This might be the NBA's toughest division to figure out and predict. The only certainty is that it will be an absolute brawl all season long.
Where last year the Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons were clearly in the basement, while the middling Milwaukee Bucks were nothing more than postseason roadkill, can all three teams now be so different and better at the same time? Sorting out which one or two make the playoffs is exceedingly difficult since they all portend to be in the mix.
And then there's the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls. Both get stars back from injury (Danny Granger and Derrick Rose, respectively). Both have new-and-improved supporting casts, true front-line and wing size, balanced starting lineups and enough defensive grit to give the Miami Heat fits. Both have previously done so, while also winning the Central Division, in alternating fashion the past couple years.
So which team has the advantage against the defending champs? And which one the upper hand against each other? As mirror images style-wise, those answers for the Bulls and Pacers might not be one and the same.
We'll preview the key storylines for the entire division while predicting the outcome and final standings, and we're especially interested to hear your take on the situation in the comments section!