2006 Central Division Predictions
Welcome to the 2006 Central Division NBA Preview page. At the time of publish the preseason games are underway with the regular season to open soon. If you regularly do bet on the NBA use Maddux Sports for NBA Picks and Live NBA Odds to increase your winning percentage this season.
2006 Central Division NBA Season Preview
Many consider the NBA’s Central Division to be the most competitive in the league. The Pistons, Bulls, Cavaliers, Pacers and Bucks all found themselves the playoffs last season! But three of the teams didn’t make it past the first round. The landscape looks much the same this season with a few adjustments.
The Detroit Pistons, although having lost Ben Wallace and showing its age a bit, are still the most likely winners of this division. With Billups and Hamilton, they sport perhaps the best backcourt in the Eastern Conference. After a year at the helm, Flip Saunders will try to implement his style of play, which means a more patient and complicated offense.
The Chicago Bulls are the most improved team, having snagged Ben Wallace and P.J. Brown for their frontcourt. The club has some talent and depth on their bench and coach Scott Skiles projects a winning style that has worked well with this team. For the Bulls to go deep into the post-season, they’ll need to hone their defensive game.
LeBron James proved to be perhaps the single most potent force in the NBA last season. He just fell short of closing the deal in a semi-finals upset over the Pistons. Mike Brown’s first head coaching assignment was a success, partly because of his demeanor, partly due to his game plan and partly with credit to James. The Cavaliers have a well-balanced mix of experience and youth. They’re headed for another winning season.
The Indiana Pacers are definitely a team in decline but trying to reverse that trend. The starting lineup certainly shows talent, but it’s also got some discontents and injury-prone players. The first string is also stretched thin, while the bench possesses mostly inexperienced but talented players. This club is in dire straights if Jermaine O’Neal has another injury-ridden season. Coach Rick Carlisle will attempt to institute some order and discipline in this unfocused group.
Rounding out the bottom of the Central Division, the Milwaukee Bucks feature one of the youngest, least experienced teams in the NBA. After one year as head coach, Terry Stotts must become a tough leader, showing strength and confidence. Along with a lack of experience, the Bucks lack depth and defensive-minded players. Through their better-than-expected performance, they gained confidence last season and that should help Milwaukee achieve even more in 2006-07.
Once again, all five of these clubs may find themselves playoff bound. The Pacers and Bucks are on the cusp and could go either way while the top 3 teams likely could finish within 1 win between 1st and 3rd in the Central. That is how good and how balanced this division is.
Projected Order of Finish: Click on the team link for a break down of the basketball team.