NBA: Predicting Every Team’s Win Total For 2016-17

Oct 6, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) walks onto the court prior to the game against the Sacramento Kings at the SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2016-17 NBA regular season roughly two weeks away, we go team-by-team in order to carve out each club’s 2016-17 win total

The 2016-17 NBA regular season is roughly two weeks away. We’re now offically knee-deep into preseason and we’re beginning to get a greater grasp on what we should expect this year.

Even though the shock of seeing Kevin Durant in a Golden State Warriors jersey is still very much in fact alive, it’s becoming more and more real. The same could be said about Dwyane Wade in Chicago Bulls colors.

Bottom line is, real basketball is near. It’s in the air.

As the NBA’s regular season draws near, we decided to go team-by-team in order to predict how much each team in the league will fare this season.

Before you yell at us in the comment section, hear us out.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers-Media Day

Los Angeles Lakers

Record Projection: 27-55

I actually love where the Los Angeles Lakers are going with their roster construction. They’re definitely on the right track. Now, after hiring Luke Walton, the Lakers can actually begin building and developing.

The foundation is there, led by D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram. Now the hard part begins. They need to prove that these are the guys that are going to bring the Lakers back to prominence.

It’s easy to coach the best team the NBA has ever seen, which is exactly what Walton did when Steve Kerr was sidelined with an injury. It’s an entirely different thing to coach a team that is young, raw and really had no direction.

The Lakers will win more games than they did last season, but there’s still plenty of growing pains up ahead for this team.

Jan 13, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein (00) reacts with center DeMarcus Cousins (15) as Cousins goes to the line against the New Orleans Pelicans during the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. New Orleans defeated Sacramento 109-97. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 13, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein (00) reacts with center DeMarcus Cousins (15) as Cousins goes to the line against the New Orleans Pelicans during the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. New Orleans defeated Sacramento 109-97. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Sacramento Kings

Record Prediction: 30-52

As much as I want DeMarcus Cousins to succeed with the Sacramento Kings, I can’t help but feel sorry for the roster construction that has gone on in Sac-Town. The hiring of Dave Joerger was a step in the right direction, but it won’t be enough to turn things around in Sacramento.

Rudy Gay and Ben McLemore will probably be gone by January and this team has huge need in the backcourt. Can Darren Collison and Ty Lawson carry this team at the point guard position? Who knows.

While Arron Afflalo is a fine player, he’s not going to move the needle either way. Once again, the weight of this team will fall on Boogie’s shoulders. Shame.

Oct 5, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) walks off the court for a timeout in the first half of the game against the Utah Jazz at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 5, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) walks off the court for a timeout in the first half of the game against the Utah Jazz at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

Phoenix Suns

Record Prediction: 31-51

There are a lot of ifs, ands and buts for this Phoenix Suns team. And many of them revolve around the health of Eric Bledsoe. There’s no question that this team is head and shoulders better when he’s healthy.

However, he’s missed at least half the season in two of his first three years with the Suns. Odds are that he’ll at least miss some time this season, unfortunately.

I could see the Suns making a run to the playoffs as much as I could see them winning only 30 games this season. I  think there’s a better chance they win 30, though.

Apr 21, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) looks at the replay screen during the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder in game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. The Thunder defeated the Mavericks 131-102. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 21, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) looks at the replay screen during the second half against the Oklahoma City Thunder in game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. The Thunder defeated the Mavericks 131-102. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks

Record Prediction: 35-47

Rick Carlisle is one of the best coaches in the NBA, but I still don’t know how he took last year’s Dallas Mavericks to the playoffs. It’s still a mystery to this day. Nevertheless, with the additions of Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut, you’d think they’d be even better this season, right?

Wrong. At least not in my humble opinion. I feel like the Mavs are going to get a bit worse this season because there’s going to be more “figuring it out” this season compared to last.

James Anderson and Harrison Barnes will begin to become the focal point of this team’s offense. With an aging Dirk Nowitzki, eventually there’s going to be a drop-off. That could be this season.

Oct 3, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) dribbles the ball against the Toronto Raptors during the third quarter at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 3, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Denver Nuggets guard Emmanuel Mudiay (0) dribbles the ball against the Toronto Raptors during the third quarter at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Nuggets

Record Prediction: 38-44

Let the record show that I absolutely love what the Denver Nuggets have done of the last few seasons. The young talent that they’ve assembled during that time is quite impressive. However, that’s exactly its problem. It’s still so young.

Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris, Jamal Murray, Will Barton, Nikola Jokic, Jusuf Nurkic – this young core for the Nuggets is exactly the group that’s going to elevate this team back to prominence. Though, it won’t come quickly.

Mudiay is coming off a historically awful rookie season, but it’s pretty obvious that he has all the raw talent in the world. Harris will miss the start of the season, but he’s one of the NBA’s most underrated two-guards. Barton probably should’ve been the NBA’s most improved player last season and Jokic would’ve won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award if this unicorn of a player, Karl-Anthony Towns, didn’t exist.

The Nuggets are headed in the right direction. Just not there yet.

Oct 4, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) shoots over Indiana Pacers forward Thaddeus Young (21) during the first quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 4, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) shoots over Indiana Pacers forward Thaddeus Young (21) during the first quarter of a game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Pelicans

Record Prediction: 39-43

This team is Anthony Davis and not much more. Even though they made some improvements this offseason by adding players like Langston Galloway and, Lance Stephenson, Solomon Hill and Terrence Jones, the one player to watch this season will be Buddy Hield.

With the Jrue Holiday and Tyreke Evans experiment not exactly working for the Pelicans, Hield offers an interesting element for the Pelicans moving forward.

If Hield can be the player many think he can be in the NBA, and that’s a really good one, then the Pelicans’ ceiling certainly changes. Even moreso if Evans and Holiday can stay healthy for the year.

Though, in the end, this season is going to come down to Anthony Davis’ health. As always.

Apr 5, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) and guard C.J. McCollum (3) walk up the court during the fourth quarter of the game against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Sacramento Kings 115-107. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 5, 2016; Sacramento, CA, USA; Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) and guard C.J. McCollum (3) walk up the court during the fourth quarter of the game against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. The Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Sacramento Kings 115-107. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Trail Blazers

Record Prediction: 42-40 

The Portland Trail Blazers were last year’s sweethearts. There’s no question about that. After losing 80 percent of its starting lineup last summer, it was easy to root for the underdog Blazers led by Damian Lillard.

Though, now that they’re not going to surprise anyone, it’s going to be a bit harder to take the NBA by storm. Portland added Evan Turner and Festus Ezeli in the offseason, which are both solid signings in a vacuum.

However, I’m not exactly sure how Turner will ultimately make this team better. But, that’s why I’m not in an NBA front office, I suppose.

Feb 20, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine (8) and guard Ricky Rubio (9) against the New York Knicks at Target Center. The Knicks defeated the Timberwolves 103-95. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 20, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine (8) and guard Ricky Rubio (9) against the New York Knicks at Target Center. The Knicks defeated the Timberwolves 103-95. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Timberwolves

Record Prediction: 44-38

As much as I love this Minnesota Timberwolves and their huge upside, I had to temper my expectations on Tom Thibodeau’s young pups.

Some will have them in the top 4 or 5 in the Western Conference, I just can’t put those types of expectations on them. Not this season. This is a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in years (13 to be exact).

Now, they’re just supposed to make the leap all the way into the top 5? I don’t see it. There’s no question that this team is talented. In fact, you can say that this is the most talented young roster in the NBA. They’re going to be better in 2016-17. They’ll make the playoffs, too. Just don’t put unrealistic expectations on the young pups.

Let them grow.

Oct 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) reacts after a play during the second quarter against the New York Knicks at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) reacts after a play during the second quarter against the New York Knicks at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rockets

Record Prediction: 45-37

If nothing else, this team is going to be a joy to watch. With Mike D’Antoni back in the fold, we should be able to once again see a free and loose James Harden – something that we often failed to see last season.

This team may not have the talent as some of the previous incarnations of themselves, but they still have enough to make some noise in the Western Conference. I have this Rockets team penciled into the 7th seed, and fully expect this team to be one of the highest scoring clubs in the NBA this season.

Apr 23, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (left) and center Enes Kanter (right) react during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks in game four of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 23, 2016; Dallas, TX, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (left) and center Enes Kanter (right) react during the fourth quarter against the Dallas Mavericks in game four of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma City Thunder

Record Prediction: 45-37

Kevin Durant may no longer be in the lineup for the Oklahoma City Thunder this season, but the team will still feature some of the best talent in the NBA. Let’s not forget that this team still has Russell Westbrook, a young Enes Kanter and a still-developing Victor Oladipo.

The Thunder will still be in the picture this season. Question is, how much of a step back will they take sans Durant? We just don’t know. I don’t even know if the Thunder know.

The most interesting storyline with this team, though, will certainly be Westbrook. This is finally HIS team and he won’t be asked or questioned to defer to another player. It could result in crazy statistical numbers for Russ.

Apr 10, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (20) celebrates with guard Rodney Hood (5) after a play in the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. The Jazz defeated the Nuggets 100-84. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 10, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Utah Jazz forward Gordon Hayward (20) celebrates with guard Rodney Hood (5) after a play in the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. The Jazz defeated the Nuggets 100-84. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Utah Jazz

Record Prediction: 49-33

It doesn’t take a rockets scientist to read between the lines. I really like the Utah Jazz this season. Though, the injury to Gordon Hayward really concerns me. He’s projected to miss the first 2-4 weeks of the NBA season.

Nevertheless, I suppose that’s why the team signed Joe Johnson, right? That insurance is going to get put to the test early. And that’s really the big question with this team. Can they stay healthy? It seems that if it isn’t Hayward, it’s Derrick Favors. If it isn’t Favors, it’s Rudy Gobert.

There’s no question that this team has the talent to make a deep run in the West, but sometimes it’s just a matter of health. That’s how I see this year’s Jazz.

Mar 6, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) signals to his team as he dribbles in the first quarter against the Phoenix Suns at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 6, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) signals to his team as he dribbles in the first quarter against the Phoenix Suns at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Memphis Grizzlies

Record Prediction: 49-33

Speaking of a team’s success that will be dictated by its health, the Memphis Grizzlies are a lot like the Utah Jazz in that way. For me, this team’s most important player is Chandler Parsons, the guy they just handed a boatload of cash this summer.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Mike Conley and Marc Gasol are almost equally as important for this team. There’s no question about that. However, the flexibility that Parsons offers on both ends of the floor is really special.

And something that this team hasn’t had in quite some time, if ever.

Apr 22, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) shoots a three point shot against the Memphis Grizzlies in game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at FedExForum. Spurs defeated Grizzlies 96-87. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Apr 22, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) shoots a three point shot against the Memphis Grizzlies in game three of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at FedExForum. Spurs defeated Grizzlies 96-87. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs

Record Prediction: 50-32

Fresh off their best season in franchise-history, I feel like the San Antonio Spurs are bound to take a step back this year. If nothing else, because of the subtraction of Tim Duncan. But this won’t just be about his court presence, most of his impact will be missed as a locker room presence.

I know he’s expected to be part of the organization in one facet or another, but you just can’t replace a guy like Duncan.

Pau Gasol was a nice addition, but he leaves a lot to be desired on the defensive side of the ball and won’t be able to fit Duncan’s shoes on that end of the floor. Expect small drop-off for the Spurs this season. They’ll still be really good, though.

Jan 18, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers players Chris Paul (3) and DeAndre Jordan (6), forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (12) and Austin Rivers (25) and J.J. Redick (4) huddle during an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center. The Clippers defeated the Rockers 140-132 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 18, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers players Chris Paul (3) and DeAndre Jordan (6), forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (12) and Austin Rivers (25) and J.J. Redick (4) huddle during an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center. The Clippers defeated the Rockers 140-132 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

LA Clippers

Record Prediction: 55-27

Just based on rosters, other than the Warriors and Cavs, the Clippers have arguably the best one in the NBA. Considering that Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are both free agents after this season, this could be this team’s last crack at making a run in the Western Conference.

If not this year, it’s probably never happening. Problem is, at the end of this “run” they will likely have to face off against a potentially unbeatable Golden State Warriors team.

Expect the Clippers to have another potentially historic regular season and then hit their ceiling in the playoffs. Hopefully, this team will at least make the Western Conference Finals for the first time in team history, though.

Oct 6, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) gives a high five to guard Klay Thompson (11) before the start of the game against the Sacramento Kings at the SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 6, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) gives a high five to guard Klay Thompson (11) before the start of the game against the Sacramento Kings at the SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Golden State Warriors

Record Prediction: 60-22

Ah, the Golden State Warriors. Some wonder how this team will even lose one game, much less 22. But, I’m going to take a bold stance here. I believe that this team isn’t going to to try to break the 73-win mark.

I think this team will rest its players more than most people expect. I believe this team is going to struggle at times on the offensive end, with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant both trying not to step on each other’s feet.

This team will begin peaking after the all-star break, as is often the case for most teams that only really care about the playoffs.

Sep 26, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic (44) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 26, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Bojan Bogdanovic (44) poses for a portrait during media day at HSS Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Brooklyn Nets

Record Prediction: 18-64

The fact that Jeremy Lin is now considered one of the faces of the franchise for the Brooklyn Nets should tell you all you need to know about the state of this team.

The Nets aren’t going to win many games this season, and we should get used to that idea. There simply isn’t enough talent on this roster. Brook Lopez and Lin aren’t going to win you anything in the NBA, much less in an improved Eastern Conference.

Brooklyn has a long road ahead of themselves. This season is going to consist of a lot of growing pains.

Oct 6, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) in a game against the Washington Wizards at Wells Fargo Center. The Washington Wizards 125-119. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 6, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) in a game against the Washington Wizards at Wells Fargo Center. The Washington Wizards 125-119. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia 76ers

Record Prediction: 23-59

There’s no question that the Philadelphia 76ers are going to be better in 2016-17. In fact, they’re going to be much better, on paper at least. Though, with the loss of Ben Simmons I felt I had to knock off about five wins off their total.

This team still lacks a true lead guard and Simmons was supposed to act as the team’s point forward this season. His loss will hurt.

The good news for the Philadelphia 76ers? So far, through a couple games in preseason, Joel Embiid looks like the real deal.

Nov 1, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (right) celebrates with Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow (left) after Winslow made a three point basket during the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 109-89. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 1, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (right) celebrates with Miami Heat forward Justise Winslow (left) after Winslow made a three point basket during the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 109-89. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat

Record Prediction: 32-50

Losing Dwyane Wade will hurt. There’s no question about that. However, even with the loss of their franchise player, I don’t think it’s insane to look at this Heat team optimistically.

Will they win 48 games like last season? Probably not. Will they make the playoffs and make it within one game of the Conference Finals? Doubtful. Though, there is room for optimism.

The Heat are fairly young and have a bright future if all their potential-filled pieces continue to develop as many expect them to.

Keep an eye on the trio of Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson and Dion Waiters. They could be the key for the Heat this season.

Mar 25, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dunks in the first quarter of their game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 25, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo (34) dunks in the first quarter of their game against the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Milwaukee Bucks

Record Prediction: 33-49

I had high hopes for this Milwaukee Bucks team. I honestly thought last season was an aberration and thought they had enough to make it back to the postseason this year.

Though, after the loss of Khris Middleton, who will likely miss the entire season with a torn hamstring, I’m not sure the Bucks will even get to .500.

Middleton was this team’s best offensive player and most consistent and durable performer. I’m just not sure the Bucks will be able to replace that – with or without a trade. Milwaukee will have their moments at different points this season, but I can’t see this team creeping into the playoffs. Nope.

Dec 3, 2015; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton (4) and forward Evan Fournier (10) celebrate after beating the Utah Jazz 103-94 at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 3, 2015; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Orlando Magic guard Elfrid Payton (4) and forward Evan Fournier (10) celebrate after beating the Utah Jazz 103-94 at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando Magic

Record Prediction: 35-47

I honestly don’t know how this team is going to look in…say…two weeks, when the NBA regular season starts.

They made the offseason acquisitions of Bismack Biyombo, Jeff Green and Serge Ibaka, but I’m not exactly sure if that really makes this team all that better. I suppose it will help their interior defense, and perhaps their spacing (Ibaka), but I don’t know if that will necessarily equate to more wins.

Though, I’m sure that Frank Vogel will do what he does best and get the most out of the roster that he’s been handed. I don’t know where the scoring is going to come from, but you’d expect this team to at least be an above average defensive unit.

Sep 26, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) center Robin Lopez (8) guard Rajon Rondo (9) and guard Dwayne Wade (3) pose for a photo during Bulls media day at The Advocate Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 26, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) center Robin Lopez (8) guard Rajon Rondo (9) and guard Dwayne Wade (3) pose for a photo during Bulls media day at The Advocate Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls

Record Prediction: 38-44

The Chicago Bulls missing the playoffs? After signing Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade this summer? Yes.

I know it’s going out on a limb, per say, but I honestly don’t know how all these pieces are going to mesh together with Jimmy Butler. Unless Wade can somehow discover a legitimate three-point shot at the age of 35, I’m not exactly sure how he’ll compliment Butler.

Even though Rondo is technically coming off one of his better statistical shooting season of his career, I’m not buying that he’ll be able to replicate that this season. Call it fool’s gold, if you want.

The bottom line is that I’m not crazy about how this team fits.

Jan 16, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) and Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) walk off the court during a stoppage in play against the Brooklyn Nets in the second quarter at Verizon Center. The Nets won 102-80. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 16, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Wizards guard John Wall (2) and Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) walk off the court during a stoppage in play against the Brooklyn Nets in the second quarter at Verizon Center. The Nets won 102-80. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Wizards

Record Prediction: 42-40

If John Wall and Bradley Beal can remain healthy for the Washington Wizards, I love this team. Though, I’m not sure that’s a forgone conclusion.

With that said, I think for the most part, we know what we’re going to get from one of the NBA’s most dynamic duos (if healthy). It’s the only 13 players on the roster that offer the biggest question for this team moving forward. Including the new head coach, Scott Brooks.

I could see this team winning more than 42 games, perhaps somewhere close to 48. Though, because of the number of uncertainties that this team has, I’ll pencil them in at 42. That should be enough to be in the East playoff race.

May 1, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford (left) listens to Hornets guard Kemba Walker (right) during the second half in game seven of the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 106-73. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

May 1, 2016; Miami, FL, USA; Charlotte Hornets head coach Steve Clifford (left) listens to Hornets guard Kemba Walker (right) during the second half in game seven of the first round of the NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 106-73. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte Hornets

Record Prediction: 42-40

I may be in the minority, but I honestly believe that the Charlotte Hornets are going to miss Jeremy Lin and Al Jefferson more than many are admitting to.

The return of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist will certainly help, but the amount of offensive firepower that both Lin and Jefferson brought to this team’s second unit will be unmatched this season. It’s going to be impossible for this team to replicate that.

Plus, coming off his best season of his career thus far, are we sure that Kemba Walker is still ascending as a basketball player? Has he hit his ceiling? I think it’s a legitimate question.

Dec 19, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) react after a shot by Porzingis (6) during second half against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden. The New York Knicks defeated the Chicago Bulls 107-91. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 19, 2015; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) react after a shot by Porzingis (6) during second half against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden. The New York Knicks defeated the Chicago Bulls 107-91. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

New York Knicks

Record Prediction: 42-40

The New York Knicks certainly made significant changes this offseason. If nothing else, this is one of the NBA’s most interesting teams on paper. After adding Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, Joakim Noah and Brandon Jennings, though, the expectations for this team are through the roof.

Whether they reach those expectations or not, though, is an entirely different topic. I’ve seen talking heads throw out Eastern Conference Finals and the Knicks in the same sentence. I don’t see how that can possibly happen, even if this team stays healthy all season long – which, based on this team’s injury history, seems somewhat impossible.

The Knicks will have a fine season. However, if you expect them to make a deep run in the playoffs, if they even get there, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

Mar 11, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (5) shoots the ball against Charlotte Hornets center Al Jeffereson (25) in the first half at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 11, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Detroit Pistons guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (5) shoots the ball against Charlotte Hornets center Al Jeffereson (25) in the first half at Time Warner Cable Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Pistons

Record Prediction: 44-38

I may not be as high on the Detroit Pistons as most, but I still believe this team has a huge ceiling in 2016-17. Though, that’s going to depend on a few things. One, the progression of Tobias Harris and Andre Drummond.

Those two guys are going to need to take significant steps in their game if the Pistons are going to take another step this season. Second, health. Specifically Reggie Jackson.

Jackson is expected to miss the first part of the season, potentially the first month. If he can’t remain healthy this season for the Pistons, I’m not sure they’re going to reach their potential this year.

Sep 26, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard (8) poses for photographs during Atlanta Hawks media day at The W Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 26, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard (8) poses for photographs during Atlanta Hawks media day at The W Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Hawks

Record Prediction: 45-37

I firmly believe in Mike Budenholzer, but I’m not exactly sure this plan to part ways with Al Horford and Jeff Teague will pay off for the Atlanta Hawks.

In fact, I would go all the way to say that it could flat out blow up in their face. Dennis Schroder by all means has his advantages. For the life of him, he simply can’t shoot the ball consistently. And for a team that thrives off the deep ball historically, that’s not exactly a great omen.

Then, there’s Dwight Howard. While he’s still one of the better centers in the NBA when he’s healthy and engaged, I’m not sure he’s been either of those two things in a long time.

May 1, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) dribbles past Toronto Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll (5) in game seven of the first round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

May 1, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Indiana Pacers forward Paul George (13) dribbles past Toronto Raptors forward DeMarre Carroll (5) in game seven of the first round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Indiana Pacers

Record Prediction: 45-37

I debated putting the Indiana Pacers higher on this list, in the Eastern Conference. Though, in the end, there are just so many inconsistencies involved on this team. Beginning with their new head coach, Nate McMillan, I’m simply not sold on what this team has to offer on the offensive end.

Clearly, the hope is that Paul George and the flurry of supporting players on this roster will be enough to carry this team on that end of the floor. But, as we saw last season, the lack of offensive firepower beyond George really put this team at a disadvantage.

If the Pacers can overcome that, I wouldn’t bet against this team making a deep run in the playoffs. Heck, in the end, George’s star power might carry them.

Feb 25, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko (8), guard Evan Turner (11), guard Isaiah Thomas (4), forward Jae Crowder (99) and guard Marcus Smart (36) celebrate against the New York Knicks during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Feb 25, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jonas Jerebko (8), guard Evan Turner (11), guard Isaiah Thomas (4), forward Jae Crowder (99) and guard Marcus Smart (36) celebrate against the New York Knicks during the second half at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Celtics

Record Prediction: 47-35

It’s difficult not to back the Boston Celtics. They were one of the sweethearts of the NBA last season, led by the baby-faced Brad Stevens. And they only got better this summer.

Losing Evan Turner will certainly hurt this team’s second unit, but the additions of Jaylen Brown, Al Horford and Gerald Green will more than overcome anything ET brought to the table.

The big question for the Celtics, though, continues to be whether this team has enough star power in order to win big. Last season, it was a bit of a problem.

I suppose you have to ask: do you believe Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford is enough?

Oct 30, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (7) drives the ball against Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas (4) defending during the 2nd quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 30, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Toronto Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry (7) drives the ball against Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas (4) defending during the 2nd quarter at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Raptors

Record Prediction: 50-32

For all the negative flack that the Toronto Raptors receive, this is a team that is coming off their best season in franchise history, one that ended with an Eastern Conference Finals appearance.

That should count for something. The Raptors did lose Bismack Biyombo this summer, but did manage to re-sign DeMar DeRozan. They also added Jared Sullinger, who could finally be their answer at the power forward position.

Toronto still has all that talent. They should have enough to finish as the second seed in the Eastern Conference.

May 17, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) slam dunks during the third quarter against the Toronto Raptors in game one of the Eastern conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavs won 115-84. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

May 17, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) slam dunks during the third quarter against the Toronto Raptors in game one of the Eastern conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena. The Cavs won 115-84. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers

Record Prediction: 55-27

The defending NBA champions. I mean, what else can I say – oh, other than SIGN J.R. SMITH.

The Cleveland Cavaliers will be fine regardless, LeBron James kind of allows that to happen when he’s on your team. Though, this team will not be able to compete with the likes of the Golden State Warriors if there’s no Smith on the roster.

On the other hand, this is going to be one of LeBron’s most interesting seasons to follow. There’s literally no pressure on him to win a championship. All he can do from here on out, is elevate his status in history – and in Cleveland.

The Cavs are going to win a lot of games in the regular season again. Probably on their way to a third straight matchup against the Warriors in the NBA Finals.

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