NBA Preview Central Division

Projected End of Year Standings

  1. Milwaukee Bucks

  2. Indiana Pacers

  3. Chicago Bulls

  4. Detroit Pistons

  5. Cleveland Cavaliers

Milwaukee Bucks Projected Starting Lineup

PG: Jrue Holiday

SG: Donte DiVincenzo

SF: Khris Middleton

PF: Giannis Antetokounmpo

C: Brook Lopez

6th: Bobby Portis

The Milwaukee Bucks had a tough post season in the Orlando bubble getting knocked out by the Miami Heat in the second round of the playoffs. This team has huge expectations every year but has yet to have been able to build a roster around Giannis that can win a title. They made some changes in the offseason acquiring Jrue Holiday from the Pelicans for Eric Bledsoe and also traded George Hill to the Thunder. I believe Holiday is a way better fit for this team and will hopefully put them over the edge with his ability to lock up any top guard that this team will come across. Something that I will be watching closely is if Donte DiVincenzo can continue to improve and be a reliable shooter for a team in desperate need of a three point threat. Giannis will be Giannis and dominate most opponents night in and night out and the organization can focus on building around him now that he just signed a 5 year 228 Million dollar contract making him the highest paid NBA player ever. This will put to rest any rumors of him leaving after this season.

Indiana Pacers Projected Starting Lineup

PG: Malcolm Brogdon

SG: Victor Oladipo

SF: T.J. Warren

PF: Domantas Sabonis

C: Myles Turner

6th: Both Holiday Brothers

This team is so deep. They have a complete starting five with no real weaknesses and five good backups coming off the bench that can contribute on any given night. Their only weakness is who takes the last shot? Oladipo? Iso Warren? In the bubble T.J. Warren showed he is capable of leading a team and being that guy down the stretch but he has to prove it for a whole season to make the common fan know his name. Victor Oladipo was hurt last year and he was the guy before Warren stepped up but now he is back healthy as well and this team has a lot of potential. Myles Turner is one of my favorite young big men and he keeps growing with every season under his belt. Brogdon won rookie of the year in 2017 and sort of plateaued after that but took a big leap in last years shortened season doubling his assists per game and increasing his points per game as well. Domantas Sabonis has also increased his rebounding scoring and assist number every year since he has been in the league. This is a big season for this young pacers team to prove that they can do something in the East with this deep well-rounded roster.

Chicago Bulls Projected Starting Lineup

PG: Coby White

SG: Zach LaVine

SF: Otto Porter Jr.

PF: Lauri Markkanen

C: Wendell Carter Jr.

6th: Tomas Satoranksy

The historically great Chicago Bulls franchise has had a few down years recently but they are putting together a nice team centered around blossoming star Zach LaVine. They drafted Patrick Williams with 4th overall pick and at first I thought it was a little bit of a reach but after seeing him dominate in training camp I see why they took him so high. I could easily see him taking the starting small forward job from Otto Porter Jr. halfway through the season. Second year point guard Coby White had a decent rookie season last year and looks to improve his game surrounded by plenty of options to pass the ball to including former 7th overall pick Wendell Carter Jr. The Bulls hired Billy Donovan to be their new head coach and he has a winning personality that will rub off on all the players in Chicago. If Lauri Markkanen can have a bounce back season this year after seeing a lot of his stats dwindle last year this team could be scary, they are still very young but their best players are all around the same age. If Donovan can teach them to work together and use what he has learned from his success with the Gators and the Oklahoma City Thunder they should get back to their winning ways that everyone in Chicago is accustomed to.

Detroit Pistons Projected Starting Lineup

PG: Killian Hayes

SG: Derrick Rose

SF: Jerami Grant

PF: Blake Griffin

C: Mason Plumlee

6th: Delon Wright

The Pistons have a good team on paper with veteran leadership from D Rose and Blake Griffin, but I do not see this team looking the same come the trade deadline. I am almost certain they will trade Rose to a contending team for picks or a young player and they would probably like to get ride of Blake Griffin's contract as well. Until they do that though those players will help them win games now and Rose will be a great mentor to first Round Pick Killian Hayes who I expect to be the face of the Pistons franchise for years to come. They acquired Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee from the Nuggets this offseason who are two very good players that were not getting enough minutes on that over crowded Denver team. They also traded for Delon Wright who could start at shooting guard over Rose or after they trade him and will provide them with quality guard play. I do not think this team will be the same come halfway through the season because they have trade pieces that contending teams will want. Until that happens though they have improved a lot since last year and with young rookie Killian Hayes they have a very bright future ahead of them.

Cleveland Cavaliers Projected Starting Lineup

PG: Darius Garland

SG: Collin Sexton

SF: Isaac Okoro

PF: Kevin Love

C: Andre Drummond

6th: Cedi Osman

The Cavaliers are an interesting team because they have veterans in Kevin Love and Andre Drummond who have shown their worth and will help them win games. On the other hand they are getting older though and do not fit the timeline of their younger pieces. They drafted Isaac Okoro out of Auburn in this year's draft who will come in and show his defensive ability to guard almost any position on the court. You may not be able to see his impact right away but if he works on his offensive game he could be something special. This will be the second season of the Sexton/Garland small ball backcourt experiment they can both score and pass the ball very well but struggle on the defensive side of the ball. They were both taken with Cavs first round picks in the last two years so they want to see what they can do before giving up on them but Okoro should be able to help them improve their defense. I still see this team finishing at the bottom of the standings come the end of the year because it will be very hard to trade Kevin Love's big contract. They have bright spots to look forward to but I doubt they will see the playoffs anytime soon.

37 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All