2019-20 NBA Season Win Totals Predictions: Over and Under Picks for Every Team
Following another wild offseason, the 2019-20 NBA campaign-one of the most highly-anticipated in years, to be sure-is about to begin. Both of the Los Angeles teams have loaded up; the Lakers by trading for Anthony Davis and the Clippers in the form of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Houston has a big two of its own with Russell Westbrook joining James Harden, as those three Western Conference powers look to overtake Golden State. With Leonard no longer in the East, is the door open for either Milwaukee or Philadelphia? That question, and many others, will be discussed here in the form of "over/under" win totals.
Best over play
Brooklyn Nets (43.5) - Over . With Kevin Durant almost certain to miss the entire regular season, Brooklyn may be a year away from greatness and is not expected to be much better than .500 in 2019-20. Fellow newcomer Kyrie Irving, however, is good to go. He joins a team that already has plenty of weapons in Spencer Dinwiddie, Joe Harris, and Caris LeVert. The Nets should be especially outstanding defensively thanks in part to Jarrett Allen, DeAndre Jordan, and Taurean Prince. Even without Durant, this team should be a lock for the playoffs.
Best under play
Utah Jazz (53.5) - Under . Expectations will be off the charts for Brooklyn in 2020-21; they are sky-high for Utah in 2019-20. The Jazz are coming off a 50-32 campaign in which they lost to Houston in the first round (five games). Can Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic, among others, take them to the next level this season? Although it's possible, keep in mind this squad also lost Ricky Rubio, Kyle Korver, and Derrick Favors. It also has to be noted that basically the entire Western Conference other than Golden State loaded up, to the schedule will be tough.
Milwaukee Bucks (57.5) - Under . I'm just not seeing a reason by the Bucks' win total should be three higher than the next-best team in the NBA. Giannis Antetokounmpo deservedly won NBA MVP last season, but his supporting cast really is not overly spectacular.
Philadelphia 76ers (54.5) - Over . Moreover, the Eastern Conference is no slouch. The Bucks are going to have some tough regular-season games, including with Philadelphia. Jimmy Butler is gone, but Al Hoford has arrived and will form a formidable frontcourt with Joel Embiid.
Houston Rockets (53.5) - Over . The Rockets have not one but two MVP candidates in Harden and Westbrook. They have played with each other before, so it should not take too long to gel. It remains to be seen if this team is built for the playoffs, but it will likely excel in the regular season.
Los Angeles Clippers (53.5) - Over . Speaking of dynamic duos, the Clippers brought in both Leonard and George . Leonard was by far the best player in last season's playoffs, leading Toronto to the title. This team will be an absolute force on both ends of the floor.
Toronto Raptors (53.5) - Under . Leonard's departure should not be underestimated. Well, I don't think anyone is underestimating it…but it is going to have a really big impact on Toronto's title defense. Pascal Siakam will have to emerge as a star, but on the offensive end that may not happen.
Denver Nuggets (52.5) - Under . Denver is coming back with basically its exact same team …and why not? The Nuggets went 54-28 last season and came within one win of the Western Conference Finals. But they did not get any better, whereas plenty of West rivals made an obvious leap.
Los Angeles Lakers (50.5) - Over . LeBron James finally has some help, and it comes in the form of Davis, the best big man in the business. The Lakers obviously gave up a lot in order to make that happen, but LeBron and A.D. alone are enough to return this franchise to at least some kind of glory.
Boston Celtics (48.5) - Over . Last season was basically a disaster, at least based on expectations. Less is expected now because of what happened in 2018-19 and because Irving and Horford are gone. But Gordon Hayward is presumably healthier, and Kemba Walker may be better than Irving.
Golden State Warriors (48.5) - Over . Durant is gone and Klay Thompson will miss a lot of the season due to injury, but the Warriors still have Stephen Curry and Draymond Green. D'Angelo Russell is coming off a huge season with Brooklyn, so there is still a lot to like about Golden State.
Portland Trail Blazers (46.5) - Over . The Trail Blazers not only won 53 games in 2018-19 but also made a memorable run to the Western Conference Finals. They lost a fair amount of role players, but there will be no big step back with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum still on board.
Indiana Pacers (46.5) - Under . Indiana went a respectable 48-34 last season even though Victor Oladipo missed 46 games. It is unclear when Oladipo will return from his knee injury to begin his 2019-20 campaign, and without him the Pacers do not have much offensive firepower.
San Antonio Spurs (45.5) - Under . A new era of Spurs basketball without Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, or Manu Ginobili began in decent enough fashion with a 48-34 record in 2018-19. Can head coach Gregg Popovich continue to keep this team afloat? Maybe, but the talent level is not great.
Miami Heat (43.5) - Over . In Dwyane Wade's final season, the Heat were one of the last teams eliminated from playoff contention. They figure to be near the cut line once again, but the arrival of Jimmy Butler may get them back in it. If Goran Dragic stays healthy, the backcourt is potent.
Orlando Magic (41.5) - Under . Miami and Orlando are once again expected to be in a battle for the final few playoff spots. The Magic got the No. 7 seed in the East this past season with 42 wins, but they did nothing in the offseason to improve. This team remains mediocre at best.
Dallas Mavericks (40.5) - Under . The future is now in Dallas, where Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis have their team poised to be relevant for years to come. Last season was all about Dirk Nowitzki's retirement tour, but this season the Mavericks can actually focus on winning.
New Orleans Pelicans (39.5) - Over . Speaking of both the present and the future, the Zion Williamson show has arrived in the Big Easy. Combine the Pelicans' stunning draft lottery win with their haul of players from the Davis trade, and they should make an immediate and massive improvement.
Sacramento Kings (38.5) - Over . The Kings were in playoff contention much of the way in 2018-19 before fading down the stretch. They won 39 games, and there is no reason why they should win less than that this time around. Sacramento is a young squad that is on the rise.
Detroit Pistons (37.5) - Over . How the Pistons fare in 2019-20 will have a lot to do with newcomer Derrick Rose. Pinning hopes on Rose staying healthy is rarely a good thing, but at the same time, they still have Blake Griffin. Detroit isn't great, but it should come close to last season's 41-41 record.
Minnesota Timberwolves (35.5) - Under . Minnesota went from a 47-35 record in 2017-18 to a 36-46 mark last season. It does not take a genius to figure out that this team is declining and wasting the prime years of Karl-Anthony Towns. It also lost far more than it added this past offseason.
Atlanta Hawks (34.5) - Over . The Hawks are coming, and perhaps sooner rather than later. Trae Young finished runner-up to Doncic in Rookie of the Year voting and he now has fellow youngsters De'Andre Hunter and Cam Reddish with which to work. A playoff berth is not out of the question.
Chicago Bulls (33.5) - Under . Chicago has Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen, but as last year (22-60) suggests, this team is still eons away from being good. The Bulls' offseason was unspectacular. If they exceed 33 wins, I'll be as surprised as Cobi White was when Cam Johnson got drafted.
Oklahoma City Thunder (31.5) - Under . If there was ever a rebuild in the NBA, this is it. Oklahoma City, which once had Durant, Harden, and Westbrook at the same time, now has no one. Well, Chris Paul is on the roster. Other than that, OKC is young and not interested in winning anytime soon.
Phoenix Suns (29.5) - Under . Phoenix finished second-to-last (tied) in the league last season but also got passed left and right by better teams in the draft lottery. Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton may eventually get things on track, but an improvement of 11 wins is a big ask.
Washington Wizards (27.5) - Over . John Wall is out, but he played in only 32 games last season, and the Wizards still found the win column 32 times. They got rid of a lot of pieces this summer, but much of that was addition by subtraction. Bradley Beal will prevent this team from being one of the three worst.
New York Knicks (26.5) - Under . New York got excited when it was assured of a top-three pick, but it ended up being No. 3-meaning no Williamson or Ja Morant. R.J. Barrett could make an instant impact, but not to the extent that the Knicks will make a sudden 10-win improvement.
Memphis Grizzlies (26.5) - Over . The Grizzlies won 33 games last season, and they are not going to get that much worse without Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. This new-look squad brought in all kinds of pieces such as Andre Iguodala, Dwight Howard, Josh Jackson, and rookie Morant.
Cleveland Cavaliers (24.5) - Under . Unlike Memphis, Cleveland is not trending in the right direction. The Cavaliers are coming off a 19-63 campaign and they got unlucky in the draft lottery. With no help around him, veteran forward Kevin Love is just going through the motions at this point.
Charlotte Hornets (23.5) - Under . Michael Jordan ain't walkin' through that door as a player. Unfortunately, he continues to walk through that door as team president. Kemba Walker is gone, and Terry Rozier is by no means a suitable replacement. Without Walker, this roster is in shambles.
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