The 2019 Thunder are going to be very different from the 2018 Thunder and that’s mainly because Carmelo Anthony is now gone. No offense to Carmelo, but he did not work on this team and this team did not work with him on there. With him gone, there is hope. This was a top defensive team last season and should pick right back up there this season. That said, this team finished 48-34 last season and I’m not sure they will top that number this year. Their win total is set at 49.5 wins.
How many wins is this the best player on earth worth? That is the question when it comes to the 2019 Los Angeles Lakers. This team won 35 games last season and has a win total of 49.5 wins this season. You could say they probably could’ve won a few more games as they engaged in some light tanking towards the end of the season (2-5 in April with their lowest points per game average of any month), but this is probably at most a 38-win true talent level team that is now being expected to win 12 more games to hit the over. That is quite the story and it’s easy to see why LeBron James is the MVP favorite right now. If he did that, he truly would be the most valuable player in this league.
The Jazz were a very interesting team last season. They looked to be out of the playoffs, but then went on a 29-6 run while playing the best defense in the league to get in there. They were the top Defensive Rating team in the league, but that doesn’t even really do them justice. During that 29-6 run they had a Defensive Rating of 98.3, the only team in basketball under 100 and 4.8 points better than the next best team. The promise of this season’s Jazz is that second half finish. They finished 48-34 last season and their win total is set at 48.5.
The Indiana Pacers were one of the surprise stories of the season last year and enter this year with high expectations. Victor Oladipo was the breakout player of the year last season as he got himself into great shape and started to put it all together. The Pacers have two players that saw that and are attempting to do the same thing this year in Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner. This team won 48 games last year, but enters this season with a win total of just 46.5 wins.
The Denver Nuggets have to be one of the most intriguing teams in the NBA this season. They are filled with young talent that should continue to develop this season. Gary Harris will be 24 this season, Nikola Jokic will be 23 and Jamal Murray will be 21. Considering the numbers these guys put up last season, I think the future is bright for this team. They just missed the playoffs last season with 46 wins and see their total at 45.5 wins for this season. That looks very juicy to me.