By: Denery Noone, Scott Brock-Wilson, and Justin Lynch
The start of the Western Conference in our over/under series.
Golden State Warriors: 60.5
Denery:OVER: They are still the defending champs, they did not lose anybody major besides David Lee, who was a role player at best. They still have the reigning MVP, the runner up for defensive player of the year, and one of the best coaches in the league if Steve Kerr returns. This team will be right back in the hunt for another championship.
Scott: OVER: They are essentially the same team as last year assuming Kerr returns. They will not lose seven more games than last year. They are way too good.
Lynch: OVER: They won 67 last year and didn’t lose anyone. However, Kerr missing time will be tough and they were one of the best regular season teams of all time last season. You can’t expect 65+ wins again, especially after a shaky preseason, but I’m not picking against them.
Los Angeles Clippers: 56.5
Denery:UNDER: The only reason I say under is because the West is so talented that it is really hard to win that many games. However, I do believe that this team will be a top 3 team in the West and should battle in the playoffs. The return of Deandre Jordan is obviously the biggest thing that happened to them this offseason, but don’t sleep on the additions of Paul Pierce and Lance Stephenson. They will mix well in this offense.
Scott: UNDER: This is a tough one. They won 56 last year, and I see them right around there again this year (56-57). I lean towards the under considering the addition of Pierce and Smith may pay off more in the postseason than the regular season.
Lynch: OVER: This is the Clippers opportunity. They finally have a good bench and loaded up on the wing this offseason. Though this team might blow up in everyone's faces, I see them approaching 60 wins.
Phoenix Suns: 36.5
Denery: Over: Brandon Knight is a very good point guard in the league, and him and Devin Booker will mix extremely well in the backcourt. Booker is going to help them a lot in terms of shooting, the one knock on him though is that he is a defensive liability. Chandler will add a lot of protection in the paint and him and Len will dominate.
Scott: OVER: They won 39 last year, but struggled towards the end of the season. Booker will add much needed shooting to this team. Chandler will allow Len to develop and learn even more. I see them around 37-38 wins this season.
Lynch: UNDER: Chandler will take away from Len's minutes and stunt his growth, at least for this season. I'm not sure Brandon Knight and Eric Bledsoe are going to be great together. They also upset Markieff by trading his brother. It could get semi-ugly.
Sacramento Kings: 30.5
Denery: OVER: BEST BET: I like the Kings to compete this year, they have a lot of talent. I think Rondo is going to have a bounce back season after last years humbling disaster. The fact that they kept Boogie and added Cauley-Stein in the draft is huge. They have so much athleticism and size to go along with Boogie’s ability to score. Don’t sleep on Rudy Gay as well. He will not have as much pressure on him this season as he has in the past, and that might help him. I don’t necessarily think they will make the playoffs, but they are going to compete this season.
Scott: OVER: The Kings could be disastrous, or they could possible squeak into the playoffs with some help. They could go either way. Boogie is going to be a beast and they won 29 last season. I do think they got a little better with Cauley-Stein and Rondo so I’ll go over.
Lynch: OVER: I really, really don't like this pick, but...The Kings (gulp) have some talent. Boogie, McLemore, and Gay are solid and Cauley-Stein, Casspi, and Bellinelli should all contribute. Of course, Rondo is a wild card and this could all go horribly wrong, but I'll take the over.
Los Angeles Lakers: 29.5
Denery: UNDER: This team is not ready. Kobe’s inconsistent health will hurt them again this season. Julius Randle is basically a rookie considering he missed all of last season, so he will definitely have some growing pains. Russell is a great player, but he is not enough to carry this team. Also, they simply do not have enough depth to win a lot of games this year.
Scott: UNDER: The Lakers won 21 games last year. Essentially they got Kobe, Russell, Randle, and Hibbert this offseason. This is another close one, but no one knows if Kobe can even stay healthy. Russell and Randle will both have a lot of growing pains.
Lynch: UNDER: This team's a mess. No spacing upfront. Randle might be terrible. Kobe is hindering everyone's growth. I'm not sure Clarkson is good.