Central Division Review and Analysis: Bucks, Bulls, Cavaliers, Pacers, Pistons
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The Cavs are still losing most of their games (3-12), but has their been a harder working or more impressive player this season than Anderson Varejao? Chalk it up to the bad players around him, say his team is still losing, but this guy brings it every night and makes his opponent give 100%. Am I the only one who feels like this guy should be playing for the Spurs?
The Pacers won an ugly game in LA on a beautiful shot by George Hill. This team is great defensively and still horrible on offense. I guess that’s what makes them 7-8. We know what this team is capable of, they need to hang around, keep grinding it out, and hope that Danny Granger really is more valuable than everyone thinks. The Bulls are right there with them and look to take a step up when Rose returns.
Speaking of the Bulls, they lost a weird and crazy game to the Bucks. Milwaukee sat all their starters in the 4th and came back from 27 down in the 3rd quarter. Coach Skiles decided to bring Ilyasova off the bench and it worked, he had a season high 18 points. Rip Hamilton had 30 for the Bulls.
Different guys have stepped up at different times for the Bulls, but the obvious thing with them is the absence of Derrick Rose. There really isn’t much more analysis you can do to describe the team’s 6-7 start.
The Pistons have put together 4 wins this season. Impressive. Kyle Singler seems to be doing all the right things and he’s now in the starting lineup and playing some of the most efficient basketball in the entire league. Something about those Duke players, Hill, Battier, Redick, and now Singler. They know how to fill their role and play it really well. They adjusted from being stars, to playing a supporting role, and yet they don’t seem to be doing anything different than they did when they were the alpha dogs. But I guess that’s a whole other story about the genius of Coach K?
Lance Stephenson is another player who’s not putting up huge numbers but is filling his role really well, shooting great and not turning it over too much. If the Pacers return to last season’s form, Lance can give them something more they didn’t have before.
I’m not a fan of the Ellis/Jennings backcourt in Milwaukee. Maybe I’m just too much a fan of true point guards and tough physical players. Their talent is undeniable, but I’m not sure anything is really working in Milwaukee. Their personnel doesn’t reflect the style or personality of Coach Skiles, which is why we see such inconsistent play. I also don’t think Jennings will be a Buck next season.