The NBA odds aren’t very favorable for the Bucks this offseason, so let’s take a look at the Bucks’ makeup and see if they have what it takes to return to the playoffs.
Since 1999, the Bucks have made the playoffs eight times, and seven of those they were ousted in the first round. Last season was more of the same, as the Bucks only won 38 games SU, and were swept out of the playoffs by the Miami Heat.
It was mostly the Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis show in Milwaukee last season. The two combined for 28 points per game, and even though they worked together sometimes, their unique styles clashed with one another, and there never seemed to be shots for everyone. However that will all change this season, because this summer has seen many players for the Bucks leave for greener pastures.
Both Monta Ellis and Mike Dunleavy left in free agency this summer. There goes their leading and 3rd leading scorer from a season ago. On top of that, the most recent exit from Wisconsin was a trade, sending Brandon Jennings to the Pistons for Brandon Knight, Khris Middleton, and Viacheslav Kravtsov.
Jennings was a restricted free agent, and you could tell he wanted a divorce from the Bucks. Jennings ultimately signed a three year $25 million deal and was traded. While the downgrade from Jennings to Knight is somewhat large, the upside of Knight is still up for debate. He could fit nicely along with some of the other additions the Bucks have made.
The biggest signing for the Bucks was OJ Mayo, who inked a nice deal to play in Milwaukee. Along with Knight, Mayo should thrive in the shooting guard position. He had a career year in Dallas last season, and finally got the long-term deal he deserved.
Some other signings for the Bucks are Carlos Delfino, Gary Neal and Zaza Pachulia. All three will help round out their bench this season. All in all the Bucks have done ok for losing their three top scorers, and now incumbents like Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders will have to step up if the Bucks want to return to the playoffs. The East is twice as good this season compared to last, and it will be tough for the Bucks to return to the playoffs.
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While I think another 8th seed run is not out of the realm of possibility, the NBA Odds are not giving the Bucks much love this offseason. Milwaukee is +12,500 or 125/1 to win the NBA Title next season, and while I think the book is still out on them as sports picks, I also think they could be one of the worst teams in the East as well. There is nothing to gain from being the 8th or 9th place team in the East this season, and there are several other teams that won’t exactly be playing hard every night. I think the Bucks fall into that category. They have pieced to build around a stud in the draft, but they have to get one first, and being bad this season is part of the sacrifice.
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