Central Division, Milwaukee with Lillard and Giannis is the favorite. Cleveland tries

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The arrival of the former Blazers puts the Bucks in pole position. Playoff ambitions for the Cavaliers and the interesting Pacers

Simone Sandra

@simonesandri

In Central, the balance seems to be clear, at least as far as forecasts are concerned. It will be a land of conquests for Milwaukee, which after the Lillard coup is the clear favorite in the division and, according to bookmakers’ odds, also the one in pole position in the title race. Playoff ambitions for the Cavaliers and the interesting Pacers, the Bulls are more complex to decipher, while the Pistons face another season of transition.

THE QUINTET

Lillard, Beasley, Middleton, Antetokounmpo, Lopez.

THE STAR

Giannis Antetokounmpo sent clear messages to management in the offseason that they listened to, then pulled the Lillard trade out of the hat. Now the Greek will be even more devastating on an offensive level, and it won’t be easy for opponents to consistently double him with a player like the former Blazers player on the perimeter.

MAIN RESERVATIONS

Portis, Connaughton, Crowder, Payne.

TRAINER

Adrian Griffin (new)

GOAL SETTING

The NBA title

BECAUSE YOU CAN DO IT

With Lillard, Milwaukee’s defense will be a real performer. Giannis couldn’t ask for anything better from his management and now the Bucks appear to have very few weaknesses on the offensive level. However, a team that can win 60-plus games in the regular season seems primed to do its best in the postseason.

WHY NOT

Losing a great defender and a great leader like Holiday can have consequences. Giannis and Lopez as relievers will have to make up for Lillard’s defensive gaps on the perimeter, but the risk of dangerous regression on the side of the court where the former Blazers player is less comfortable is certainly there.

THE QUINTET

Garland, Mitchell, Strus, Mobley, Allen

THE STAR

Next season will be a special one for four-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell, also because the rumors about his possible move have not yet died down. The addition of shooters like Strus and Niang may make it even more difficult for opposing defenses to contain Mitchell.

MAIN RESERVATIONS

LeVert, Okoro, Niang, Jones, Thompson.

TRAINER

JB Bickerstaff

BECAUSE YOU CAN DO IT

A very solid squad has found exactly what it was missing in the summer market: reliable shooters. Allen and Mobley can have a say under the basket in the East, Mitchell remains an “instant offense” and Strus can become an X-factor, especially in the postseason.

WHY NOT

The team still needs to mature and show that it has learned the lessons from last postseason. Mitchell will then have to deal with the usual rumors of possible trades, a situation that is not easy to manage.

THE QUINTET

Haliburton, Mathurin, Brown, Toppin, Turner.

THE STAR

After steady progress, Haliburton made a leap in quality last season, becoming the Pacers’ true leader and earning a deserved nomination to the All Star Game. With Brown’s experience, the Iowa State player could take another step forward in this championship.

MAIN RESERVATIONS

McConnell, Hield, Nwora, Smith, Walker.

TRAINER

Rick Carlisle (confirmed)

GOAL SETTING

The playoffs.

BECAUSE YOU CAN DO IT

A truly intriguing team that could surprise the East. Brown’s shot is really good, fresh from winning the title with the Nuggets, and the addition of an interesting player like Toppin is also very interesting. However, it’s all about Haliburton, the potential of a yet-to-be-discovered team depends on its progress.

WHY NOT

Quality in the backcourt, but also some question marks under the basket. An AC gymnast and a timid Toppin could limit the growth of a group that still has a lot to prove to the NBA.

THE QUINTET

Caruso, LaVine, DeRozan, Williams, Vucevic.

THE STAR

Zach LaVine should have been the added value for a team that appeared to be on the verge of a breakthrough two seasons ago. Instead, the one who is, for all intents and purposes, the Bulls’ star has remained in a sort of limbo. There is no shortage of talent, but it takes another step to become a real star. His future could lie far from Chicago, in fact his profession would surprise no one in the Windy City

MAIN RESERVATIONS

Carter, White, Craig, Terry Drummond.

TRAINER

Billy Donovan (confirmed)

BECAUSE YOU CAN DO IT

With two interesting additions like Carter and Craig, the team has improved on paper in both shooting and defense, but the weight of the absence of Lonzo Ball, who will miss the entire season, is keeping Bulls fans from an all-rounder to dream of this season. ‘Sign of smile.

WHY NOT

Lots of question marks about the direction of the franchise. With the LaVine era seemingly over, the Bulls’ puppet master, former Fortitudo Karnisovas, may also decide to restart and rebuild from the ground up at the trade deadline.

THE QUINTET

Cunningham, Thompson, Bogdanovic, Stewart, Duren.

THE STAR

After a complicated season marked by many physical problems, the Pistons are ready to find Cade Cunningham, who can demonstrate his great talent, especially in his rookie year. The former Oklahoma State player will have plenty of offensive options for a team that has no goals other than developing its young players.

MAIN RESERVATIONS

Burks, Bagley III, Wiseman, Ivey, Hayes.

TRAINER

Monty Williams (new)

GOAL SETTING

Lay the foundation for the future.

BECAUSE YOU CAN DO IT

Not a real goal for a group that could potentially have fun under the leadership of new coach Monty Williams. Cunningham, Ivey, Duren and Thompson can be a group to work with for years to come. However, the present still says lottery.

WHY NOT

A team that basically has three true centers on its roster is something unusual in current basketball. Management needs to decide who to focus on and whether to move away from solid veterans like Bogdanovic who have a lot of transfer market at the deadline.



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