2013-2014 Central Division
This is the deepest and toughest division in the entire Eastern Conference. With two teams that made a very impressive showing in the playoffs last year and the other 3 teams looking to make improvements and make the playoffs as well this year.
Chicago Bulls- A team that finished the season last year with a 45-37 record and made it into the 2nd round of the playoffs shouldn’t have much improvement to build upon, but this team is getting back one of the best all-around athletes in the entire NBA. Former MVP Derrick Rose who missed all of last year recovering from a torn ACL finally makes his triumphant return to the NBA court. Rose in the pre-season has looked better than ever and that is a great sign for the Bulls, but a horrible sign for all of the other teams. Along with one of the most brilliant minds in the NBA as their head coach; Defensive mastermind Tom Thibodeau looks to make this team even more dominant than they have been in the past years. Rising star Jimmy Butler made a name for himself throughout the entire playoffs last year; Butler looks to build off of that success as he is the starting Shooting Guard. The only thing holding the Bulls back is the potential for nagging injuries that plagued them last year in the playoffs against the Miami Heat. With the former MVP returning and the fantastic coaching of coach Thibodeau; Look out for the Bulls to be back on top of the entire NBA and win the Central division.
Indiana Pacers- A team that been solidly improving the last few years; The Indiana Pacers look to be a powerhouse in the eastern conference. Small Forward Paul George is looking to improve from last year and take that huge step from all-star to superstar. With injury prone Danny Granger having to take a diminished role; The Pacers look to use defense and important bench play as the main factors in their success. With a fantastic front court in David West & Roy Hibbert the Pacers look to be one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. With the acquisitions of 3-point shooter Chirs Copeland and role player Luis Scola; Indiana look to make that next step from being in the eastern conference finals to win and making the NBA playoffs. With this being a true all of one, one for all type of team; The Pacers look to take the NBA by storm, and will end up in 2nd in the Central division.
Detroit Pistons- After not making the playoffs since the 2008-2009 season the Detroit Pistons look to make a return to the Playoffs. With new head coach Maurice Cheeks and the big free agent signing of Josh Smith from the Atlanta Hawks and a sign-and-trade to receive point guard Brandon Jennings. With a powerful and young front court in Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond the Pistons look to improve defensively and in the paint offensively. The return of Chauncey Billups brings the veteran experience the Pistons are lacking along with being able to move Rodney Stuckey to his natural position of Shooting guard. The Detroit Pistons look to rebuild the success they achieved in the early 2000s with this new group of young talent. “DETROIT BASKETBALL” is back and will finish 3rd in the Central division and will sneak into the playoffs.
Cleveland Cavaliers- Since the departure of LeBron James back in 2010 the Cleveland Cavaliers have been trying to rebuild and make the playoffs ever since and this could possibly be the year. With acquiring the 1st overall pick for the 2nd time in the last three years the Cavaliers look to finally be climbing back up to the top of the eastern conference. With Kyrie Irving looking to make the leap from being an all-star to superstar and having Dion Waiters not having a sophomore slump will play a big key in the success of the Cavaliers. With the acquisition of the biggest free agent in Cavaliers history Andrew Bynum look to bounce back from numerous knee injuries and missing an entire season. Most recent number one overall pick Anthony Bennett will have a lot of time to improve with him being able to come off the bench and learn the NBA game at his own pace. With the return of coach Mike Brown to the sidelines the Cavaliers want to make the playoffs this year. With the Cavaliers finishing in 4th in the Central division I do have them sneaking into the playoffs as an 8th seed.
Milwaukee Bucks- In the very deep Central Division the Milwaukee Bucks have a long way to go but have a young core to build for the future but for this season I see them having growing pains. With new head coach and former Atlanta Hawks head coach Larry Drew leading the team the Bucks have a lot of promise but not for the present. Young point guard Brandon Knight coming over in the Brandon Jennings trade, OJ Mayo coming via free agency. Larry Sanders looks to be coming into his own and looks to make a name for himself in the NBA. The Milwaukee Bucks end up finishing last in the Central and ultimately missing the NBA playoffs.