April 03, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers small forward Danny Granger (33) and shooting guard Paul George (24) celebrate during the game against the New York Knicks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeated New York 112-104. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Season Preview: Eastern Conference - Central Division


April 03, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers small forward Danny Granger (33) and shooting guard Paul George (24) celebrate during the game against the New York Knicks at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Indiana defeated New York 112-104. Mandatory credit: Michael Hickey-USA TODAY Sports

The Favorite: INDIANA PACERS

The Pacers made the quietest moves, but all the right ones. They upgraded their bench from last year by adding Luis Scola, C.J. Watson, Chris Copeland, and getting back a healthy Danny Granger. However, there is still no word on whether Granger starts over Lance Stephenson. The Chicago Bulls will be a threat, but they are still missing some pieces to make a major push.

The Tanker: MILWAUKEE BUCKS

In a tough division, the Bucks will be the team to tank it this year and hope to win the lottery. All the teams in the division improved, but a lot of the moves the Bucks made were head scratchers. It’ll be a few years before they make any sort of climb from the bottom.

Division MVP: PAUL GEORGE

George got his big contract, and now he is about to wreak havoc on the Central Division. Not only is he a division MVP, but he will be a league MVP threat. He has a lot of weapons around him, and his work ethic is unmatched. Look for George to step it up in all areas of his game.

Team To Watch: DETROIT PISTONS

The Pistons had some big free agent acquisitions. Adding Josh Smith and Brandon Jennings is going to make this team a threat. If this team finds a way to gel, they can make a run at the division. Realistically, they are still missing some pieces, but they have a lot of talent. Look for them to push for the second-place finish in the division.

Player To Watch: DERRICK ROSE

I’d be crazy not to say Rose is the player to watch here. Everyone in the league is going to watch him closely. There are so many questions surrounding his return. Will he be the same Rose who won the MVP? Did he really add a consistent jumper? How is his quickness? The answers will come sooner than later. Rose is ready for some game action now, and it’ll be fun to watch.

SCIC’s Division Champ: INDIANA PACERS

The Pacers have the best team in all categories, but the Bulls will challenge them. This team has depth, toughness, shooting, and veteran leadership – all the ingredients to make a championship contender. With a bitter taste in their mouth from the last two years, look for the Pacers to try and win the division and the conference. If they stay healthy, this team should take the division. 

Tags: Chicago Bulls Derrick Rose Detroit Pistons Indiana Pacers Milwaukee Bucks NBA Paul George

  • John Allen Reave

    Nice article :)

  • YehYeh

    Well done. The Pacers are best until someone proves otherwise.

  • Old Bill Collins

    Spot on! This division will be very entertaining this season. It is very hard to predict. Expect some exciting basketball.