Vegas Over/Under: 51.5
The Record Projection: 52-30 of fromal The Bet: Prevent lean over
Since Kyle Wagner broke down for FiveThirtyEight, the inclusion of Paul George immediately reversed the Oklahoma City Thunder back to contention in the Western Conference:
„The top-5 of Westbrook, George, Enes Kanter, Steven Adams and Andre Roberson are worth 53 wins all on their own. But CARMELO thinks so little of the Thunder seat that the remainder of the roster is worth -2 wins. That seat was awful this past season, but young players such as Alex Abrines and Doug McDermott may improve with an additional season with the team, and this year’s first-round draft select Terrance Ferguson has potential as a spot-up shot on the wing, and also the team desperately needed last season. Still, with Taj Gibson probably leaving in free agency, the Thunder will be sparse. However, while their projection does not put the team nearly at the amount of the Golden State Warriors, or even the newly minted Chris Paul Houston Rockets, obtaining George should have an outsize effect on the Thunder.“
The TL;DR variant here is that even without factoring in the upside which stems from potential internal advancement, the Thunder already should’ve been expected to acquire 51 games. And that was written before OKC inked Patrick Patterson–a power forward who fits perfectly with the other expected starting pieces–into a bargain of a deal.
Improving much beyond the 51-win benchmark is a challenging task as the Thunder try to weave in new players effortlessly. But after watching Russell Westbrook function as a one-man show during his MVP-winning effort, they get to place so much more talent around him.
Expect big things.
Read more: chicagopost.net