2008-2009 NBA Central Division Preview
2008 Central Division season preview from MadduxSports.com. In addition to the free previews Maddux also provides FREE NBA DAILY PICKS.
The NBA Central is looking good with some hot teams that have playoff potential. You’ve got to consider that the Detroit Pistons, Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks all have a chance of appearing in the post-season. However, the once proud Chicago Bulls and Indiana Pacers will struggle to get to .500.
The Pistons may be aging but they are still good. Shooting guard Allen Iverson, power forward Antonio McDyess and center Rasheed Wallace are all quality players. Shooting guard Richard Hamilton is a tough competitor, while small forward Tayshaun Prince offers balanced play upfront. Head coach Michael Curry is in his first year.
LeBron James is simply one of the best players in the league and the Cleveland Cavaliers have him. James can shoot, dish off and rebound. The problem for the Cavs will be if they rely on James too much. He is a one-man team but one-man teams don’t win NBA titles. Veteran power forward Ben Wallace isn’t in the game for his offensive prowess. He’s the club’s primary defender. Head coach Mike Brown has won 45 or more games in each of his three seasons. He’ll do the same again this year. Look for 50 or more wins.
The Milwaukee Bucks could be playoff bound. Then again, they may find it hard to win 50% of their games. Still, if they earn 38 or 40 wins, they could make it into the second season. Shooting guard Michael Redd has an accurate stroke. Upfront, small forward Richard Jefferson is an able defender and shooter. New head coach Scott Skiles, late of the Chicago Bulls, starts his ninth year in the NBA.
The Chicago Bulls need a bench and a few more starters to contend for a playoff spot. Ben Gordon at shooting guard can score from inside and out. Rookie point guard Derrick Rose brings good hands and a nice stroke to the court. Drew Gooden is a force to be reckoned with in the frontcourt. This will be a big learning year for first-time NBA head coach Vinny Del Negro.
Over the past few years, the Indiana Pacers have had their troubles both on and off the court. Fourth-year point guard T.J. Ford is a fine set-up man, while small forward Danny Granger, in his third season, is a total player. This is a young team that, in a few years, could be at the top of their game. Head coach Jim O’Brien, who is a solid basketball man, starts his second-season with the Pacers.
2008 NBA Central Division Predictions
Projected Order of Finish: Click on team name for individual in-depth team outlook.