Getting real: NBA Central Division preview
Monday, November 5, 2007
If you've somehow missed all the NBA previews--or are simply jonesin' for more--top bloggers helped We Rite Goode boil the season down to a few catchy soundbites that can be used to impress at cocktail parties or keggers. After you've read our methodology here, finish off our team-by-team previews with a look at the mighty midwest match up between Motown and the Second City...to say nothing of a lurking LeBron.
1. Chicago Bulls
Ben Go, Thank You Isiah
Forget what I want them to do; here's what they will do: Happily, the Bulls should meet most of my great expectations. They will win 55 games. Luol Deng will make the All-Star team (not a lot of great 3s in the East), but Ben Gordon won't (a glut of good 1s and 2s.) As for the playoffs, sure, what the hell, they'll make the Finals.
Reasoning: Based on their points scored and points against, the Bulls should have won 55 games last year. Defensively, the Bulls match up well against the Celtics, with their lone Achilles' heel, the under-sized Ben Gordon, unlikely to be outmuscled by Rondo. (Oh, and by the way, Posey still sucks.) The Pistons, specifically Billups, remain a threat in that regard, but sooner or later, youth demands to be served. Unless Lebron goes absolutely, Jordanesquely apeshit (feasible, but not assured), I like Chicago.
As for the Finals, for now, I'd just be happy to be there. For now.
2. Detroit Pistons
Natalie Sitto, Need 4 Sheed
Forget what they need to do; here's what they will do: The Pistons will win 52 games, and end up Eastern Conference Champs. Jason Maxiell will turn heads this season and Rasheed Wallace will lead the league in technical fouls. Flip Saunders will be considered a good coach who has difficulty making adjustments in the Playoffs.
That said, don’t count them out.
Reasoning: This team has made the Eastern Conference Finals the past five seasons. Their core is still together, but nothing significant has changed to put them over the top, unless the Pistons youth astonish us.
3. Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavalier, Yaysports!
[Editor's note: The Cavalier was tied up at the last-minute with a certain movie he's working on, so gave us the OK to just adapt an earlier NBA preview].
Forget what they need to do; here's what they will do: 51 wins, but we’re apathetic about this team and the season. While personnel is a problem, the bigger problem was getting an offensive system in place, which could’ve been done but wasn’t (As far as we can tell so far).
Reasoning: Publicly, the Cavaliers want to win a championship. Privately (and none of them will say it out loud or to each other), they’ll feel lucky to get back to the Finals. They had an easy road, the only good (ie watchable) basketball they played all year was the Spurs game in November and the Pistons series. But as always, if LeBron decides he wants to go hardcore, all predictions are voided. The man can do anything when he decides he wants it, and everyone else falls in line.
4. Indiana Pacers
Cornrows, Indy Cornrows
Forget what they need to do; here's what they will do: Win 42 games and sit on the fence of the playoffs. Health issues have been an annual problem, so a few key injuries into the equation keeps the Pacers in the NBA's no man's land.
Reasoning: Jim O'Brien has had a great impact on the culture and style of play already. But they will run at a talent deficit in many games, so if a few injuries pop up to further increase that deficit, they can still play hard but end up not winning enough to make the playoffs now that the Eastern Conference has more contenders than playoff spots available.
5. Milwaukee Bucks
Forget what they need to do; here's what they will do: Win 40 games, battle for the 8 spot and get annihilated in the first round. If they get there.
Reasoning: The Bucks have plenty of young talent, and the return of Simmons and Mason should provide a veteran boost. But while Mo, Bogut, Villanueva and Yi all have star "potential," at least two of them will need to get there in a hurry if the Bucks want to become real contenders in the improved East. Combine the uncertainty of the team's youth with the continued threat that Bobby Simmons' foot will fall off, and it's clear Krystkowiak will be earning his paycheck if the Bucks return to the postseason.
posted by Crucifictorious @ 08:23,
- At November 5, 2007 at 3:05 PM, said...
If Danny Granger and Dunleavy plays this way all year, who knows how far the pacers can go? playoffs look like a lock.
- At November 6, 2007 at 2:02 PM, Jarrett Carter said...
The Wizards look like a bag of uh-oh, wrapped in this ain't good.