BoxscoreGeek's 2017-18 NBA Preview: The Central Division

Chi Chicago Bulls

Additions: Antonio Blakeney, Bronson Koenig, David Nwaba, Diamond Stone, Jarell Eddie, Jaylen Johnson, Justin Holiday, Kris Dunn, Lauri Markkanen, Quincy Pondexter, Ryan Arcidiacono, Zach LaVine

Subtractions: Michael Carter-Williams, Jimmy Butler, Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade, Isaiah Canaan, Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott, Anthony Morrow, R.J. Hunter, Joffrey Lauvergne

Vegas Over/Under: 21.5

My take:
Admittedly I got behind, and in that time Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic got into an altercation leaving them both out due to injury and suspension! The Bulls are a dumpster fire this upcoming season losing their two best players from last year - Butler and Rondo. Dwyane Wade and Taj Gibson had started showing their age but were at least close to "replacement level" players. So between free agency and fighting, the Bulls are down 6 of their top players from the squad that barely made the playoffs last year. Obviously, the most significant blow was Butler, who was almost half of the Bulls production on his own last season. That said, Vegas figured this out pretty early. 21.5 is a perfect number to stay away from. Christiano Felicio looked good last season, and we've liked Robin Lopez in the past, and we liked Lauri Markkanen as a draft pick. Of course, they all play the same position, so even significant seasons from all three can't save the Bulls.

Mil Milwaukee Bucks

Additions: Brandon Rush, D.J. Wilson, Gerald Green, James Young, Joel Anthony, Sterling Brown

Subtractions: Michael Beasley, Miles Plumlee, Steve Novak, Spencer Hawes, Terrence Jones, Axel Toupane

Vegas Over/Under: 46.5

My take:

I like the under on this one, and that's with me being a huge Giannis Antetokounmpo fan. While Giannis is excellent, the rest of the team isn't that hot. Last season the Bucks overperformed their point margin, and I just don't see how they pick up six more wins this year. Part of the problem is their second best player is Greg Monroe, who they don't want to play and may trade. Thon Maker is getting starting time, and based on his previous season, that isn't exciting. It's possible Malcolm Brogdon keeps up his rookie of the year performance and improves and Giannis sees another jump. I won't be surprised with the Bucks in the playoffs, or even competing in later rounds given how weak the East is though.

Ind Indiana Pacers

Additions: Alex Poythress, Ben Moore, Bojan Bogdanovic, Cory Joseph, Damien Wilkins, Darren Collison, DeQuan Jones, Domantas Sabonis, Edmond Sumner, Ike Anigbogu, Jarrod Uthoff, TJ Leaf, Trey McKinney Jones, Victor Oladipo

Subtractions: Aaron Brooks, Jeff Teague, Monta Ellis, Rodney Stuckey, C.J. Miles, Paul George, Lavoy Allen, Kevin Seraphin, Georges Niang, Rakeem Christmas

Vegas Over/Under: 30.5

My take:

My tardiness on my assignment makes this one easier. I think the Under is probably the right call given that Myles Turner is set to miss a few weeks with a concussion. Last season the Pacers were a 42 win team. They lost their best player -- Jeff Teague. We've argued Paul George is overrated, but he was at least a decent player. It's possible Victor Oladipo replaces his production, but he came with a "trojan horse" in Domantas Sabonis, who was downright horrible. It's possible that Sabonis has a major jump, Oladipo snaps back, and Myles Turner comes back from his concussion just fine. That said, I think the Pacers did shed over twelve wins from last season.

Det Detroit Pistons

Additions: Anthony Tolliver, Avery Bradley, Dwight Buycks, Eric Moreland, Langston Galloway, Luis Montero, Luke Kennard

Subtractions: Aron Baynes, Michael Gbinije, Darrun Hilliard, Marcus Morris, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Vegas Over/Under: 38.5

My take:

I mean, I'm pretty sure the over is right here, right? Last season the Pistons won thirty-seven games. Sure, they "lost" KCP and Baynes, but they also picked up Avery Bradley and Langston Galloway, who are at least decent. Also, losing Marcus Morris can only help them. It's kind of boring but it seems like winning around forty wins should be easy for this squad, and they'll definitely be in the playoff hunt. We like Andre Drummond, and there is some decent support for him, so here's hoping they get to see the playoffs.

Cle Cleveland Cavaliers

Additions: Ante Zizic, Cedi Osman, Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Isaac Hamilton, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Jeff Green, John Holland, Jose Calderon, Kendrick Perkins

Subtractions: Kyrie Irving, Larry Sanders, Mike Dunleavy, Chris Andersen, DeAndre Liggins, Deron Williams, Derrick Williams, Jordan McRae, James Jones, Andrew Bogut

Vegas Over/Under: 54.5

My take:

The Cavaliers threw darts at the board this offseason. I love the addition of Jae Crowder. And if Isaiah Thomas comes back healthy, a big if, I know, they can be deadly in the playoffs. That said, Wade, Rose, and Jeff Green were baffling odd pickups, as all of them have been below average for a while. Wade for age, Rose for injury, and Green for ... ever? I like the Under on this one. I don't see this team improving three wins from last season. While Kyrie Irving's departure may open up Kevin Love, it looks like the Cavs are responding by putting Tristan Thompson on the bench. Wade and Rose will get major minutes and points, and LeBron James will get a year older. It was a prime chance for another team to take over the East, but unfortunately, Boston had horrible injury hurt them, which just sucks. I would not be surprised to see the Cavaliers win the East with 51 Wins and make it to another Finals.