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 Trammel - 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 we’ll be talking about the Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings.
Philadelphia 76ers: Vegas Over/Under Prediction- 27.5 Wins
GBB Overall Staff Predictions-
- One takes the over (Ford), eleven take the under (Mullinax, Lucas, Hrdlicka, Reynolds, Concool, Conner, Jordan, Trammell, Huguley, Rubrum, Yeung)
- Average projected record: 23-59
Brandon’s Outlook and Players to Watch: Given Philadelphia’s reputation as the best American sports city at running people out of town (players, coaches, etc.), it’s only fitting that now that The Process is finally starting to come to fruition and the Sixers are harvesting the fruits of their tanking, the man who implemented The Process is gone.
As for the team? Well, it’s likely that the Sixers are still going to be bad. The players they have who should be the foundation for this team going forward are young, inexperienced, and they’re bound to look it for the foreseeable future. So while winning is closer on the horizon, there’s still not going to be a lot of it this season.
The Simmons injury – in addition to robbing us of beautiful, LeBron-esque passing vines – also complicates their point guard situation. Jerryd Bayless was expected to play more off the ball with Simmons playing point forward, but until Simmons returns from his foot injury (if he returns at all this season), Bayless will likely start at point guard, which is a shame, because he’s the second least watchable Bayless on national television. Off the bench, the offense should be directed by Serigo Rodriguez.
In the frontcourt, The Process will start (from what I’ve heard) alongside the 6’10” Croatian forward Dario Saric, who should be the favorite for best facial hair in the league. Behind that, coach Brett Brown will have to juggle minutes for Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor, though if Embiid proves healthy, it’s conceivable that Philly could look to move one or the other of those two young players in exchange for more assets.
The wings are a little more up in the air. Gerald Henderson should start at the two, with Robert Covington likely at the three, and rookie draft pick Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (who I’m nicknaming TLC right now) competing for playing time with other young players like Nik Stauskas. They also have a handful of non-guaranteed contracts with lesser known players like Cat Barber, who should make the team strictly for meme potential. Oh, also Elton Brand is on the roster for now and is approximately 100 years older than everyone else on the team.
Let’s be honest here. No one (apart from Brett Brown and actual Sixers fans) really cares if the Sixers win 25 games rather than just 20. Right now, it’s about watching the young talent, particularly Embiid, Saric, and (once he gets to play) Simmons. Embiid and Simmons have already proven themselves capable of producing vines worthy of their own fan pages. They should be fun, even if they’re not actually good, and that’s the important thing, right? RIGHT?!
Anyway, the Sixers are still going to be bad this season, which means that their win total of 27.5 is just way too high. I’ve got the Sixers winning 21 games this season and going solidly under.
Sacramento Kings- Vegas Over/Under Prediction: 32.5 Wins
GBB Overall Staff Projections:
- Ten take the over (Mullinax, Lucas, Hrdlicka, Reynolds, Ford, Concool, Conner, Jordan, Rubrum, Yeung), two take the under (Trammell, Huguley)
- Average projected record: 33-49
Brandon’s Outlook and Players to Watch: Another offseason has come and gone, and the Kings have yet again proven themselves incapable of resisting the urge to add centers to their roster. After a couple of draft day deals involving Charlotte and Phoenix, the Kings selected Greek center Georgios Papagiannis (not to be confused with Point Giannis) at number 13 overall. They also later selected Skal Labissiere and Malachi Richardson, while also acquiring the draft rights to Bogdan Bogdonovich, who should come over next season. Regardless of what you think of the other picks, it’s just confounding why the Kings continue to add big men to their roster.
Outside of the center position, Rajon Rondo completed his one-year exile and bolted, leaving the point guard position for the Kings a giant flaming pile of dog poo. Darren Collison is suspended for the first eight games following a domestic violence incident in which he pleaded no contest. To fill in, the team currently has Ty Lawson and Jordan Farmar.
If that wasn’t enough self-sabotage, the Kings also (reportedly) rescinded Seth Curry’s qualifying offer so that they could sign Matt Barnes because, as Boogie says, “he’s a great role model for younger guys on how to approach the game on a nightly basis.” Yes, Barnes will definitely be able to teach the young guys how to prepare to play the games they’re not suspended.
The offseason hasn’t been all bad news, though. The addition of Arron Afflalo represents an upgrade at the shooting guard position. Plus, they’ve still got reliable Omri Casspi, they added Anthony Tolliver as a veteran presence, and Ben McLemore should be okay. The logjam in the frontcourt is inescapable, with Cousins, Koufos, Cauley-Stein, and whatever stretch four options Joerger chooses to roll with, and there will be point guard issues in Collison’s absence, but the Kings have at least added depth on the wing, something they’ve lacked in recent years.
The addition of Joerger at coach should provide an upgrade as well, though it remains to be seen if he’ll be able to navigate the toxic minefield that is the Kings’ culture any better than his predecessors. Maybe Joerger fits and Sacramento is finally able to achieve some sort of continuity going forward, but for now, organizational stability for the Kings remains in the “I’ll believe it when I see it” department.
Speaking of lack of continuity, it’s almost certain that the Kings will attempt to move Rudy Gay, since he’s already stated he doesn’t intend to return in the offseason. And there’s still the lingering possibility that if things go poorly, Sacramento tries to trade Boogie, though if they want to do that, they’re going to demand a…
With those sort of things constantly hanging over their heads, it’s hard to have much faith in the Kings taking a huge leap this year. I’ve got them slotted for a win-loss record of 35-47, a marginal improvement over last season and enough to hit the over, but still far from enough to get them into the playoffs. The rest of the West is too good, and the Kings backcourt is too riddled with questions to assume they make the leap they’ll need to challenge for a top-eight spot.