In odds provided by our partner, PointsBet, Golden State's projected win total is 39.0. That's the NBA's 14th-highest and the seventh-best in the Western Conference, and a finish in the latter spot would ensure the Warriors make it to (at least) the league's new play-in tournament in their bid to return to the postseason.
NBA Win Totals🏀
22: CLEhttps://t.co/ho5xEo7tB2 pic.twitter.com/exESdstD6y
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) November 23, 2020
Where the Warriors ultimately stand among their Western Conference peers, however, will depend on how one of them ends the offseason. Notably missing from PointsBet's projected win totals is the Houston Rockets' total, amid reports that superstar guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook want out.
The Rockets finished fourth in the Western Conference last season, bowing out to the champion Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the playoffs in five games. Even with a coaching change and Austin Rivers joining the New York Knicks, the Rockets pretty easily would be among the top eight teams -- let alone the top 10 for the new playoff format -- in the conference if Harden and Westbrook stay in H-Town. If one or both stars leave, the Rockets are a much different team.
The new playoff format gives the Warriors margin for error to make the postseason, and they're projected to be well within it following Thompson's injury. Golden State's season begins in less than a month, with training camp and the preseason lasting fewer than three weeks in total. The Warriors will have plenty of new pieces to acclimate, as well as a key player to re-acclimate in Steph Curry after he missed all but five games last season.
Oddsmakers believe that's enough time for the Warriors to figure things out and return to the playoffs after losing Thompson.
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