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GBB NBA Over/Under Preview: Indiana Pacers and Minnesota Timberwolves

What to think of the Pacers and the Timberpups?

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Minnesota Timberwolves Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Site Manager’s Note - Welcome to the inaugural Grizzly Bear Blues NBA Preview Over/Under Challenge! Think you are smarter than twelve of our staff members? Take the challenge by posting your over/unders in the comments section every day with the corresponding teams. We will keep track over the course of the season, and the commenter(s) who beats our overall over/under projections at the end of the season will win a Fan Essentials box!

The GBB Staff taking part in this challenge are-

Joe Mullinax - Site Manager

Matt Hrdlicka - Senior Features Writer

Kevin Yeung - Senior Features Writer

Chase Lucas - Features Writer

Mac Trammell - Features Writer

Brandon Conner - Features Writer

Jonathan Concool - Game Coverage Writer

Colin Huguley - Game Coverage Writer

Austin Reynolds - Game Coverage Writer

Corban Ford - Game Coverage Writer

Jonah Jordan - GBB Boots on the Ground Editor

Adam Rubrum- GBB Boots on the Ground Editor

Today, Mac Trammell breaks down the Pacers and Timberwolves.

INDIANA PACERS: Vegas Projection - 43.5 Wins

GBB Overall Staff Predictions-

  • Seven take the over (Mullinax, Reynolds, Ford, Concool, Jordan, Trammell, Huguley), five take the under (Lucas, Hrdlicka, Conner, Rubrum, Yeung)
  • Average projected record: 43-39
NBA: Preseason-Chicago Bulls at Indiana Pacers
Jeff Teague calls out a play for the Indiana Pacers.
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Mac’s players to watch and projections - The Eastern Conference had some wacky stuff go on this summer. The Bulls decided that shooting actually isn’t a valuable commodity in the NBA, and the Magic...who the hell knows what’s going on down there in Orlando.

But while those two teams had the most vociferously confusing offseasons, the Pacers had a low-key, sneaky confusing one too. They fired arguably a top-five coach in the league in Frank Vogel and acquired Jeff Teague, Thaddeus Young, Al Jefferson, and others.

The team transitioned from a defensive force to an offensive question mark. Teague is an upgrade at the point guard position over George Hill, but does this team want an aging Al Jefferson to take minutes away from the exciting talent that is Myles Turner? Bring Big Al off the bench and you fix that problem, but there’s still poor spacing out there if you play Young, Jefferson/Turner, Teague, Monta Ellis, and Paul George.

Speaking of Paul George, do you know how old he is? He’s freaking 26 years old! That’s crazy! He’s a top-15 player in the league and he’s about to hit his prime. He’s poised to have an MVP caliber stretch of seasons! (Note: this author does not think he wins the MVP this year. Russell Westbrook will win that award because Russell Westbrook may not be fully human. That is to say he may be part super alien, part unstoppable robot, part incorruptible demigod, or some combination of the three.)

With all of that said, I have Indiana winning 49 games, beating the Vegas odds and coming in second in the Central Division.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Vegas Projection - 41.5 Wins

GBB Overall Staff Predictions -

  • Five take the over (Ford, Jordan, Trammell, Huguley, Rubrum) seven take the under (Mullinax, Lucas, Hrdlicka, Reynolds, Concool, Conner, Yeung)
  • Average projected record: 38-44

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Minnesota Timberwolves
Karl-Anthony Towns yamming on some fools.
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Mac’s players to watch and projections - After Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns showed himself to be one of the premiere rising talents in the league today, the Minnesota Timberwolves became the NBA’s darling franchise. A team that hasn’t been good in ages finally has a core of exceptional talent it can build around and win with for years to come.

Note that I said for years to come, for that time is not now. I used the term “Timberpups” for an explicit reason. Minnesota is just too young to put it all together this season. Towns is going into his second year. Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine will enter their third. Gorgui Dieng is coming into his fourth and Ricky Rubio his sixth. This team is almost there; all they need is a couple years of cohesion to become a force out west...but their time is not now.

Of course the player to watch in Minny is Towns. Dude can do everything and has a great off court personality. Potential face of the league? I would throw some money on that if it were legal which it is not so I will not. Also, I’m excited to see how Zach LaVine grows this year. He was hot garbage at the beginning of last year, but came out at the end of the season playing decently well. If he can ride that steady growth, he will become an explosively fun player to watch.

I have the Wolves hitting the over this season and making the playoffs with 45 wins. I don’t feel confident that they’ll make the playoffs, but I do feel good about their chances at the over.

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