By: Denery Noone, Scott Brock-Wilson and Justin Lynch
This is the first part of a six part series of NBA Over/Unders for team wins. For the next six days, Denery, Scott and Lynch will give you their prediction for each team in the NBA.
Here are the predictions for the Atlantic Division.
Toronto Raptors: 45.5
Denery: OVER: I like the Raptors to win more than 50 games this year. Kyle Lowry has been dominant in the preseason and I look for him to continue that as well. The addition of DeMarre Carroll will help Lowry and DeRozan out a lot.
Scott: OVER: I am low on the Raptors, but let’s be honest, they aren’t losing 4 more games than last year. They got better with Carroll and Joseph, however I expect them to have a worse seeding in the East due to the better play of the conference as a whole. I hope Bargnani was worth a top lottery pick Knick fans.
Lynch: OVER: They fell apart in the second-half of last season before withering away in round one, but Lowry is back in shape and having a crazy preseason. Also, Carroll and DeRozan are sneaky good on the wing. Jonas with new money could take another step as well.
Boston Celtics: 42.5
Denery: OVER: I like the Celtics chances this year to win about 48 games and get a 6 seed. They added a lot of depth and a little scoring this offseason. David Lee and Amir Johnson will help the young guys develop, and I think Marcus Smart will improve again this year. Look for James Young to contribute if he gets the chance.
Scott: OVER: BEST BET: This line is way way too low. The Celtics have a chance to win 50 games this year (even though that may be a little high). The only loss they suffered was Bass. They added Lee, Johnson, PJIII, and three rookies (Rozier, Hunter, Mickey) who have all shown potential. However, there are too many players and not enough minutes on this team. They are still missing their star, but are a good team that can expect to be in the playoffs once more.
Lynch: OVER: BEST BET: I don’t know why teams aren’t taking the C’s seriously. Super deep, super well-coached, no way they’re worse than last year’s 40 wins with offseason acquisitions and player development.
Brooklyn Nets: 28.5
Denery: OVER: As badly as I want the Nets to tank because the Celtics own their pick, I think they have too much talent to be under 28.5 wins this year. They got most of their core back, minus the aging Deron Williams. However, that was a good move for the Nets.
Scott: UNDER: I don’t see Lopez staying healthy for the entire year, and Johnson cannot carry the team. Bogdanovic will not be able to keep up his performance from last year. The Nets are old and slow and will be near the bottom of the East.
Lynch: UNDER: This was a tough one. 38 wins last year and they only really lost Deron Williams. But they’re one Lopez injury away from having only one semi-good player (Joe Johnson). The East is better, and the Nets are worse. Besides, I can’t root for a team this boring to win.
Philadelphia 76ers: 21.5
Denery: UNDER: The Sixers did not do enough in the draft to make people believe that they will improve off of last years 18 win total. They added Jahlil Okafor, but that was in the only position that they are actually strong in. it will be interesting to see how he and Noel mix together. They need to start making additions in the backcourt, guys that are better than Nik Stauskas.
Scott: UNDER: The Sixers have two good players: Nerlens and Okafor. The Sixers want to be the worst team in the league so they can get the first pick and add a young guard to combine with those two. Will the worst team win 22 games or more? I don't think so.
Lynch: OVER: Don’t bet on the Sixers, but they do have Wroten back (though he’s not actually good), Stauskas (though we’re not sure if he’s good), Okafor, and Nerlens. They won 18 games last year with JaKarr Sampson and Robert Covington, 22 seems reasonable.
New York Knicks: 31.5
Denery: UNDER: Melo does not have the ability to carry this team. I like the additions of Robin Lopez and Aaron Afflalo, but I think their best bet is to give guys like Porzingis and Jerian Grant a lot of playing time, allowing them to develop.
Scott: UNDER: They will have Melo back, along with Afflalo and Lopez, who are good starters, but their overall style of play will be the same: isolation for Melo. The Knicks are the Knicks and will struggle yet again.
Lynch: UNDER: They certainly upgraded, but how much are Afflalo and Robin Lopez really going to help. Maybe Melo can become Melo again, but I see a team trying to bail on their superstar by December. Kristaps isn’t ready yet either. Watch out for Jerian Grant, though.