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, I will be breaking down the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks.
BOSTON CELTICS: Vegas Projection - 51.5 Wins
Overall GBB Staff Projection -
- Eight take the over (Mullinax, Hrdlicka, Concool, Jordan, Trammel, Huguley, Rubrum, Yeung), four take the under (Lucas, Reynolds, Ford, Conner)
- Average projected record: 53-29
Joe’s Players to Watch and Prediction - The Celtics have the look of a team just waiting to break out. They added a tremendously talented big man in Al Horford to play alongside their undersized All-Star Isaiah Thomas, they drafted Jaylen Brown using the pick they got from the Brooklyn Nets, and they still have Avery Bradley and Jae Crowder for less than the cost of Chandler Parsons in terms of salary cap hit.
This Boston team is deep, they are athletic, and they have one of the best young coaches in the NBA in Brad Stevens. If their younger players can come along and fill in their bench nicely, this Celtics squad can give the Cavaliers a run for their money in the Eastern Conference. I am taking the over - 53 wins for Boston and the three seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
DALLAS MAVERICKS: Vegas Projection - 39.5 Wins
Overall GBB Staff Projection -
- Ten take the over (Mullinax, Hrdlicka, Reynolds, Ford, Concool, Conner, Jordan, Trammel, Yeung, Rubrum), two take the under (Lucas, Huguley)
- Average projected record: 41-41
Joe’s Players to Watch and Prediction - Dallas had quite an offseason. Shunning Chandler Parsons and being shunned by Mike Conley led the Mavericks to acquiring players like Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut, players who can in theory help the Mavs be better both in terms of defense and versatility. Along with Dirk Nowitzki, Wesley Mathews, and Deron Williams, this starting lineup looks to be competitive heading in to the season...
Beyond that? Not much to work with. Their bench is inexperienced in some areas, too experienced in others, and without a true leader to come in and set the tone for the second unit. Considering the age of Dirk and and injury issues of other starters, this is real cause for concern.
Don’t forget, however, that Rick Carlisle is a warlock. He will have this team clicking by the end of the season, setting up a date with the Golden State Warriors in the first round for Barnes and Bogut to reunite with their old teammates. Give me the over on the Mavericks, 41 wins and the eight seed in the Western Conference.