NBA Primetime's Eastern Conference: Central Division Preview

Brandon RibakSenior Writer IOctober 25, 2009

CLEVELAND - MAY 28:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on between plays against the Orlando Magic in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2009 Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 28, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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NBA Primetime breaks down every division in the NBA, giving you, the fans, the upcoming season predictions and preview on how each team will pan out for the year.

Eastern Conference: Central Division Preview

Cleveland Cavaliers- 58-24 (First in Central Division)

With the addition of Shaquille O'Neal, Anthony Parker, and Jamario Moon, King James will finally win his first NBA championship...right? Wrong.

The Cavaliers enter the season as an obvious force, ranking amongst the elite in the East for a second straight season; but a 36-year-old O'Neal and the acquiring of two mediocre guards/forwards does not place Cleveland as the best team in the East.

While the Cavaliers will fight with Orlando and Boston for the first-through-third seed come postseason time, they will ultimately fall during the playoffs just like last year.

Why, might you ask?

Well, for the main reason, that aside from LeBron James, the Cavaliers remain without another go-to-guy/leader that can take over a game.

Until they sign/trade/acquire this "player", James will remain ring-less, and the entire city of Cleveland will be forced to hold their breath come offseason time.


Chicago Bulls: 42-40 (T-2nd in Central Division)

Chicago will rely heavily on point-guard Derrick Rose to take this young squad to the postseason this year. While they are still a few seasons away from actually becoming a serious contender in the East, they have a decent chance of making it back to the playoffs this season.

A healthy Luol Deng and the emergence of Chicago's front-court, consisting of Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah (and rookie Taj Gibson), can all contribute in bunches to the Bulls success this season.


Detroit Pistons: 42-40 (T-2nd in Central Division)

The Pistons are surely not the team of old, but after signing shooting-guard Ben Gordon and forward Charlie Villanueva during the offseason, this squad can once again be discussed about regarding to playoff contention.

Leading the way for Detroit will be two year point-guard Rodney Stuckey, who will inevitably rise as the Pistons leader this season.

If the team can restrain from injuries and their front-court can somehow remain strong against top notch organizations, Detroit will ultimately be in a duel for the seventh-to-eighth seed come playoff time.


Indiana Pacers: 35-47 (Fourth in Central Division)

The Pacers are just a couple of seasons away before they enter the extremely exciting playoff run.

Danny Granger will make the jump to superstar status this season, completely taking over games for his squad, while averaging close to 30 points per game.

Aside from Granger, the team consists of a young bunch of athletes ranging from C Roy Hibbert (who lead the preseason in blocks), to F Tyler Hansbrough, to G A.J. Price. Once these guys gain experience and a better understanding of the game, this Indiana team will shoot up in the NBA rankings.


Milwaukee Bucks: 28-54 (Fifth in Central Division)

The Bucks got rid of three of their five starters during the offseason (Richard Jefferson, Charlie Villanueva, and Ramon Sessions).

With a healthy Michael Redd and Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee will seek to win no more than 30 plus games this season, if that.

Rookie point-guard Brandon Jennings will get the opportunity to show off his skills and compete for a starting role, while forward Hakim Warrick receives the chance to obtain a starting job for the first time in his career.

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