Monday , Dec , 08 , 2008 C.Y. Ellis

Sami’s NBA Briefing: Central Division

Sami's NBA Briefing: Central DivisionThe Central Division has certainly been a interesting one. You have the one dominant team of the division, the once dominant team on decline, and a squad with a promising young guard everybody’s predicting to become the next great one. Here is my look at the Central Division.

Cleveland Cavaliers
Winners of their last eight in a row, Cavaliers fans have been familiarizing themselves with the word "dominant". The Cavaliers are beating opponents by an average of 13.30 ppg, a mark that is even above the Lakers. The Cavaliers have continued Mike Brown’s necessities of defense and rebounding, but have shown much improvement on the offensive side of the ball, averaging over 103 ppg. While Mo Williams adds another scoring option and play maker, it also allows LeBron to play off the ball, where he can more often receive the ball near the basket, thus out muscling defenders and shooting a higher percentage. LeBron’s point total may be down at 26.5, but the efficiency is evident while getting better help from his teammates. With all this being said, perhaps the biggest area for optimism for theCavs should be at their home court, where they are 11-0 at the Q. Can LeBron push his Cavs over the Celtics this year? Well, getting home court advantage would certainly help. Cleveland Cavaliers/17-3

Detroit Pistons
With a record of 7-8 since Iverson was incorporated into the starting line-up, the talk in Motown has been centered around lack of chemistry. The arrival of A.I. has meant doom for Rip Hamilton, who withIverson , can not seem to find his niche in the offense. Rip’s offense usually comes from movement off screens, but lately has not gotten used to Allen’s ball domination. The Pistons recent poor play has forced Michael Curry to make changes.Kwame Brown will be taken out while the Pistons try a three guard offense with Iverson, Hamilton and Stuckey . The fans are calling for a different change, moving A.I. to the bench, although that will most likely never happen. I never expected Detroit to contend heavily once they made theIverson trade. I just don’t see it working. I expect Detroit to battle for the 6th seed at most in the Eastern Conference. Detroit Pistons/11-8

Chicago Bulls

Is it possible to mention the Chicago Bulls without giving love to Derrick Rose? Of course it’s not. The rook is averaging close to 19ppg, with 6 ast, and 4 rpg , while the Bulls stand two games under .500 in a questionable Eastern Conference. Can Rose lead his team to a playoff slot? If Rose can pull together his young under performingfrontcourt, then maybe he can. The poor play of Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah have continued the "Lamarcus Aldrige " chants towards general manager John Paxon. Although, within this current negative, the Bulls have found a glue guy in Aaron Gray, who never seems to mind getting his hands dirty on the boards. Look for Chicago to stick around the .500 mark, which remember, should be a surprise. Chicago Bulls/9-11

Milwaukee Bucks

A team on paper that looks as if it could beat anybody in the Eastern conference. Reality tells a different story for the Bucks, who currently stand at a less than mediocre 9-13. The Bucks have solid pieces in Redd, Jefferson, and the emergence of Ramon Sessions, but making all these piecesmech has been a significant work in progress. However, Scott Skiles has found himself a nice young rebounder in Luc Mbah a Moute. It would be nice for the Bucks to have an inside presence, but number one pick Andrew Bogut is nothing but average with a 10 ppg. Scott Skiles seems to have his work cut out for him. Either way, I don’t see Milwaukee going anywhere this year. Milwaukee Bucks/9-13

Indiana Pacers

Besides from beating NBA elite’s in the Lakers and Celtics, the Indiana Pacers have had themselves a rough start to the season in what looks like a long year. Coach O’Brian has not been pleased with T.J. Ford’s play, benching him in the 4th quarter consistently in favor of combo guard Jarrett Jack. Defense is also a primary concern for Jim O’Brian’s squad, letting most recent opponents shoot over the 50 percent mark easily. Any hope for the Pacers would solely hang on the return of Mike Dunleavy, who himself is no savior. Let the rebuilding continue for Indiana. Indiana Pacers/7-13

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