2012-13 Central Division Preview
Key Off-Season Additions: D.J. Augustin, Sam Young
Key Off-Season Losses: Darren Collison, Dahntay Jones, Leandro Barbosa and Lou Amundson
Outlook: Building off their 2nd round playoff run, the Pacers are the favorites to win the Central over the (mostly) Rose-less Bulls.
On the Bright Side: Young and athletic wing players and up front in Paul George, Danny Granger, Tyler Hansborough and Roy Hibbert can flourish under another year of tutelage from Frank Vogel.
Be Concerned: The Pacers lack a dominant second weapon on offense after Danny Granger. Roy Hibbert or Paul George may fill this role. The Pacers could use more bench depth at wing positions.
2011-12 Record & Division Standing: 50-16 (1st)
Key Off-Season Additions: Marco Belinelli, Kirk Hinrich, Vladimir Radmanovic, Nate Robinson and Marquis Teague (rookie)
Key Off-Season Losses: Omer Asik, Ronnie Brewer, John Lucas III, Kyle Korver, C.J. Watson
Outlook: The Bulls hope to hold the fort down until Derrick Rose can return sometime in February.
On the Bright Side: The Bulls have a solid core to build upon: Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Carlos Boozer.
Be Concerned: They’ll need Rose to win their division and push towards to an NBA championship. They’ve added a lot of supporting players and it’s uncertain how they will all fit together.
Key Off-Season Additions: Samuel Dalembert, Marquis Daniels, Joel Pryzbilla and Jon Henson (rookie)
Key Off-Season Losses: Carlos Delfino, Kwame Brown and Shaun Livingston
Outlook: The Bucks should challenge for one of the last playoffs spots.
On the Bright Side: The Bucks have nice balance between the explosive offense of Jennings/Ellis and defensive prowess of Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Samuel Dalembert, Ekpe Udoh, and Ersan Illyasova.
Be Concerned: While Monte Ellis and Brandon Jennings are excellent on the offensive end, neither are great defenders and lack size to deal with larger shooting guards or point guards.
Key Off-Season Additions: C.J. Miles, Dion Waiters (rookie) and Tyler Zeller (rookie)
Key Off-Season Losses: Antawn Jamison
Outlook: The Cavaliers should be much better with a healthy Kyrie Irving. If either Tristan Thompson or Dion Waiters plays to their potential, the Cavaliers will be a fun team to watch and surprise a few of their opponents.
On the Bright Side: Kyrie Irving showed his star potential in his rookie season.
Be Concerned: The Cavaliers are very young, and lack depth and veteran leadership.
Key Off-Season Additions: Andre Drummond (rookie) and Corey Maggette
Key Off-Season Losses: Ben Gordon and Ben Wallace
Outlook: With a dearth of talent, the Pistons should win about 30 games and will not make the playoffs
On the Bright Side: Rising star Greg Monroe and rookie Andre Drummond could form a dominant frontcourt for years to come.
Be Concerned: The Pistons are very young and lack the talent and experience to compete with most teams.