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Oddsmakers lower expectations for the Brooklyn Nets

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USA TODAY Sports

When the Nets acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett a year ago, oddsmakers took notice. A dollar bet on the Nets to win it all would have paid out $10 if they had won the NBA championship.  Well, that didn't happen. They won only 44 games, lost the division and got as far as the second round.

This year, the oddsmakers at Bovada, the Vegas sports book, aren't so optimistic. The Nets are 66-to-1 to win it all. That's tied with the Lakers who finished out of the playoffs, but have 36-year-old Kobe Bryant back, and the Hornets, who have remade themselves with a young roster.  And, ugh, below the Knicks, who are at 50-to-1 after re-signing Carmelo Anthony and adding Jose Calderon and, and...  If you're interested, the Cavaliers are 5-to-2 to win it all. The Spurs, who made mincemeat of LeBron James last team, are next at 4-to-1.

Whatever. They don't play the games in Vegas, or on the pages of Sports Illustrated who also paints an ugly picture of the Nets Eastern Conference chances.  It's all part of the lowered expectations for Mikhail Prokhorov's team.  Do we have any idea what the big guy thinks? We're told he's enthusiastic, particularly about the return of Brook Lopez ... who everyone else seems happy to confine to the dustbin of history.