I find the weekend to be that time to sit back and look at the big picture of the NBA. Right now, I wanted to look around the Central Division, home of the Indiana Pacers, and see how they are doing division wise. Also, I will look at how the other teams in the division are faring at this point in the season.
Indiana Pacers (17-2)
Right now, the Indiana Pacers are the toast of the division with an eight game lead on Detroit and Chicago. The Pacers will face one of their toughest stretches of games over the next few days as they go against San Antonio, Oklahoma City, and come home to face the Miami Heat. Tell me a team that’s endured a tougher stretch of games this time in the season. Bad enough, San Antonio and Oklahoma City are back to back. The best case scenario is to go 2-1 for these games. But what two games would you pick for the Pacers to win? Personally, I am going with San Antonio and Miami as the wins. But any combination or winning ALL three is good.
Division wise, they’ve lost one game to the Chicago Bulls and won’t play those Bulls again until March. It should be an interesting set of games then as the Bulls will be without Derrick Rose. He says he’ll be ready for the playoffs, but will the Bulls be there when it’s all said and done? I think they have the talent to do it, especially in a bad Eastern Conference right now. The Pacers just need to keep padding this lead in the division and not worry about the other teams right now. But they’ll get their chances against a couple of division foes in Detroit and Cleveland during this month of December.
Detroit Pistons (9-10)
The Pistons are feeling good with their second spot in the division and fifth spot in the Eastern Conference. I know the fans of Detroit will tell me how wrong I was about their team, and that’s fine. Andre Drummond is turning into quite the impactful player. But I still don’t like Josh Smith, unless he’s throwing up bad shots all over the place. This is a team that could end up getting one of the higher seeds in the Conference, but I still don’t know what they’ll do in the playoffs.
Division wise for the Pistons, they’ll get their shot at the Chicago Bulls tonight as they square off. They’ll get their shot at Miami as well in the next game. Two tough games for this Pistons team. But you could learn plenty about them if they’re able to play hard and sneak out a win in one of these two games.
Chicago Bulls (8-9)
Hard to figure out who this Bulls team beat the Miami Heat by 20 in their last game. But that’s the NBA anymore. The Bulls just took it to the Heat with some hot shooting and all around team effort. That’s what it will take to keep the ship afloat and get into the playoffs as is their usual course. They’re probably used to playing without Derrick Rose as he’ll miss this regular season again. But that just seems everyone else steps up and tries to win games for the team.
Division wise, they’ll get the Pistons tonight. Then, they’ll have a couple of games with the Milwaukee Bucks and even a game with Cleveland this month. Pick up some wins there, and maybe they can pick up a few games in the division lead of the Indiana Pacers.
Cleveland Cavaliers (6-13)
I think Cleveland expected to be better this season, but they haven’t shown that yet. At least they have a superstar in the making with Kyrie Irving. I wasn’t too high on the guy at first, but now that I’ve seen him play against the Pacers a few times, that guy is something else. He’s going to be a great point guard in the league soon enough, if not already. There’s some talent there, it might just take a little longer for this team to mesh like it should. And hey at least they’re not the Milwaukee Bucks sitting in last place in the division.
Division wise for the Cleveland Cavaliers, they’ll have a three game stretch where they’ll play division opponents. Milwaukee, Chicago, and Detroit are all in a row for the Cavs to try their hand against. Finishing up the month with a game against the Indiana Pacers. Some other tough games lie ahead for the Cavaliers as they’ll face Miami and Portland in consecutive games. They’ll face the Los Angeles Clippers tonight. Also, they’ll get a shot against a good Golden State team. It should be interesting to see where the Cavs end up after a tough month ahead.
Milwaukee Bucks (4-15)
Not much to say about a Bucks team that’s only won 4 games and already endured an eleven game losing streak. Life won’t get any easier for them as well with two games against the Chicago Bulls next week and a San Antonio game sandwiched in between there. At least they won their last game. That’s about alL I got for the Bucks. Good luck next season with a high draft pick in what should be a great draft.