Thriller’s NBA Season preview: the Central Division

Chicago Bulls

Projected Starters: Derrick Rose, Richard Hamilton, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah
Rotation players: CJ Watson, Ron Brewer, Kyle Korver, Taj Gibson, Omer Asik

Key Additions: Richard Hamilton

If Rip Hamilton is healthy, the Bulls have a very good shot at coming out of the East. He should provide that scoring punch they need to be able to space the floor, as well as give Rose more options and space to operate with now being able to play 5 on 5 instead of 4 on 5 with Bogans last year. Their bench may be the best in the NBA, as well as their defence. Their team looks rock solid this year.

Detroit Pistons

Projected Starters: Brandon Knight, Ben Gordon, Tayshaun Prince, Jonas Jerebko, Greg Monroe
Rotation players: Will Bynum, Austin Daye, Charlie Villanueva, Jason Maxiell

Key Additions: Brandon Knight

I’m still sort of shocked they haven’t amnestied Charlie yet, and I’m super shocked that Dumars is trying to give Stuckey 9 million a year when he hasn’t done anything to earn it. They’re much better off letting Knight take the reigns and try to develop him. This will obviously be a rebuilding year for the Pistons.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Projected Starters: Kyrie Irving, Anthony Parker, Omri Casspi, Antawn Jamison, Anderson Varejao
Rotation players: Ramon Sessions, Daniel Gibson, Christian Eyenga, Tristan Thompson

Key Additions: Kyrie Irving, Omri Casspi, Tristan Thompson

Like many other teams listed above, another rebuilding team. The starting lineup likely wont be the one listed because there’s no for sure lock at the 2, 3, and 4. This year in CLE will be all about Kyrie and if he’s as good as advertised. With Baron amnestied, the keys are in Kyries hands to basically make everything happen for this offensively challenged team. I think he’ll be solid but he wont have a John Wall type of rookie year.

Milwaukee Bucks

Projected Starters: Brandon Jennings, Carlos Delfino, Stephen Jackson, Luc Richard Mbah A Moute, Andrew Bogut
Rotation players: Beno Udrih, Mike Dunleavy, Drew Gooden, Ersan Ilyasova

Key Additions: Stephen Jackson, Beno Udrih, Mike Dunleavy

The Bucks are in win now mode(trading Kemba Walker with Maggette for Jackson) with a very mediocre team. I expect they’ll make the playoffs, but they’re just as inefficient and offensively challenged as last year due to their slow pace and Brandon Jennings not understanding how to run an NBA team. Look for them to be one and done in the playoffs.

Indiana Pacers

Projected Starters: Darren Collison, Paul George, Danny Granger, David West, Roy Hibbert
Rotation players: George Hill, Brandon Rush, Tyler Hansbrough, Jeff Foster

Key Additions: David West, George Hill

Larry Bird is slowly but surely building a winner in Indiana. They have a very solid starting 5 on both sides of the ball, and I think their bench is one of the better ones in the NBA as well with Hill, Hansbrough, and multiple other players who played minutes for them last season who may not to get to play as much this year due to their influx of talent. This is going to be a top 6 team in the East easily, and they could surprise a team and win a round this year in the playoffs. If Paul George does turn in to a star like they think he will in the upcoming years, Indiana could be on track to get back to where they were with Reggie 15 years ago as a bigtime contender in the East.

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