The league-wide crusade continues. Today’s NBA report turns our attention to the teams in the meat-and-potatoes Midwest. Here’s what’s on tap this season with the teams that comprise the Eastern Conference’s Central Division:
(33-49) Chicago received the ultimate gift and curse when they locked down the number one pick in the NBA Draft this year. After much debate about Michael Beasley, the team chose to ride with prodigal son Derrick Rose. Pooh will generate some excitement in a town that desperately wants a return to respectability, while getting to play with cool hand Luol Deng. Our favorite ponytail Joakim Noah should have a strong sophomore season, and Ben Gordon will be gunning for his life after holding out so long when his contract negotiations failed to go the way he wanted. The real problem this team faces is that it carries way too many guards. Trying to find enough playing time for them all will be like too many heads trying to smoke one little doobie. It’s just not enough hits to go around. The Bulls will battle for a playoff spot this year but there simply are no guarantees at press time
(59-23) The Detroit Pistons are like Buddy Revell in one of my old school favorites, Three O’Clock High. They clearly are the class bully in the East every year but once they got their bell rang by LeBron for 48 points in 2007, the nerds just aren’t scared of them anymore. Rasheed, Chauncey and Rip remain dangerous, but teams like the Cavs and Bulls know they can beat them on any given night. And the Pistons don’t have enough to punk Boston’s Big Three ensemble even though Jason Maxiel will be in beast mode this year. New coach Michael Curry will put the fire back in the Pistons game but I am not convinced it will be enough to detour a second round playoff exit. And that is not acceptable with all the talent in the Motor City. Read the rest of this entry »
After everyone hoping for a Miami resurgence, it is not so. With less than a 2% chance of winning the #1 spot, the Chicago Bulls got it. So it’s either Derrick Rose or Michael Beasley, right? The Bulls have enough good guards that this seems to be a no-brainer. Take Beasley and they have a low post scoring option.
The Miami Heat, who had a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick thanks to their NBA-worst 15-67 record, fell to second. The Minnesota Timberwolves will go third…The Seattle SuperSonics, who moved up to No. 2 last year to pick Rookie of the Year Kevin Durant, fell from second to fourth. Memphis will pick fifth, followed by New York, the Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee, Charlotte and New Jersey.
Indiana has the 11th pick, followed by Sacramento, Portland and Golden State. The lottery settled the top three spots. The remainder of the first 14 picks are determined inverse order of their record.
Hopefully, last season’s draft and this season’s draft will be a warning against tanking at the end of the season.