On Thursday, we take a look at the Central Division featuring the powerhouse that is the Milwaukee Bucks. Giannis Antetokounmpo is coming off his second straight MVP award and the Bucks just finished with the best record in the NBA in 2019-20. Unfortunately, that didn’t translate to a championship, so we’re back to Square 1. The rest of the division should be on the outside looking in on the Bucks, though a few teams have a chance to make the jump.
The Indiana Pacers were a playoff team last season but it didn’t feel like it after a 4-0 sweep by the Miami Heat. The Pacers clearly out Nate McMillan as coach and hired former Raptors assistant Nate Bjorkgren. Indiana has a deep team that really doesn’t feature one superstar. There are a few players on the cusp of stardom in Malcolm Brogdon and Domantas Sabonis. TJ Warren shows flashes every now and then and Victor Oladipo has a lot to prove this season.
The other team who could look different is the Chicago Bulls. Billy Donovan was hired as coach and the Bulls have a lot of optimism heading into the season. The young core of Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Coby White and Wendell Carter Jr. needs to show some progress and Donovan should be able to get the most out of them. It’s not now or never for Chicago, but competing for the 8-seed would be a big step in the right direction.