Oklahoma City Thunder
Record last season: (55-27, 3rd place in West)
Projected 2016-2017 Win total: (45.5)
Odds to win NW Division: (5/2)
While experts don’t project the Thunder to win as many games as they did last year with Kevin Durant in the fold, OKC is still looking to make a strong playoff push. The statistical machine that is Russell Westbrook surely will help fill the void that was left when Durant split town (Career with Durant in lineup – 20.7 PPG, 7.5 APG, 5.4 RPG. Career without Durant in lineup – 28.0 PPG, 8.4 APG, 7.1 RPG). With Serge Ibaka traded to Orlando, new additions Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova will help on the perimeter and bring versatility to the rotation for Coach Billy Donavon. Coupled with the development of center Steven Adams, the Thunder look to remain a contender for home-court advantage in the 1st round of the playoffs.
The Blazers will look to their depth at the power forward and center positions to counter the Thunder’s perimeter attack. Adams has proven to be a force on defense, however his offensive arsenal is limited. With Ibaka gone, Enes Kanter will step into a more prominent role. Oklahoma City will look to counter with strong perimeter play on both sides of the ball. Westbrook is an obvious MVP candidate, but Oladipo is a strong, athletic shooting guard that plays very good defense. Andre Roberson has proven to be an exceptional perimeter defender as well. With Westbrook still firing on all cylinders, OKC is still a very dangerous team.