While still enduring the awfulness of the NBA off-season, we finally have our first glimpse at regular season predictions. Following the release of the 2017-18 NBA Schedule, the predicted records for each team were released via OddsShark. Along with their record were the probability of each making the playoffs and odds of winning the title.
After doing some research about each teams predicted season outcome, I felt that the odds were not in the favor of several teams that should have been.
I have compiled a list of several teams that I believe will exceed expectations in the 2017-18 NBA Season.
1.) New Orleans Pelicans
- Predictions: 40-42, 10th in the West
Why the Pelicans Will Overachieve:
After trading not a lot for All-Star DeMarcus Cousins, the Pelicans floundered and fell out of playoff contention. This was very concerning for fans, believing that pairing him with fellow superstar Anthony Davis would make the team better, not worse. However, having two ball dominant big men on one team can be a challenge, and Boogie joining in the middle of the season did not allow for much chemistry to develop. Heading into a brand new season, Boogie and the Brow will figure out how to flourish alongside one another. Jrue Holiday is one of the better guards in the league when he isn’t hurt, but unfortunately, he is hurt a lot. If he can stay healthy, he can be a great compliment to the best front court in the NBA. I am very intrigued to see how the addition of Rajon Rondo affects the Pelicans. As I see it, it will either go beautifully, or awfully. With Cousins and Davis being able to space the floor and work the pick and roll game, Rondo may be the perfect man to set them up. On the other end, Rondo’s game demands him to have the ball. This could lead to the big guys not getting enough touches, hurting chemistry and overall success. There are a lot of question marks heading into the season, but if they live up to their potential, they could definitely make the playoffs in the West.
2.) Detroit Pistons
- Predictions: 37-45, 9th in the East
Why the Pistons Will Overachieve:
I am curious as why the odds aren’t in the favor of the Pistons next season. Their off-season resulted in them netting a superb 3-and-D guy in Avery Bradley, and drafting Duke sharpshooter Luke Kennard. Losing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope may hurt them in the future, but as far as the present goes, Bradley is definitely an upgrade. Injuries hurt Reggie Jackson’s numbers last year, but indications are he is going to be rearing to go when the year kicks off. His succes at point guard directly correlates to Detroit’s success as a team. While Andre Drummond still has big flaws in his offensive game and his motor, he is still only 24 years old. He still has the chance in the world of living up to his hype and being a 20-15 guy. By my indications, the Pistons control their own destiny in the East, and have every chance in the world to finish above .500, and make the playoffs.
3.) Portland Trail Blazers
- Predictions: 37-45, 11th in the West
Why the Trail Blazers will overachieve:
Hasn’t anyone learned that sleeping on Damian Lillard & Company is a bad decision? Lillard is not only one of the point guards in the NBA, but one of the best leaders. He is only going to get even better, as scary as that is. Paired with one of the best shooting guards in CJ McCollum, and you have one of the deadliest back courts in the league. While their guard play is phenomenal, Portland’s front court is very suspect. Al Farouq-Aminu and Maurice Harkless are reliable forwards who defend and rebound, but are merely average shooters, and have a hard time stretching the floor. Their big men are also unproven, but hopefully Jusuf Nurkic and rookie Caleb Swanigan are able to provide a stronger post presence to take some of the pressure of Dame. Either way, I think the duo of Lillard and McCollum are enough to get the Blazers at least into the playoffs. If their role players step up more, Portland could do even more damage in the West.