Wednesday, October 22, 2008

2008-2009 NBA Preview: Central Division


1. Detroit Pistons
This team still has a shot at winning a title because of their veteran core still intact. Chauncey Billups, Rasheed Wallace, Richard Hamilton, and Tayshaun Prince can still get it done and keep this team a championship contender. Rodney Stuckey and Jason Maxiell are up and coming studs and can fill the void off the bench. Look for the Pistons to contend with the Celtics again for east supremacy.

2. Cleveland Cavaliers
Obviously any team with Lebron James is going to be a playoff contender, but this year the Cavs could upend the Pistons for first place in the division. But a lot will depend on Lebron's supporting cast; Mo Williams is an underrated PG who can help lead this team and complement Lebron. This team is very good in the frontcourt with Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Ben Wallace, and Anderson Varejao, but the problem is that's all they have inside. They need more depth up-front. Second round playoff finish isn't out of the question again.

3. Indiana Pacers
Look for the Pacers to be improved this season. Look for them to make the playoffs. They don't have a straight up superstar, but Danny Granger is close to it. Granger is an underrated player averaging nearly 20 ppg last season. Mike Dunleavy can shoot and score and complement Granger very well. T.J. Ford is looking for a new beginning after years of injury, I think he's found a new home in Indy. The bench isn't that bad either, Jarrett Jack is a good guard and Roy Hibbert could be a key player down the stretch. This team will turn heads this season.

4. Chicago Bulls
The Bulls were terrible last season with all of the hype and talent they have. But it seems like the chemistry isn't there. Ben Gordon continues to complain about money and playing time; and it seems everybody else has been under performing. Look for Derrick Rose to take over at PG for Kirk Heinrich sometime during the season. We all know Luol Deng, Kirk Heinrich, Ben Gordon, and Andres Nocioni have gotten it done before. The talent is there, it's just a matter of executing, coaching, and egos.

5. Milwaukee Bucks
This should be an interesting season for the Bucks. They finally have a playmaker that compliments Michael Redd well in Richard Jefferson. Luke Ridnour is a great addition at PG. If Andrew Bogut stays healthy he could be a big factor. But the problems lie at the defensive end and up-front. They don't have much depth or scoring for that matter off the bench. They need someone to step up to help out Redd, Jefferson, and Ridnour.