The reigning National Basketball Association champions, the Golden State Warriors, recorded 67 wins in the 2016-17 regular season resulting in an easy path to the NBA title. The summer water cooler talk about the squad winning 70 this season might seem lofty but when comparing the current roster and offseason moves that have already been made winning 70 games even while playing in the stronger of the conferences, the West, is reasonable.
While the media and fan bases of the Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves have applauded and pimped their summer roster moves neither team will have enough to overcome what the Warriors put on the court night-in and night-out. In truth, the Western Conference isn’t shaping up to be the dominant force it has been over the last two campaigns.
The Boston Celtics earned the No. #1 seed in the East by default. The Cleveland Cavaliers were not consumed about having the top slot in the postseason schedule and sat a number of their “Big Three” in the final two months. Despite their top seed the Celtics couldn’t matchup with the Cavaliers and were eliminate on their home floor in the conference finals.
Golden State Warriors (5-11)
In what could be labeled as a ho-hum regular slate a season ago, one in which the Warriors played without many of their key cogs, the franchise still won 67 games. When Golden State was at full strength, with their projected top-six player personnel dressed and available, they didn’t lose a game after the first week in November, save to the Cavaliers. Challenging 70-wins and earning a second straight NBA title is a minuscule 5-to-11 in WestGate’s latest futures update.
Cleveland Cavaliers (4-1)
There philosophy by the Cleveland coaching staff last year was a simple one; prepare for the postseason. even care about the regular season? The Cavaliers won 16 less games than the Warriors during the regular season but followed that up with a 12-1 mark in the East playoffs. The 4-to-1 current futures mark on King James’ club is dynamic considering the number of player personnel questions this team has heading into 2017-18. All-Star guard Kyrie Irving has asked for a trade and LeBron could well be playing in his final season with Cleveland, if you believe the rumors of his displeasure with the Cavs’ ownership.
San Antonio Spurs (8-1)
The Spurs front office made several offseason stabs at players they believed would upgrade their roster but they failed to acquire Chris Paul and allowed the departure of Jonathon Simmons to the Orlando Magic. The aging Spurs did add veteran Rudy Gay to their roster this summer but Gay is coming off an Achilles injury that will certainly prove to be beginning of the backside of his career. The Spurs will be one of the more unpredictable teams during the regular season as we fully expect Coach Pop to rest his older players much more frequently this season than he did a year ago.
Boston Celtics (10-1)
The current 10-to-1 future on Celtics to win the NBA title are generous, to write the least. While the powers-that-are in the Boston front office have done a great job of rebuilding the roster into a younger and more athletic troupe they are easily the most overvalued squad on the SuperBook’s NBA futures chart. The addition of Gordon Hayward has excited some giving the paper perception that this year’s team will be better than the 53-win squad of a year ago, I am not buying. Hayward is a talent and he is now wearing green but the Celtics had to surrender their best defender, Avery Bradley, to clear cap space for the former Utah Jazz All-Star.
Houston Rockets (25-1)
While the Los Angeles Clippers were much better with a healthy Chris Paul on the court he doesn’t equate to making the Rockets worthy of challenging the Warriors in 2017-18. Keeping the aging Paul on the court will be more difficult than keeping the five Houston players on the floor from taking 40-plus three-point shots per game.
WestGate, the Las Vegas SuperBook, has updated their 2017-18 NBA Championship Futures including the odds to win the Eastern and Western Conferences;