With the free agency period winding down, it’s becoming more and more obvious what teams in the NBA betting lines have done themselves a favor with their acquisitions – and which ones can expect to struggle more in the 2015-2016 campaign than they have in recent years. Let’s take a look at some teams that have their work cut out for them.
Atlanta came into the Eastern Conference playoffs with the #1 seed and a 60-22 record. However, losing DeMarre Carroll is a huge blow. They did add Justin Holiday, Tiago Splitter and Tim Hardaway Jr., but they are not going to come close to replicating that 60-win campaign after losing Carroll. They should still win 50 games, and they will likely host one (and maybe even two) series in the playoffs next season, but they will not roll through the East like they did this season.
The Milwaukee Bucks squeaked by at .500 in 2014-2015 and surprised everyone by making the Eastern Conference playoffs. Now that they signed Greg Monroe from the Pistons, many people expect the Bucks to do even better this coming season. However, back in February, general manager John Hammond traded Kendall Marshall and Brandon Knight for Miles Plumlee, Tyler Ennis and Michael Carter-Williams. The Bucks started to founder then, and even though they made the playoffs – and might squeak in again thanks to the weakness of the Eastern Conference. However, they will be lucky to win 38 games this year.
One team that is headed to a particularly precipitous fall is the Portland Trail Blazers. The only player returning from their core is Damian Lillard, as LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews, Robin Lopez and Nic Batum are all heading to different squads. The Trail Blazers won 51 games in 2014-15 and took home a Northwest Division crown. However, even the additions of Mason Plumlee and Ed Davis will not plug the momentous gaps that have appeared in this team’s roster. They will be lucky to win 40 games at will likely finish out the playoffs.