– So here are the five things that I believe Vegas told you about their over unders yesterday. Number one is the Lakers may be exciting, but they’re way, way, way still young. Vegas has them as the 13th best team in the west and the 22nd best in the NBA. They are not remotely close to a playoff team in the west.
Alonzo Ball is exciting. He’s a baby. Brandon Ingram is exciting. He’s a baby. The rest of them are 23, 24 years old. Vegas told you, they’ll be fun to watch. They could be good in a year if they add pieces, but they’re not close yet.
The second thing they told you, LeBron is going to rest again during the regular season. And the Cavs, despite losing Kyrie Irving, by adding Isaiah, by adding Crowder, by adding Derrick Rose, you’re going to get basically the same Cleveland regular season team. They’re going to win about 53 games. Probably be a two or a one seed, but probably a two. Lebron’s going to rest. There’s going to be no urgency. They’re going to, as an old roster, do what they did last year, which is rest starters, try to win enough games to get home court through most of the playoffs, but they won’t be paralyzed by home court advantage.
The third thing the over unders in Vegas told you, the Rockets gave up a lot to get Chris Paul. Houston won 55 games last year. Vegas has him at 55 and a half. They gave up Lou Williams, a premier three shooter, Patrick Beverley, a premier defensive guard. Now Chris Paul combined will be better in late games, better in big games. But what they’re telling you in Vegas is, we think Houston may be better when it meshes in the playoffs. But in the regular season, you gave up two– a wing back up, a big back up, and two important guards– we don’t think you’re going to be significantly better in the regular season. The west is good. You gave up a lot. We think ideally you’ll be better late. But regular season, you’ll be most of the same exciting team.
The fourth thing the over unders told you in Vegas. The Timberwolves will finally make the big jump. Vegas likes Jimmy Butler. Jimmy Butler hasn’t had a losing season, even in college. High school, college, pros. He’s really good. Chicago got stuff in return, and they plummeted 20 wins in Vegas. Vegas may like Karl Anthony Towns. They may like Andrew Wiggins. They think Jimmy Butler is the piece. So they finally, finally, Minnesota is at 48 and a half wins. That’s near an elite team.
And finally, the other thing that really jumped out to me is there is some skepticism in Vegas how well Russell Westbrook and Paul George are going to work. So last year, they won 47. They have them now at 51 and a half. Clearly Vegas is saying Paul George helps. But I would have guessed much closer to 53, 54, 55. I mean, this to me is a team that can go 55 and 20 something. Vegas doesn’t see it. Vegas says, slightly over 50 wins, going to take a while to mesh, we still don’t love their bench, we don’t know how Westbrook and Paul George will converge.
So the five things Vegas told you about the NBA– Lakers still too young. Same solid quality Cav team in the regular season. Rockets gave a lot to get Chris Paul. Jimmy Butler and the Timberwolves finally make the jump. Paul George, Russell Westbrook, good Vegas questions whether it will be elite.