Lakers pushing OKC for top spot

Projecting where every Western Conference team will finish in the standings

Updated: August 21, 2012, 4:36 PM ET
By Bradford Doolittle | Basketball Prospectus
Kevin DurantLayne Murdoch/Getty ImagesCan Kobe Bryant's Lakers catch up to Kevin Durant's Thunder this season?

The transactions are still trickling in, but barring an unforeseen blockbuster, we can just about put a wrap on our offseason transactions. Using NBAPET, my system for projecting, evaluating and tracking the league, I've entered all transactions through the weekend and created a wins forecast for every team.

I've also compared the wins forecast to last season's total of Pythagorean wins per 82 games for each team, which is the record each team should have had based on its point differential. This gives us an idea how teams have moved up and down the NBA ladder since the Heat wrapped up the championship a couple of months ago.

For a look at yesterday's East projections, click here.

1. Oklahoma City Thunder: 57.9 wins, 0.3 games worse
Oklahoma City's projected age (weighted by game minutes) for this season is 25.8 years, which ranks 22nd in the league. To give some context, the teams just behind the Thunder are Sacramento, Toronto and Washington. In other words, OKC sports a collective age typical of a franchise in rebuilding mode, yet the Thunder are coming off a Finals appearance.


To read more of Bradford Doolittle's win projections for every Western Conference team, become an Insider today.