The NBA Central Division Power Rankings 2021
The Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, and the Milwaukee Bucks make up the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the NBA. The Bucks have been a steady NBA champion, with a total of 10 wins, and the Central Division have the largest percentage of teams to have won a championship, with only the Pacers never winning one.
So, just how will this victorious Division perform this 2021/22 season? Read our extensive NBA power rankings 2022 guide to find out!
The Pistons have a line-up filled with youthful talent but not good enough to crack the playoffs this year or next. Cade Cunningham should join Jalen Green as early favorites for Rookie of the year, and the young guard’s backcourt partnership with 2020 top-10 pick Killian Hayes could prove to be a delightful theme across the season. Cunningham’s progress will prove decisive in shaping the Pistons’ longer-term future, but going into the new season, he might have to share center-stage. Jerami Grant’s skill as a lead option has surpassed expectations, and Isaiah Stewart remains a joy to watch as an undersized center.
Evan Mobley’s sizable potential should see him turn up as a future frontcourt anchor for this franchise, and Darius Garland improved massively in his sophomore season. But away from those two, the Cavaliers still lack any coherent direction, seemingly unable to come up with a discernible long-term plan. Collin Sexton is miles away from being a world-class leading man. Jarrett Allen’s $100-million deal does not appear all that reasonable for a team that drafted Mobley, who also still needs a season or two to adapt to the professional game completely. Before that time comes, do not expect to see the Cavaliers in playoff contention.
The Bulls have been considerably active in the offseason, and the result of their serious spending is what looks to be a quality team. DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball have joined Nikola Vučević and franchise star Zach Lavine to make up a big four that look formidable on paper. With the upgrades seen in Ball’s shooting and DeRozan’s playmaking, we may be looking at a potential top-10 offense here. It’s certainly not a championship-winning roster, but the Bulls have managed to put together a very competitive team that should fill LaVine with confidence as talks of a mega-extension intensify.
Taking a deeper look into the NBA power rankings of 2022, the Pacers look to be one of the many teams that will likely jampack the middle tier of the Eastern Conference next season and book a place in the play-ins. The team endured a disappointing 2020-21 season under former coach Nate Bjorkgren, but they still have one of the deepest rosters in the league. Domantas Sabonis and Malcolm Brogdon are potential All-Stars who could fire Indiana to an Eastern top-six seed if they combine well with rookie Chris Duarte.
The Milwaukee Bucks were the first NBA team to win both an Eastern and Western Conference championship in its history, with the title-winning team having effectively maintained its core and added outstanding strength in Grayson Allen and Rodney Hood. Giannis Antetokounmpo is also a predominant force, hopeful of building on previous season’s triumph, and with Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton, he has excellent support. No NBA fan will be the least bit surprised to see the Milwaukee Bucks soar into the second consecutive Finals appearance this 2021/22 season.
The Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, and the Milwaukee Bucks make up the Central Division of the Eastern Conference of the NBA. The Bucks have been a steady NBA champion, with a total of 10 wins, and the Central Division have the largest percentage of teams to have won a championship, with…