The NBA season is almost upon us and I am going to continue a fans opinionated preview of the NBA teams, with a look at the Central Division in the Eastern Conference Central Division- 2012- 2013
Eastern Conference 2012-2013
Central Division Preview
Chicago Bulls- 1st in Central Division in 2011-2012
Current players: Derrick Rose, Ryan Allen, Marco Belinelli, Carlos Boozer, Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, Andre Emmett, Kyrylo Fesenko, Taj Gibson, Richard Hamilton, Kirk Hinrich, Nazr Mohammed, Joakim Noah, Vladimir Radmanovic, Nate Robinson, Marquis Teague
Preview: The Bulls definitely need Derrick Rose back. This was proven last year in the playoffs against the Philidelphia 76ers. The team will be able to compete in the playoffs if Rose is back before than but until than the likes of Deng, Noah and Boozer will have to step up. The Bulls will be a competitive team each night with Tom Thibodeau leading the way. I expect them to be in the playoffs again this year, but without a healthy Rose they are not gonna be able to compete for the title they so badly want.
Indiana Pacers- 2nd in Central Division in 2011-2012
Current players: Danny Granger, Blake Ahearn, D.J. Augustin, Sundiata Gaines, Paul George, Gerald Green, Ben Hansbrough, Tyler Hansbrough, Roy Hibbert, George Hill, Orlando Johnson, Ian Mahinmi, Luke Nevill, Jeff Pendergraph, Miles Plumlee, Lance Stephenson, David West, Sam young
Preview: The Pacers continued their slow, steady climb to the top of the Eastern Conference last season, nearly eliminating the Miami HEAT as the highlight of an impressive postseason showing. They brought back Roy Hibbert, gained an energetic backup centers in Ian Mahinmi and Miles Plumlee, added scoring with Gerald Green, and acquired D.J. Augustin to back up George Hill, meaning they will be even deeper and tougher than last season. If Paul George and Hibbert takes the next step in their respective games, the Pacers could be the dark horse to come out of the East. With Derrick Rose out to start the season, they should be able to at least capture the Central Division crown, though that isn’t a given.
Milwaukee Bucks- 3rd in Central Division in 2011-2012
Current players: Brandon Jennings, Doron Lamb, Samuel Dalembert, Marquis Daniels, Mike Dunleavy, Monta Ellis, Mustapha Farrakhan, Eddie Gill, Drew Gooden, Orien Greene, Tobias Harris, John Henson, Ersan Ilyasova, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Joel Przybilla, Larry Sanders, Alando Tucker, Ekpe Udoh, Beno Udrih
Preview: The Buck nearly made the playoffs last year but fell apart toward of the end of the season. This year i expect much of the same from them. They will be in the playoff race but i don’t know if the additions of Samuel Dalembert and John Henson are really gonna be enough to push them into the playoffs. At the moment the Bucks seem like a treadmill team destined for the 8-11 position in the East. The likes of Jennings, Ellis and Gooden are gonna have to play amazingly well for this team to be in the playoffs this year.
Detroit Pistons- 4th in Central Division in 2011-2012
Current Players: Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe, Will Bynum, Austin Daye, Andre Drummond, Kim English, Jonas Jerebko, Viacheslav Kravtsov, Corey Maggette, Jason Maxiell, Khris Middleton, Tayshaun Prince, Kyle Singler, Rodney Stuckey, Charlie Villanueva
Preview: This years Pistons are a young team with some very promising talent. Being in the lottery the past few seasons has landing them some potential stars in Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond. The idea of a front court of Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond is a scary thought for many opposing teams in the future. This season this team will need to learn and grow together and i see another lottery next offseason. This is another team built for the future and they seemed to have the right pieces to have a positive one.
Cleveland Cavaliers- 5 in Central Division in 2011-2012
Current Players: Kyrie Irving, Anderson Varejao, Dion Waiters, Kevin Anderson, Kelenna Azubuike, Omri Casspi, Michael Eric, Alonzo Gee, Daniel Gibson, Luke Harangody, Justin Holiday, Kevin Jones, Jon Leuer, C.J Miles, Jeremy Pargo, Samardo Samuels, Donald Sloan, Tristan Thompson, Luke Walton, Tyler Zeller
Preview: The Cleveland Cavaliers have been rebuilding since the loss of Lebron James and it has yielded some good results, but it is still early. Lucky for the Cavs they got Kyrie Irving who seems to be a future superstar in this league. Last years R.O.Y is full of potential and makes everybody around him better. This team still has a long way to go. They have some pieces that can be very good players but it is very early. There’s a saying that you have to learn to fail before you learn to succeed and that’s what phase the Cavaliers will endure this year. If Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters grow leaps and bounds throughout the course, they could be playoff bound next season. For now, a bump up the Central Division is most probably.