NBA Preview Part 3: Central Division


Central Division

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Chicago Bulls
Key Additions: Bobby Portis
Key Subtractions: N/A
Outlook: There have always been two things that really has kept Chicago from reaching their full potential in the past: Their lack of offense and staying healthy. Well the health is still out on trial but the offense has a chance to be resurrected with the uptempo system that new Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg has installed. It’s going to be a work-in-progress, but it’s only a matter of time before the team starts rolling. Everybody returned with the addition of the rookie Bobby Portis. The championship window is shrinking. We’re going to see if they can get past their divisional rival to make it back to the big stage for the first time since 1998. “See Red”.

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Cleveland Cavaliers
Key Additions: Mo Williams
Key Subtractions: N/A
Outlook: Injuries, injuries, injuries… that was the story of last year’s Cleveland Cavaliers team. Anderson Varejao, Iman Shumpert, Kevin Love, and Kyrie Irving were the key players affected at some point during the season and playoffs. The championship window is closing and who knows how much longer LeBron James can play at this ridiculous level. They have the same roster with the addition of adding former Cavalier Mo Williams. This team is the cream of the crop in the Eastern Conference. The question remains will this team stay healthy or will the burden fall on LeBron’s shoulders again as he tries to make it to the NBA Finals for a 6th straight time?

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Detroit Pistons
Key Additions: Ersan Ilyasova, Marcus Morris, Stanley Johnson, Aron Baynes, Steve Blake, Danny Granger, Reggie Bullock
Key Subtractions: Greg Monroe, Tayshaun Prince
Outlook: I feel like Detroit needs to make a “power move”. What I mean by that is that they need to either make a blockbuster trade and get a franchise player OR just blow up the operation as it stands. Having Reggie Jackson and Brandon Jennings, who are both heavily paid to the play the same position, is a log jam. You could play Jennings at shooting guard, but the outcome wouldn’t suffice defensively. They brought in a few veterans, but losing Greg Monroe to Milwaukee was a huge blow. Now they are stuck with Andre Drummond, who’s another DeAndre Jordan in the making. The Pistons are not making the postseason so they should really think about that “power move”.

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Indiana Pacers
Key Additions: Monte Ellis, Myles Turner, Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger, Rakeem Christmas, Joseph Young
Key Subtractions: David West, Roy Hibbert, C.J. Waston, Luis Scola, Damjan Rudez
Outlook: Welcome back Paul George! The Indiana Pacers are a completely different team since the last time PG13 put on a Pacers jersey. The only returning start is George Hill. Forming chemistry with Monte Ellis may be challenging at first but that duo has the potential to get Indiana back into the playoffs. Their front court has become questionable these days so we’ll see how that pans out. I believe Paul George is good enough to get them into the postseason (BARELY!!), but the longer this cast can stay healthy and plays together in sync, they may give some team problems down the road.

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Milwaukee Bucks
Key Additions: Greg Monroe, Greivis Vasquez, Chris Copeland, Rashad Vaughn
Key Subtractions: Jared Dudley, Zaza Pachulia
Outlook: Jason Kidd has turned this team from a joke to mismatch nightmare for opponents. What 6-11 ft small forward you know that has skill set and IQ to run point guard if needed? Giannis Antetokounmpo is that person for the Milwaukee Bucks. When you place him with Michael Carter-Williams (former rookie of the year), young stud Jabari Parker, solid and young big man Greg Monroe, and a $70 million shooter Khris Middleton (I’m still scratching my head on that one), you have a dangerous nucleus with a crazy amount of potential. Defensively, they are legit. Once they establish some consistent offense and add more shooters, this team will have the ability to cause ANY team problems. “Fear The Dear”.

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