2023 NBA Northwest Division Sports Betting Preview
We've now reached the Western Conference with these previews. If you're coming across this on Twitter or X or whatever lord Elon wants to call it, click Articles at the top of the page and feel free to check out the rest of the preview. These are my thoughts on the NBA and while I don't share every play, I do share some of my futures. All of those are included for free with the first 30 days of the NBA. If you're looking for that, click Buy Packages above.
Denver Nuggets, 53-29 last year, 1st in division
The Nuggets hoisted the Larry O'Brien trophy at the end of last season and now look to repeat. Basketball is the most common for a repeat, but before we anoint them the Champion once again, take a pause and realize this team is not as deep as they were. Don't get me wrong, their starting five is arguably the best in the NBA. They have two great defenders in KCP and Aaron Gordon. They have a generational talent in Jokic, who has a legitimate shot at MVP once again. Jamal Murray played out of his mind and has a financial incentive to do it once again because he can make a boatload of money if he makes an All-NBA team this year. Michael Porter Jr. had his healthiest season last year (and still only played 62 games) but he still needs to be more efficient in order for the Nuggets to really succeed once again. The bench is led by an aging Reggie Jackson and a young, but hyped, Christian Braun. Outside of that they don't have much. They will make the playoffs, and that is where the rotation gets shorter anyway, but don't expect them to lead the league in wins. I don't think they even win the same amount as last year so I'll take the under 53.5 for the Nuggets as an official play.
Minnesota Timberwolves, 42-40, 2nd
The most frustrating team in the NBA. They have a lot of talent, they have a lot of potential, but they can't put anything together to save their seasons. They should've knocked out the Lakers last year from the play-in tournament and somehow went scoreless for like eight minutes or something nuts. I'm still so annoyed about it that I refuse to even look it up. I just remember Anthony Edwards looking like he refused to try and score late in the game. The fit of KAT, Edwards, and Rudy Gobert still needs to be examined. I'll admit, I thought it was going to work out because one big need for the Timberwolves was defense, but Gobert never really did much. KAT also missed a lot of time last season. So, essentially, it was a disaster. Still, for all the things that went wrong, and if you watched their fourth quarter collapses, you know a lot went wrong, they ended 42-40. Imagine what they could do with a real coach. They have the depth to win 50 games, but I'm not sure they have the motivation or consistency.
Oklahoma City Thunder, 40-42, 3rd
For a team that was expected to be one of the worst in the league last year, they flew past expectations. The Thunder dominated in a lot of games and it wasn't just the ones where teams sat out players against them. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander once again proved to be a star and potentially even a superstar as he was dominant in close games and scored at will. Josh Giddey is a pass-first shooting guard and an efficient player. Luguentz Dort is a capable defender, and Jalen Williams has the potential to be a really good player. The big story is that Chet Holmgren could be the Rookie of the Year after missing his first season with injury. He looks great in the preseason, but that means very little. I like their squad, but it should take a couple of years for everything to actually work out for them. I'm not touching the total, but would be surprised if they don't make the play-in tournament.
Utah Jazz, 37-45, 4th
The Jazz were a bit of a revelation last season. Packed with players that were seemingly castaways from other teams. Lauri Markkanen established himself as a dominant and consistent scorer. It took quite some time, but he finally is looking like one of the better Small Forward's in the league. Walker Kessler was a cheaper, and potentially better replacement for Gobert. Now they've added John Collins, another guy that was unwanted but has talent. The team will remain competitive but is not one of the elite teams in the West. I could see them being one of the top 10 teams and have them in the play-in tournament. To be clear, 10th is probably their ceiling though.
Portland Trail Blazers, 33-49, 5th
I kind of feel bad for Jeremi Grant. He wanted so badly to be on a good team and came to Portland to team up with Damian Lillard. Lillard got injured last season and this year was traded to the Bucks. Now Grant is on a team that once again is expected to be bad. Look for Grant to have a good statistical season on a meaningless year. The Trail Blazers will not make the playoffs, but they feel similar to the Jazz from last year. Scoot Henderson, their rookie draft pick, could be a solid replacement option for Lillard, though probably significantly less efficient. Anfernee Simons hasn't proven to me that he can be a consistent starter and scorer. Shaedon Sharpe is athletic and could be a fun player to watch. Deandre Ayton has a ton to prove this season and I do think he will be a pretty solid player. There are pieces, but I'm not sure they all will connect right away. Unless they trade players away, 30 wins seems doable.
For NBA news, free plays, and general sports betting information, follow David at @futureprez2024