting cast needed to make any title run complete.
Lonzo will establish himself as one of the league’s rising talents, and his ability to pass the ball and create shots for his teammates is just what any superstar wants to see before signing on.
That being said, I am going to hand LA the Over here, as they will take any opportunity to beat up on smaller teams to establish that the talent does indeed exist, all while strengthening the argument that they are only one great player away from becoming a title threat. Not to mention, I already expect a lot of the Western Conf. bottom feeders to go Under.
Memphis Grizzlies Under 37.5
In: Mario Chalmers, Tyreke Evans (SAC), Ben McLemore (SAC),
Gone: Tony Allen (NOP), Vince Carter (SAC), Troy Daniels (PHX), Zach Randolph (SAC).
Sorry Memphis fans, but everything you liked and loved about the Grizzlies is gone. Aside from Mike Conley, this team is merely a shadow of the physical, aggressive Memphis team we had grown to love over recent years. The lockdown defense of Tony Allen and Zach Randolph has dissolved, and they will now fall victim to impressive offensive attacks of the Western Conference front-runners.
Chandler Parson and Marc Gasol will help to make games competitive, but Conley will only be able to manage so much, and I can see many tight battles end in losses and ultimately frustration.
Bet Memphis to fall Under 37.5, which is six games under last year’s Over/Under number of 43.5.
Minnesota Timberwolves Over 48
In: Aaron Brooks, Jimmy Butler, Jamal Crawford, Taj Gibson, Justin Patton, Jeff Teague.
Gone: Omri Casspi, Kris Dunn, Jordan Hill, Zach LaVine, Adreian Payne, Ricky Rubio, Brandon Rush.
The T-Wolves have a roster full of talent, and Karl-Anthony Towns is quickly becoming one of the league’s biggest names. Add that to the fact that head coach Tom Thibodeau managed to reunite with Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson in free agency, and we are looking at a team destined to improve.
Jimmy Butler is a great addition to any team, and his ability to impact both sides of the game will make itself evident immediately. He will also serve as a great mentor to the younger Towns & Wiggins.
A win total of 48 is 6.5 games higher than last year’s offering of 41.5, and I feel that the offseason additions who already fit the coaches style of play are easily worth that number. Expect Minnesota to get off to a hot start.
New Orleans Pelicans Over 39.5
In: Tony Allen, Ian Clark, Rajon Rondo.
Gone: Quinn Cook, Tim Frazier, Quincy Pondexter.
I am going out on a limb here, as this team has the star power to win 40 games, but has not yet managed to pull it all together.
The half season ‘Twin Towers’ project proved ineffective, but with both Cousins and Davis looking to impress suitors, I expect them to find a way to coexist effectively in a way they couldn’t last season.
The addition of Tony Allen will help on the defensive front, and Rondo’s passing wizardry will put both Davis and Cousins in ideal situations to rack up points.
Many of my colleagues are on the Under here, as this is a team that only managed 34 wins last season. Do remember that they were slow out of the gates in 2016, falling in their first 8 matchups. A better start, and with Rondo putting the ball on the ground, I expect this team to find its stride early as both big men get their touches.
Oklahoma City Thunder Over 51.5
In: Carmelo Anthony, Raymond Felton, Paul George, Patrick Patterson.
Gone: Norris Cole, Taj Gibson, Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis.
I will start by asking this… Is this team only three wins better than the Timberwolves?
I will keep this one short, as this team has talent, skill and a competitive nature. Westbrook will find a way to get his touches, but he did manage to post impressive numbers behind Durant, the NBA Scoring Leader more than once. Melo adds options to the team, and Paul George gives Westbrook the closest thing to KD that he could have asked for given the pieces available this offseason.
Star power comes at a cost, and the acquisitions came at the expense of their bench. If this team had some depth, there is no doubt that this total would be higher. That being said, I am willing to take a shot at the over here as Westbrook will no longer have to run the show solo, and despite what many might think, he will welcome the help.
In a recent interview, many Warriors players stated that Westbrook was easy to play against, given the fact that you knew where the ball was going and who was likely going to take the shot. Options will allow him to spread the floor a bit more, and while he will remain the team’s leader, he knows that this season is a year-long recruiting trip for Paul George. With Russ locked in with OKC for the long haul, he needs to convince Paul that his best shot at a title is with the Thunder.
Phoenix Suns Under 28.5
In: Anthony Bennett, Troy Daniels.
Gone: Leandro Barbosa, Ronnie Price.
Let's just change the name of this team to ‘The Devin Bookers’ as that's about all there is to see here. Fans show up to watch him play but expect little from this struggling franchise.
The Suns have some dead weight that they are carrying around, and until contracts expire or they find suitors for Eric Bledsoe and Tyson Chandler, the Suns will remain in the cellar of the NBA.
Portland Trail Blazers Under 42.5
In: Archie Goodwin, Anthony Morrow.
Gone: Allen Crabbe, Festus Ezeli, Tim Quarterman.
Another Under here, as this team made no significant moves in the offseason to improve their situation. While they just made the Western Conference playoffs last season, I am not predicting a blue 43 win season for the team.
I am a fan of Damian Lillard, and CJ McCollum helps to keep the team competitive, but their supporting cast is not enough to push them over the .500 mark.
Sacramento Kings Over 28.5
In: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Vince Carter, De'Aaron Fox, George Hill, Zach Randolph.
Gone: Arron Afflalo, Darren Collison, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, Rudy Gay, Ty Lawson, Ben McLemore.
This team earned 32 wins last season, and this includes having to regroup after shipping centerpiece DeMarcus Cousins off to New Orleans mid-season.
Rookie De’Aaron Fox could turn out to to be a true talent, and Z-Bo adds a defensive presence to this squad. However, I am expecting a slow start in Sac-Town, as this team unloaded its core rotation in the offseason. Chemistry will develop, but it might not come quickly enough to reach last year’s mark.
I am going Under here, but do hope that the veterans on the team help mentor De’Aaron Fox and aid his development into one of the league’s premier young talents.
San Antonio Spurs Under 54.5
In: Rudy Gay, Joffrey Lauvergne.
Gone: Joel Anthony, Dewayne Dedmon, David Lee, Jonathon Simmons.
I feel that this is the most overhyped win total in the Western Conference, and while the talent of Kawhi Leonard is undeniable, I just can't trust him to stay on the court long enough to help his team top the 54.4 mark.
Rudy Gay makes a nice addition, but the team looks a lot like last season’s 61 win squad, just older. Popovich is known to sit players at any moment to avoid injury, and he will even throw in the towel if he feels the game might be out of reach yet little is at stake., Recently Coach Popovich has said all of the right things about LaMarcus Aldridge in hopes of jump-starting the player's effectiveness, and he better hope it works, as this team needs something to help it compete with the fast-paced offences in the Conference.
Knowing that this team is aging, and they all live and die by the performance of Leonard, I see this team not only falling under but also losing the division to the younger Rockets.
Utah Jazz Under 40.5
In: Jonas Jerebko, Ricky Rubio, Thabo Sefolosha.
Gone: Boris Diaw, Gordon Hayward, George Hill, Trey Lyles, Shelvin Mack, Jeff Withey.
The Jazz had a win total of 47.5 last season, but the offseason was not so kind to the boys from Utah. The Boston Celtics managed to swipe away All-Star F Gordon Hayward, and the Jazz received little to nothing in return.
This team has too many question marks for me to trust them to reach the 41 win mark, and for that reason, I really have little to no opinion on this team at this point in time. I want to see hope Ricky Rubio fits into the system here and will look to locate specific situations where this team might be worth a gamble.
Instinct pushes me Under here.Make Sure To Check Out SBR A+ Rated Bovada For All NBA Season Win Totals