Vegas Over/Under: 48.5
The Record Projection: 44-38 of fromal The Bet: Beneath with marginal confidence The Minnesota Timberwolves are likely to be vastly superior to previous iterations this past year.
They could count on internal advancement as Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins learn how to fill defensive roles more efficiently. They are bringing Jimmy Butler into the fold after engaging in a blockbuster trade with the Chicago Bulls.
Replacing Ricky Rubio with Jeff Teague is, at worst, a movement. Taj Gibson and Jamal Crawford are in city to provide more depth, and any generation from Justin Patton–that the team’s first-round choice –will be gravy on top.
However, Vegas’ over/under line is egregiously high.
Winning 49 games would be 18 more successes than the Timberwolves earned while going 31-51. That’s an astronomical jump for a team that just added one enduring All-Star throughout the offseason, forfeited a key contributor in Zach LaVine and can be integrating a new starting point guard.
Internal advancement can only do this much, and Minnesota will be handling the ill effects of missing roster continuity.
Just 59 teams in NBA history have undergone year-to-year increases of at least 18 games, so the odds aren’t exactly in Minnesota’s favor. But despite projecting the Timberwolves to finish significantly below the over/under lineup, exercise caution.
A good deal of talent is within the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and the shooting woes are a bit overblown because a lot of different players are far better at spot-up situations than off the rebound.
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