NBA Wins Projection Sees Lakers Missing Playoffs, Jazz No. 2 in West

The Warriors' first practice of training camp will be on Tuesday, Sept. 25.

The Warriors' first regular season game will most likely be on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

The 2018-19 campaign is going to be here before you know it. And on Friday, our friend over at ESPN, Kevin Pelton, released his wins projection for next season.

Keep in mind:

Inevitably, the unpredictable nature of injuries, midseason trades, randomness and factors that can't be quantified by RPM (Real Plus-Minus) mean some teams will exceed or fall short of their projections.

Let's take a look at Pelton's forecast for the Western Conference:

1) Warriors -- 58.6 wins
2) Jazz -- 53.4 wins
3) Rockets -- 53 wins
4) Nuggets -- 50.5 wins
5) Timberwolves -- 49.6 wins
6) Thunder -- 47.2 wins
7) Pelicans -- 44.1 wins
8) Blazers -- 42 wins
9) Lakers -- 41.2 wins
10) Spurs -- 38.5 wins

Some takeaways/reactions:

Would it be shocking to see LeBron James miss the playoffs? Yes. But it's also not shocking to see the Lakers projected ninth (I swear that makes sense). 

The Jazz are really good, but second place good? I believe they will finish in sixth.

I got the Thunder as the second best team in the West currently.

DeMar DeRozan and the Spurs are going to surprise a lot of people and finish in fourth (maybe even third).

I really like the Nuggets but I think they ultimately finish in seventh (the defense is not good).

Lastly, my guess is the Timberwolves and Blazers miss the playoffs. If they were in the East, they could legitimately be the No. 4 seed.

We will make final predictions right before the regular season begins.

The Western Conference is absolutely loaded...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

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