2013-2014 NBA Season Preview: The Central Division

Central-Division-Preview Cover


It’s Ballerball’s week-long 2013-2014 NBA season preview with Chandler Goodman, Ryan Weisert, Mark Colomb, John Sabine, Tyler Parker and Jason Gallagher.  Stay tuned all week for our coverage of every single NBA team, conference-by-conference. 


An exciting season is shaping up in the Eastern Conference’s Central Division. With Derrick Rose and Danny Granger returning from injury, and fresh faces such as Josh Smith, Andrew Bynum, and number 1 overall pick Anthony Bennett joining the mix, this division promises to offer some of the best and most exciting teams in the Association. And the Bucks too! To get you ready for the season, here is a Ballerball Central Division 5-on-5 moderated by @SuchAGoodman .


Indiana Pacers

What do you think will be the Pacers’ total LORI (Losses Over Replacement Intangibles) after letting Tyler Hansbrough leave for Toronto? Which Intangible will cause them the most LORI?

Colomb: This is easy. Sure they lose a little bit of LORI but think of all the VAPID and TOOSH they are gaining. Not to mention the total team increase of TER, OUI, and of course BALZ. Any increase in BALZ bodes well for their overall rating in the SAK index which has consistently been an indicator of future performance. A larger BALZ will lead to greater SAK and the sky is the limit for The Pacers.

Weisert: Tyler Hansbrough’s biggest intangible contribution was his crazy eyes. When somebody fouled one his teammates too hard, or an opponent even breathed on his little brother Ben, Psycho T’s eyes went wide and his inner strip club bouncer came out. Like Crazy Eyes Hall of Famers Rasheed Wallace and Tim Duncan before him, Tyler Hansbrough’s unblinking and off-putting stare was good for 3-4 wins a year. His departure really puts the Pacers behind the 8-ball in the LORI department.

Sabine: I completely disagree with this question. I believe they will have WORI (Wins Over Replacement Intangibles) because they replaced Hansbrough with Luis Scola. Scola is Spanish for Intangible.

Parker: Total LORI – 19.83 — Intangible most missed? Ability to bore opposing teams’ fan bases into not cheering loudly (ATBOTFBINCL)

Gallagher:  Intangibles can’t be measured so I’m going to say it’s going to be MASSIVE.  Hansbrough’s X-factor intangible will, without questions, be the biggest factor in their LORI ratings.


Detroit Pistons

Let’s assume that the Pistons are in the process of hiring Josh Smith a personal rebounder to make practices more efficient. Please create a topline summary for the type of candidate they are looking for in this position.


Weisert: Looking to hide from a pack of wild dogs? Have two legs and at least one arm? Don’t mind being open-hand slapped by a man? We have a job for you!

Sabine: Looking for a motivated able-bodied person who can taser someone when they shoot 3’s.

Parker: Professional basketball team looking for personal rebounder to directly help “star” (his words) player, Josh Smith with pre, mid, and post practice rebounding. Candidate will work directly with Smith during his workouts and assist him with retrieval of the basketball post shot attempt. Must display an excellent ability to work with others and must be a self starter. Experience with left handed shooters, the board game Settlers of Catan, and people who wear headbands is required. You must also have been one of the founding members of D12. If interested, please email the joeydooMarz@hotmail.com

Gallagher: Have you ever picked something up and said “I could do this for a living?”  Call the Detroit Pistons at 1-800-Wut-Brawl?


Milwaukee Bucks

Without looking, how many members of the Bucks can you name off the top of your head? Who are they?

Colomb: Mr. White, Mr. Pink, Doc, Chico, The Man, Breaker, Breaker, Former Oscar Winner Cuba Gooding Jr.

Weisert: Five. (Random note, this also doubles as the list of the five best shot blockers of all time according to Dylan.) 1) LARRY SANDERS 2) LARRY SANDERS 3) LARRY SANDERS 4) LARRY SANDERS 5) LARRY SANDERS (Because he swats hot fire.)

Sabine: Easy! Larry Sanders, OJ Mayo, Caron Butler, Oscar Robertson, Lew Alcindor, Andrew “Squiggy” Squigman.

Parker: Larry Sanders, Brandon Knight, Caron Butler, Ekpe Udoh (Santa Fe High School in Edmond, OK stand up!), Ersan Illyasova, that one dude who had the huge hair on draft night.

*Note – Any misspellings are sincere as I actually tried without looking. If by some miracle I spelled Illyasova’s name right it’s because I tried and failed to write some solid fan fiction on him once where he worked at a JC Penny’s Portrait Studio as their resident Smiling Instructor and it might be muscle memory at this point. I most likely got it wrong, though.

Gallagher:  I am a professional basketball analyst and will not partaking in this nonsense, even though I could absolutely name all the Bucks because that’s super easy to do. It is wrong to make fun of Milwaukee in this way. I’m not answering this question, even though I could do it in my sleep… it’s not gonna happen. I could say them all. I really could. I swear.  What do you want me to swear on?  Doesn’t matter.  Answering this is giving attention to negativity and that’s not my thing. I’m a good/smart basketball analyst.  The Buccaneers are a respectable basketball team and I will show them that respect by ignoring this question.  Good day.


Cleveland Cavaliers

Andrew Bynum’s deal with the Cavs is reportedly highly incentive-laden. The clause Bynum absolutely insisted make it into his final signed contract is _____?

Colomb:  His own in locker frozen yogurt machine and well attended to “toppins and fixins” bar.

Weisert: Bynum is actually getting paid per hairstyle this season. So look for him really keep his ‘do fresh and fluctuating over the course of the year. I’m looking forward to the Cavs’ January road trip when Bynum has pledged to rock a high-top fade, blown out ‘fro, Williams sister braids, and full-on jerry curl all in the span of 7 days.

Sabine: There are two weird incentives in his contract. If “The Rock” gets nominated for an Oscar, Bynum gets a 3 million dollar kicker. Also he requested this video plays on the jumbotron once a game.

Parker:  “If the rumors I hear are true, then another installment of the Major League franchise is on the way. If that happens, I get to replace Uecker.”

Gallagher: “Participating in NBA games is optional.”


Chicago Bulls

Imagine that the Bulls have to go on a 12-month, 82 game road trip to take on one (and only one) Central Division foe. Taking all factors into consideration, which opponent do they choose and why?

Colomb: I believe this is called “The Circus Trip” and they have to do it every year when the circus pushes them out of the United Center. They kick the team out so that kids in Chicago can see an elephant in the middle of February. Oh, back to your question. The Pacers and it would be like “The Hunger Games” where they would keep trying to kill each other till one person was left.

Weisert:  That would be the Cleveland Cavaliers. This road trip would be an 82-game war that came down to a few crucial matchups: Derrick Rose vs. Kyrie Irving, Joakim Noah vs. Andrew Bynum and Benny the Bull vs. the Cavaliers’ mascot which I just have to assume is the Dan Gilbert’s son. I make the Bulls heavy favorites in those three matchups and fully expect Dan Gilbert to retreat like Lord Cornwallis somewhere around the All Star break.

Sabine:  The Milwaukee Bucks. Its the closest to Chicago, and like Duke could probably hang with them. Honestly, if the Bulls play the Bucks 82 times do the Bulls win 70 of them? Poor Bucks.

Parker:  The Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee is not what you think it is. There’s so much to see and do there. You can go experience any number of fantastic brewery tours, grab a bite to eat at the renowned Odd Duck, or just take a load off at any number of amazing local bars to experience countless New Glarus Brewery offerings on tap with individual beer names like: Two Women, Moon Man, Totally Naked, Dancing Man Wheat, and the greatest beer in existence — Spotted Cow

Gallagher:  I’m going with Detroit. My only knowledge of Detroit comes from 8-mile and I think I’d have a really fun time at one of those free-stylin’ rap clubs. If I had a game at 7:30pm, I think I’d do a little matinee at the rap club with the wife and then head on over to the game. And yes, I do feel like I’m an accurate representation of a Chicago Bull.


Follows: @theballerball@mark_cool_um@_tkparker@spectavius@jsabine214,jgallagher41, and suchagoodman.

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