Part II of our All-Division team selection from across the NBA, staying with the Eastern Conference, moving on to the Central division, where LeBron’s Cavs are kings, The Bucks and the Bulls are fighting for the bottom playoff spots, the Detroit Pistons are falling apart this season and the Indiana Pacers still suck.
*For our previous post on the All-Atlantic Division team.
Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls
Despite a troubled start to the season, bothered by an ankle problem that also kept him out in the pre-season, Rose is having a terrific Sophomore season, leading the Bulls in their battle to secure another playoff berth. His three point shooting is still pretty awful (22.2%), but has been looking better and better as the season progresses. He is averaging 20.6 points and 5.7 assists per game, making his first all-star game this year.
Mo Williams, Cleveland Cavaliers
His numbers are down from last season, but that’s mostly due to the injury that set him back in late January and although back on the court, Williams isn’t exactly his old self again, plus he needs to adjust, like the entire team, to Antawn Jamison. Williams is in his seventh year in the NBA and second with the Cavs and is averaging 15.7 points with 5 assists per game while shooting 41.9% from beyond the arc, 10th best in the league. Despite Jamison, he still is the number 2 guy on LeBron’s team and a major factor in the Cavs’ attempt to finish with the best record again, and maybe this time finish the job.
LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
What is there left to be written about Mr. James? Leading the league in points (30 per game), adding 7.2 rebounds and 8.5 assists a night with 1.7 steals and 1 block per game. MVP – no doubt in my mind and there shouldn’t be any doubt in the voters’ mind when the time comes. The best player in the league who just might have the best team in the league, if things gel with Jamison till the playoffs. It’s time LeBron gets a ring for himself and for the city of Cleveland. Maybe this rests that Mike Brown has suddenly began giving him will pay off in a month or two, as he was clearly worn out when the curtain came down on the Cavs’ playoff run last year.
Danny Granger, Indiana Pacers
The 2008-2009 Most Improved player has continued to be a scoring machine on a crappy team, although he has missed quite a few games this season, sidelined by injury for more than a month in December. Leaving the Pacers’ woes as a team aside, Granger is having another fine offensive season, averaging 23.1 points with an added 5.7 rebounds and 1.6 steals per game, but his shooting has gotta improve (42% from the field, 36% from three point), and lets face it, he needs to get some help on the offensive side of the ball. The second best scorer on the team is Troy Murhpy with 13.8 a night, not enough if Indiana wants to be a playoff team again.
Center – Andrew Bogut, Milwaukee Bucks
The 25 year old Aussie has certainly bounced back from his shortened 2008-2009 season and is leading the Bucks to what looks like it’s first playoff appearance since 2006, Bogut’s rookie year. Improving quite a lot on both ends of the court this year, Bogut has turned into a very good center on a young and promising team, averaging 16 points and 10.3 rebounds per game (9th in the league), with an added feature in his game : 2.4 blocks per game, second in the NBA. season