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NBA Total Wins Predictions

   by ASA - 10/27/2004

Under 49.5 wins Memphis Grizzlies – The young upstart Grizzlies are one of our favorite teams in the league but we have to side with our head here, not our hearts. Grizz head coach Hubie Brown has his players believing in the whole team concept and it resulted in a playoff berth last year which they lost in the first round to San Antonio. The NBA realignment this year has Memphis in the Southwest division along with New Orleans, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas. All four of the aforementioned teams had .500 or better records last year during the regular season. New Orleans was 41 & 41, San Antonio 57 & 25, Houston 45 & 37 and Dallas 52 & 30. Memphis must play each of those teams four times this season, along with having to face the rest of the tough Western Conference. We feel other teams in the West have gotten better this year than they were last season which makes the Western Conference a tougher overall Conference than the East. Utah, Denver, Phoenix and Houston all improved their teams with key off-season acquisitions. The Lakers won’t be as good this year as they were last season without Shaq but they’re still a very good team. Sacramento without Vlade Divac is still a 50+ win team. Dallas has an All-Star roster and will again be a force in the regular season. Minnesota could be the best team in basketball. Portland and Seattle are O.K. Even if the Grizzlies go undefeated against the Clippers and Warriors they still have a long way to go to get to 50 wins. Memphis can’t sneak up on teams this year like they did last season and the “big boysâ€쳌 in the West won’t take them lightly. We also have the potential of a Bonzi Wells blowup this year, now that he’s with the team full time, which could prove a major distraction. Under the win total looks like a pretty good bet to us!

Under 38.5 wins Milwaukee Bucks – We are still in shock that this is the win total for Milwaukee this season. We feel it’s highly unlikely that the Bucks will win 39 games this year. Last season Milwaukee finished the regular season with a 41 & 41 record and that was with rookie sensation T.J. Ford who played through the first half of the season. Without Ford to push the tempo at the point Milwaukee struggled. The Bucks went 15 & 21 their last 36 games and barely made the playoffs. Ford is out right now and his future in the NBA doesn’t look good. He has a narrowing of the spine and could face a paralyzing accident if he comes to play. Expected to replace Ford is Mike James who came over from Detroit in the off-season. James is a journeyman player, playing for his fourth team in just four years in the NBA. The inside presence, or lack of, with Joe Smith, Dan Gadzuric and Keith Van Horn, doesn’t strike fear into many opponents on their way to the basket and too many streaky offensive performers (Redd and Mason) make Milwaukee’s goal of a .500 win season nearly impossible.

Over 30.5 wins Orlando Magic – The Magic will be improved this year with new additions Steve Francis, Cuttino Mobley and Kelvin Cato. Also back and playing well right now (cross your fingers and knock on wood) is Grant Hill. Hill who has battled injuries throughout his entire career has averaged 20 minutes per game in the pre-season and actually looked pretty good. This is pretty decent roster which includes rookie Dwight Howard, veteran shooting forward Hidayet Turkoglu, defensive Tony Battie and 3-pt specialist Pat Garrity. Scheduling will be a key as the Magic are now in the Southeast Division in the East. The four other teams in this division are Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami and Washington. Throw out Miami and you have the expansion Bobcats who won’t win 20 games this year, Atlanta who won just 28 games last year and Washington who won 25. Let’s say Orlando goes 3 & 1 against those three teams which they’ll face four times each this year. That gives the Magic 9 wins right there and we’re almost a third of the way home. Looking at the rest of the East we don’t see too many teams that Orlando can’t compete with on any given night. The Magic should sneak over this win total in 2004-05.

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