Following an NBA offseason of dramatic roster shake-ups, things appear to have finally settled down in anticipation for the upcoming season. Indeed, the Sixers themselves have seemingly finalized their 15-man regular roster with the signing of Trey Burke yesterday. So as we enter a period of stasis, it’s only fitting that we finally hear from the denizens of the desert as to how teams should fare in the upcoming campaign.
Per Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace (the real Caesar didn’t live there, somebody checked), the Sixers are projected to win 54.5 games this season, only behind Milwaukee (57.0) and the Clippers (55.5) among NBA teams.
The mark of 54.5 is identical to the Sixers’ projected total last summer, one Philadelphia fell short of by winning 51 games during the regular season. It’s interesting that oddsmakers think the Al Horford, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris supporting cast around the team’s two young pillars is about the same as the squad featuring Robert Covington, JJ Redick, Dario Saric (that was only a year ago, wild).
Heading into this season, I’d say the Sixers are much better equipped to navigate the regular season than they were heading into last year. Philadelphia has depth at every position, crucially with multiple options to spell Joel Embiid in-game and during his DNP-Rest days. The bench matters more during the long grind of the regular season and the Sixers, in my opinion, have a much better one this time around. The playoffs, and finding a winning formula to get buckets when defenses tighten up in the half court, are a different matter.
Clearly, Milwaukee being projected as 2.5 games better than the Sixers is a matter of interest. Analysts and fans alike expect those two clubs to be on a collision course for the Eastern Conference Finals, and as we saw Game 7 in Toronto last spring, home court advantage is meaningful in the postseason. Edging out the Bucks during the regular season could make all the difference in advancing to the franchise’s first NBA Finals since 2001.
What do you think? Do you agree with where the Sixers are projected? Are you taking over or under 54.5 wins? Discuss in the comments.