To make the playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks will need to outperform several other postseason hopefuls in the Eastern Conference. Who are these teams and what have they been up to in the offseason?
Much of the focus thus far during the Milwaukee Bucks’ offseason from front office executives and fans has been internal, whether signing free agents that will fit with an established core or drafting prospects that will one day contribute in a large role.
However, with the start of the NBA season beginning to appear on the horizon, it is time that Bucks Nation focus their attention outward and begin to size up what they will be competing with in the 2016-2017 season.
Last week I broke down the Bucks’ rivals from within their own division and this week I will do the same for other Eastern Conference teams that project to finish the season in a similar state as the Bucks; namely fighting for a lower-tier playoff spot.
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Some have improved their roster in the offseason while others have seen a talent exodus, but in all likelihood the Bucks will need to beat out more than one of the franchises I’ll describe to secure a postseason berth.
This isn’t meant to be a definitive list – after all, anything could happen as we’ve seen in previous years. Teams that were written off as bottom-feeders can flourish, or perhaps a team expected to succeed following a playoff berth and a marquee free agent signing could lose 49 games (purely hypothetical).
Even so, it’s a pretty good bet that these teams I’ll mention should fall somewhere in the 6-12 range of playoff seeding. I’ll cover what each team has done this offseason, how the moves affect their prospects, and what this means for the Milwaukee Bucks.
Next: Orlando Magic