NBA - October 16, 2019

NBA 2019-20 Season Preview Part II

This is the second of the six part NBA season preview series

This is the second part of the ongoing NBA season preview series.  Each part is going to deal with one division. The roster changes of each team, the expectations coming into this season, what they might perform like, how season will end, their final win total at the end of regular season will be discussed. How the season ends, and their final win total are this author’s assumptions based on previous season, roster changes and injuries going into this season. In season injuries based on the player will dramatically affect and alter the prediction of a team.

The Central division is the second division up for the preview, consisting of Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, and Milwaukee Bucks.

Chicago Bulls

  • Roster changes:
    • In:
      • Rookies: Daniel Gafford, Adam Mokoka, Coby White.
      • Trades/Free Agent Acquisitions: Milton Doyle, Luke Kornet, Tomas Satoransky, Thaddeus Young.
    • Out:
      • Rawle Alkins, Antonio Blakeney, Walter Lemon Jr., Robin Lopez, Timothe Luwawu, Brandon Sampson, Wayne Selden
    • Same as previous season:
      • Ryan Arcidiacono, Wendell Carter Jr., Kris Dunn, Cristiano Felicio, Chandler Hutchison, Zach LaVine, Lauri Markkanen, Otto Porter, Denzel Valentine, Shaquille Harrison.
  • Expectations coming into this season:
    • These are no Michael Jordan led heydays or even the Derrick Rose or Jimmy Butler led playoff days. This is a Lauri Markkanen and Wendall Carter Jr led team. This team has yet to find a consistent offensive or defensive identity after the firing of Fred Hoiberg as head coach. They are not good enough to make the playoffs and they might just be not enough to enter the tanking race.
  • Expected performance this season:
    • They will be bottom dwellers in the table for another season, unless Markkanen takes a giant leap.
  • Where they’ll end the season:
    • Near the bottom of the table.
  • Expected win total this season:
    • 20-62

Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Roster changes:
    • In:
      • Rookies: Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr., Dean Wade, Dylan Windler.
      • Trades/Free Agent Acquisitions: Daniel Hamilton, Timothe Luwawu, J.P. Macura, Jarell Martin, Sindarius Thornwell.
    • Out:
      • Deng Adel, Jaron Blossomgame, Marquese Chriss, Channing Frye, David Nwaba, J.R. Smith, Nik Stauskas.
    • Same as previous season:
      • Jordan Clarkson, Matthew Dellavedova, John Henson, Brandon Knight, Kevin Love, Larry Nance, Jr., Cedi Osman, Collin Sexton, Tristan Thompson, Ante Zizic.
  • Expectations coming into this season:
    • Going from NBA royalty to bottom feeders after Lebron James left the team as a free agent last summer, this will be yet another season in the depths of the table for this team. The team will be hoping for improvements from their sophomore player Colin Saxton and rookies Kevin Porter Jr and Darius Garland to come good on their early promise.
  • Expected performance this season:
    • This is yet another tanking season, hoping for a high draft pick in next year’s lottery.
  • Where they’ll end the season:
    • Fighting for bottom place with Knicks
  • Expected win total this season:
    • 18-64

Indiana Pacers

  • Roster changes:
    • In:
      • Rookies: Goga Bitadze, Brian Bowen.
      • Trades/Free Agent Acquisitions: Malcolm Brogdon, Justin Holiday, Jeremy Lamb, Walter Lemon Jr., T.J. McConnell, Naz Mitrou-Long, JaKarr Sampson, T.J. Warren, C.J. Wilcox.
    • Out:
      • Bojan Bogdanovic, Darren Collison, Tyreke Evans, Cory Joseph, Wesley Matthews, Kyle O’Quinn, Davon Reed, Thaddeus Young
    • Same as previous season:
      • Aaron Holiday, Alize Johnson, T.J. Leaf, Doug McDermott, Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis, Edmond Sumner, Myles Turner.
  • Expectations coming into this season:
    • With their star player Victor Oladipo out till at least December of this year, their scoring is surely going to suffer. Their performance after Oladipo went down with his knee injury doesn’t inspire any confidence. While, the inclusion of Malcom Brogdon and TJ McConnell should provide some relief on the offense.
  • Expected performance this season corner:
    • Depending on when and how good Oladipo returns from injury, making playoffs and beyond is dependent.
  • Where they’ll end the season:
    • First Round playoff exit
  • Expected win total this season:
    • 42-40

Detroit Pistons

  • Roster changes:
    • In:
      • Rookies: Jordan Bone, Sekou Doumbouya, Louis King.
      • Trades/Free Agent Acquisitions: Tim Frazier, Joe Johnson, Markieff Morris, Derrick Rose, Tony Snell, Christian Wood.
    • Out:
      • José Manuel Calderón, Wayne Ellington, Jon Leuer, Zach Lofton, Zaza Pachulia, Glenn Robinson III, Ish Smith, Isaiah Whitehead
    • Same as previous season:
      • Bruce Brown, Andre Drummond, Langston Galloway, Blake Griffin, Reggie Jackson, Luke Kennard, Thon Maker, Svi Mykhailiuk, Khyri Thomas.
  • Expectations coming into this season:
    • The acquisitions of Derrick Rose, Tony Snell and Markieff Morris should help with the bench depth and shore up some of their bench defensive liabilities, there is no major improvements to their starting lineup. This will be another season of one and done in the playoffs.
  • Expected performance this season corner:
    • While Blake Griffin dunks and smashes through the backboards to another playoff appearance, it will be another disappointing playoff run.
  • Where they’ll end the season:
    • First Round Playoff exit.
  • Expected win total this season:
    •    41-41

Milwaukee Bucks

  • Roster changes:
    • In:
      • Rookies:
      • Trades/Free Agent Acquisitions: Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Dragan Bender, Kyle Korver, Robin Lopez, Frank Mason III, Wesley Matthews, Cameron Reynolds.
    • Out:
      • Malcolm Brogdon, Bonzie Colson, Tim Frazier, Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic, Tony Snell.
    • Same as previous season:
      • Giannis Antetokounmpo, Eric Bledsoe, Sterling Brown, Pat Connaughton, Donte DiVincenzo, George Hill, Ersan Ilyasova, Brook Lopez, Khris Middleton, D.J. Wilson.
  • Expectations coming into this season:
    • With the reigning regular season MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo leading the way, another 55 plus win season is not impossible to achieve. Philadelphia 76ers being their only legitimate threat to the Eastern Conference crown now that Kawhi Leonard has left for the Clippers, NBA finals and beyond should be their only goal.  Giannis’s free agency looming large over the next offseason, if the team doesn’t show any progress, he may leave for greener pastures.
  • Expected performance this season corner:
    • Even with the loss of solid talent like Malcom Brogdon and Nikola Mirotic, the team shouldn’t suffer too much of a drop-off in quality. It’s NBA finals and beyond as the benchmark for this team.
  • Where they’ll end the season:
    • NBA Finals
  • Expected win total this season:
    • 56-26

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