The Missing Link:Central Divison
This week, OST will focus on a different division of the NBA each day and take a closer look at what is prohibiting each franchise from making the jump to the next level. Enjoy and check back in each day for the remainder of the divisions.
What They Need:
Coach Thibs has built his Bulls squad on defense and rebounding, and the team is doing just that: Chicago currently ranks #2 in both rebounds per game and fewest points allowed in the NBA. On offense, the whole dynamic revolves around MVP point guard Derrick Rose, with potential game changers in a plethora of supporting acts including Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng. The question is whether or not the Bulls can keep up the defensive intensity while putting points on the scoreboard.
Cleveland- A New Lebron
The Cavs went from total satisfaction to just about rock bottom after the franchise’s golden boy ‘took his talents to South Beach’ last off-season. Cavs fans hoped a new superstar would come in the form of rookie and first-pick Kyrie Irving, who is already averaging 17 points per game thus far. No telling whether or not Irving will develop into even half the player James is today, but without a new face to the Cavalier franchise, Cleveland will be stuck looking in the rear view.
Detroit- Where to Start?
The Pistons could use it all at this point, a center to boost their 29th-ranked rebounding average, a scorer to help correct the teams 84 points per game, or a point guard to aid with the teams horrid 18 assists per contest. At this point, the Pistons might as well start considering location options since the city of Detroit isn’t looking any more optimistic than its dismal basketball team. The Pistons must introduce an entirely new coaching staff to help turn the page from the Ben Wallace/Tayshaun Prince era in hopes of bringing some excitement to the dying city.
The Pacers are one player away from being a dominant force in the Eastern Conference. All the pieces are there: a scorer in Granger, a defensive paint presence in Hibbert, a do-it-all point guard in Collison and a deep bench highlighted by Tyler Hansbrough. All Indiana needs is a flamboyant player to excite the devoted Pacer fans. Each of the league’s top teams provides one or more player that ignites the crowd: the Mavs have Terry, Celtics have Garnett, the Lakers depend on either Kobe or
Ron Artest Metta World Peace, and the Heat can rely on either of the Big Three. The Pacers have plenty of players but none with a sense of flair, either one needs to become rather arrogant or Larry Bird needs to convince a prime-time player to bring some excitement to the up-and-coming Pacer squad!
Milwaukee- A Supporting Cast
Milwaukee has Andrew Bogut for rebounding and Brandon Jennings to score, but boast little more than that. If the Bucks can obtain or develop some talent to surround these two, they can join the teams that follow the ‘Surround our Star’ theme such as the Bulls, Orlando and even the Thunder. Until then, don’t expect the Bucks to improve by leaps and bounds.