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, I will take a closer look at the Miami Heat and New Orleans Pelicans.
MIAMI HEAT: Vegas Projection- 36.5 wins
GBB Overall Staff Predictions-
- Three take the over (Lucas, Ford, Yeung), nine take the under (Mullinax, Hrdlicka, Reynolds, Concool, Conner, Jordan, Trammell, Huguley, Rubrum).
- Average projected record: 33-49
Joe’s players to watch and prediction- What a difference five months or so can make. Dwyane Wade is no longer a member of the Miami Heat. Neither is Luol Deng. Chris Bosh has apparently played his last game in a Miami Heat uniform, and the winds of change are blowing at hurricane force on South Beach when it comes to the Heat and their roster.
Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside are now the faces of the franchise, Tyler Johnson just got paid, and young players like Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow figure to see larger roles now that Wade has left Miami. Oh, and Dion Waiters is now on the Heat. That should be entertainment enough as it is.
I see this as a year of transition for the Heat, and I am not sure that Whiteside and Dragic can carry the load as the younger players adapt and adjust to the new lay of the land in Miami. I am taking the under with the Heat, with a record of 33-49.
NEW ORLEANS PELICANS: Vegas Projection- 36.5 Wins
GBB Overall Staff Predictions-
- Six take the over (Hrdlicka, Reynolds, Ford, Huguley, Rubrum, Yeung), six take the under (Mullinax, Lucas, Concool, Conner, Jordan, Trammell).
- Average projected record: 35-47
Joe’s players to watch and prediction- If there was any team in the NBA who truly understood the injury woes of the Memphis Grizzlies last season, it was the New Orleans Pelicans. Now, the Pelicans hit the reset button, saying goodbye to Eric Gordon and Ryan Anderson and hello to Solomon Hill and E’Twaun Moore. The Pelicans went in the opposite direction of Memphis- while the Grizzlies invested in a star-level playeer like Chandler Parsons, New Orleans made multiple investments in smaller names in hopes to improve depth.
Why? Because they already have a superstar- Anthony Davis- and they are hopeful that surrounding him with multiple role players can help him reach new height as a player. Add in their draft pick Buddy Hield, the sharpshooting scorer from Oklahoma, and there is reason for positivity in NOLA...
Eventually. Unfortunately for New Orleans, the situation with Jrue Holiday and his family impacts them from the beginning of the season with regard to Holiday’s availability. Tyreke Evans has a real history of health issues, and while depth is great to have you are only an injury away from role players being outside of their role- something both Memphis and New Orleans know all too well.
I am not sure New Orleans is ready for the fire just yet. Give me the under- 33 wins, meaning a 33-49 season.