Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Diving right into this topic, the Central division in the East is become increasingly tough. All the teams in the Division had big summers and have transformed that division into arguable the toughest in the East, top to bottom. Starting from the bottom up, Detroit dropped Lawrence Frank for Mo Cheeks and signed both the productive, yet underwhelming, defensive specialist Josh Smith and 36 year-old Chauncey Billups, among other pieces to the mysterious puzzle that is Detroit. Andre Drummond made quite the impression in his rookie season, so this year should see him having a crucial role with the Pistons. Having a pair of players like Greg Monroe  the impressive Drummond, the Pistons have a very young, very ganders front court. The Pistons also have an overstock of point guards. New signees Billups, Peyton Siva, and Will Bynum will join a Detroit side that already boasts two young, score-oriented first point guards in Brandon Jennings and Rodney Stuckey. Adding Josh Smith gives them a threat at the small-forward position, but apart from Jennings, I don’t see a dominant scorer on this team. However, the Billups addition should bring a leader on the court which could do wonders for the Pistons. The Milwaukee Bucks lost Monta Ellis and Brandon Jennings,their top two scorers, but have added some key players to take their place. O.J. Mayo and Brandon Knightl will attempt to replace this missing scoring for the Bucks. Having added pure point Gary Neal, the Milwaukee backcourt should be formidable. The front court is an area that needs improvement. Larry Sanders, who just signed a $44 million extension, is the biggest threat down low for the Bucks, whose other centers, Joel Przybilla and Zaza Pachula, have seen better days. It will be interesting to see if the Milwaukee Bucks can make another playoff run with their new(ish) roster. The Chicago Bulls may have had the best summer of anyone with the least signings. Derrick Rose will be back to the lead a Chicago side looking to challenge the Heat and the Pacers among the top of the Eastern Conference. The Bulls added three-point specialist and double-digit scorer Mike Dunleavy to a team that already had success in the previous season. There is not much to say about the Chicago Bulls that wasn’t seen in the last year’s playoffs other than watch out. The Indiana Pacers, who took the champs to seven in last year’s playoffs, are back with more firepower. The league’s leading rebounding team from a year ago added Luis Scola to their roster, giving them more depth down low as well as another tough-nosed player that the Chicago Bulls love so much. The Pacer’s also signed C.J. Watson, who has made his money as a great back up in the league, and Chris Copeland, who was a very consistent threat off the bench last year with the New York Knicks. Danny Granger will also be back in full form, making the thought of Indiana a scary one. With Larry Bird being named president of basketball operations, the Indiana Pacers could be a powerhouse for years to come. Where does this leave the Cleveland Cavaliers? Player-for-player, I think the Cavs fall right in the middle; below Chicago and Indiana and above Milwaukee and Detroit. An optimistic view could even see the Cavs challenging the Bulls for second in the division, with the high-proile point guard battle in Kyrie Irving vs. Derrick Rose. A pessimistic one has them falling among the ranks of the average teams in the East and finishing 4th or 5th in the division. The Cavaliers are improving with the rest of the Central Division. (USA Today Sports)

Clint Trickett retires due to concussions, hid two

Drew Stanton likely out for the year, postseason included

Byron Scott: ‘Idiots’ think Lakers are better team without Kobe

Undrafted QB Connor Shaw to sign with Browns, likely start

Report: Alex Smith out week 17 with lacerated spleen

Belichick: Garoppolo has better understanding of NFL


Lionel Hollins: 'Honored and blessed to coach Kevin Garnett'

Curt Schilling gives Johnny Manziel advice on Twitter

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

Andre Johnson willing to take pay cut with Texans?

Mets star David Wright reaches out to sons of slain NYPD officer

WATCH: Craig Sager is touched by outpouring of support during leukemia fight

Hiroki Kuroda returns to Japan, ditches Yankees

Kevin Garnett: ‘very weird’ to see Celtics without Rajon Rondo

Report: New Jersey Devils fire head coach Peter DeBoer

Mark Richt confirms Todd Gurley will leave UGA for NFL

Frank Gore: Colin Kaepernick is 'not broke'

The story of Morgan Bulkeley and birth of National League

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things the world learned about the NBA on Christmas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

The year’s 10 most notable sports media stories

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Five breakout stars in 2014

The 2014 NFL All-Help Offense

Five things learned about NBA on X-Mas

What if Bear Bryant coached in the NFL?

Carmelo Anthony: The Knicks are dying

The last time the Lions won in Green Bay

Year's most notable sports media stories

'Roberto Gronkowski wishes fans Feliz Navidad

Are the Seahawks back on track?

Wright reaches out to slain officer's sons

Q&A with Rich Eisen; TNF, DirecTV and living in LA

Dan Le Batard sums up Miami's relationship with LeBron

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.