The Baseline With Laz Jackson: NBA Preview Edition (Eastern Conference – Central Division)

29 Oct

With Monday’s post covering the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division, today’s chops it up about the Central Division. The Pistons win this division again, but expect stiff competition from Cleveland. LeBron’s the man, but even he can’t escape Death and Taxes.

Follow the jump for the full rundown.

Central Division

Chicago Bulls

Motto: “Mess with the Bull, and you get… to watch us shoot 45% from the floor!”

Major Acquisition: None.

Major Loss: Does trading Happy Ben Gordon for P.O.’ed Ben Gordon count?

Ceiling: 50-32, 5th in the Eastern Conference, Second round playoff exit.

Floor: 35-47, out of playoffs.

I love Ben Gordon. I respect his game, and the fact that he can get hot instantaneously. But, dude doesn’t want to play here. So, he’s going to be dogging it. The front office did nothing about the Luol Deng/Larry Hughes/Ben Gordon/Thabo Sefolosha (yes, he’s good, trust me) shooting guard/small forward logjam. And drafting Derrick Rose only makes that worse (he can’t play the point yet. YET. Call me after 30 games). So we have a team full of perimeter players, and few post guys. Wait… it’s the East. That could work.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Motto: “We have LeBron. ‘Nuff said.”

Major Acquisition: PG Mo Williams.

Major Loss: None.

Ceiling: 58-24, 2nd in the Eastern Conference, lose in the NBA Finals.

Floor: 52-30, 4th in the Eastern Conference, second-round exit.

In trying to keep LeBron happy and in Cleveland, the front office actually made the team better. Shocking. LeBron is better, Mo Williams lets Boobie come off the bench, Big Z and Big Ben can still play a little (for 25-32 min a night), and Sideshow Bob still pisses off everyone, so this team has the potential to go places. Or LeBron can drag them places. It’s up to them.

Detroit Pistons

Motto:”Ready for another 50+ win season that ends in disappointment? Us too!”

Major Acquisition: SG Allen Iverson

Major Loss: PG Chauncey Billups

Ceiling: 55-27, 2nd in the Eastern Conference, lose in the NBA Finals.

Floor: 50-32, 4th in the Eastern Conference, second round playoff exit.

The “Death and Taxes” of the NBA. Consistent to a fault, right down to the game where Rasheed Wallace disappears after guaranteeing a win in the playoffs. But with AI and ‘Sheed playing for contracts, Stuckey on his way to becoming a starter, and the offense flowing more through Tayshaun, this Pistons looks more… dangerous than last year’s. Don’t forget: They’re set up nicely for 2010, also known as the year D-Wade, LeBron, Chris Bosh, Michael Redd, and a whole slew of other guys become free agents. Joe D is a genius.

Indiana Pacers

Motto:”We have Larry Bird… in the front office!”

Major Acquisition: SG/SF Brandon Rush.

Major Loss: PF/C Jermaine O’Neal.

Ceiling: 52-30, 5th in the Eastern Conference, Second Round exit.

Floor: 40-42, out of playoffs.

Young team, but definitely not a raw team. The addition of PG’s Jarret Jack and TJ Ford gives them a non-Tinsley route, and MAYBE Roy Hibbert can be an defensive presence. MAYBE. They have a similar problem as the Bulls: too many guys to fit that SG/SF tweener role: Mike Dunleavy, Danny Granger, Marquis Daniels, and Brandon Rush. Potentially dangerous.

Milwaukee Bucks

Motto:”Seriously, we could be good!”

Major Acquisition: SG/SF Richard Jefferson [above].

Major Loss: PG Mo Williams.

Ceiling: 42-40, 8th seed in the East, first round exit.

Floor: 39-43, out of playoffs.

While the addition of Richard Jefferson gives this team potential, the play of starting PG Charlie Bell is going to make or break this team. Someone has to get the ball to Jefferson and Redd. And this team had a lot of turnovers in the offseason, so chemistry may be a factor.


2 Responses to “The Baseline With Laz Jackson: NBA Preview Edition (Eastern Conference – Central Division)”

  1. M Double October 30, 2008 at 1:41 am #

    Your motto’s are fucking hilarious! You really formatted this, and attacked the story creatively. Although I’m not rocking with all of the predictions, you definitely held your own. Good job, fam.


  1. The Baseline With Laz Jackson: NBA Preview Edition (Eastern Conference - Southeast Division) « Speech Is My Hammer… - November 5, 2008

    […] info By lazchance Categories: Sports With the Atlantic and the Central divisions covered, there’s one more to go in the Eastern Conference. Orlando wins the […]

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