In my previous post, I previewed the Atlantic division. Now let's take a look at the Central.
Cleveland Cavaliers: With the way the media portrays the Cavs, LeBron in particular, I sometimes feel like they're the only team in the NBA. With this being a contract year for "The King", the Cavs front office needed to bring in more talent. So what'd they do? The team signed a 37 year old, 325 pound big man, a guy we all call Shaq. Shaq had a rather impressive year in Phoenix last year, but how will that work this year? Who knows. It could go either way. The Cavs are hoping Shaq is the final piece of the puzzle to go reach the next level.
Chicago Bulls: The Bulls certainly surprised people last year when they went to game 7 against the Celtics. As for next year, I think the momentum will continue to be on their side. Bulls GM John Paxston has been preaching defense, and it showed when he dealt Ben Gordon and kept Kirk Hinrich. In June, the team drafted 6'8 forward James Johnson, and 6'9 former defensive player of the year, Taj Gibson. Chi-town was also able to acquire PG Jannero Pargo, an up-tempo guy who will be a nice piece off the bench. Overall, I think the Bulls can be the dark horse in the East, and very well may sneak up on people once again.
Detroit Pistons: The biggest off-season move for the Pistons was choosing to not re-siging Allen Iverson. Rather, the team signed Ben Gordon, which could come back to bite the front office. Charlie Villanueva was also added, a big man the Pistons have been missing for a while. I believe Austin Daye was a big sleeper, and with his agility and lankiness, he reminds me of a poor mans Tayshaun Prince. Following a disappointing 2008-2009 season, the Pistons are hoping their busy summer will pay off.
Indiana Pacers: Tyler Hansbrough was drafted back in June. Contrary to critics, I think Hansbrough, with time, will develop into a decent big man in the NBA. The Pacers also didn't bring back Jarrett Jack, which I think was very smart. Now, it's officially T.J. Ford's spot, which avoids conflicts, and ultimately makes T.J. a better player. Dahntay Jones was signed and will help at the 2 man position considering Mike Dunleavy's recurring injury. Will the Pacers make the playoffs next year? Probably not. But I like the direction they're taking.
Milwaukee Bucks: Despite the atitude, there's no denying the talent of Brendan Jennings. But with the coaching system Scott Skiles has, Jennings has to learn the fundamentals of defense having no college experience. I also like the Carlos Delfino signing, but I am a little concerned about the surplus of wingmen the Bucks have with Delfino and Jodie Meeks. The Bucks lack of big man will also hurt since Andrew Bogut has turned out to be nothing but a bust. I'm a little confused by the Bucks, but come to think of it, it's not like their a playoff team anyway.