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Encyclopedia > Central Division (NBA)

The Central Division is a division in the Eastern Conference of the NBA. The current divisions have been active since the start of the 04-05 season. The Detroit Pistons won the Central Division consecutively in the 04-05, 05-06, and 06-07 seasons. Before the divisions changed for the 04-05 season the Central division consisted of the teams listed below and the Raptors, Hawks, and Hornets. It is considered to be the strongest division top to bottom in the NBA, with the possible exception of the Southwest Division, in which the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks have been perennial contenders and the Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, and New Orleans Hornets regularly contend for the Western Conference playoffs. All five teams made the playoffs in the 05-06 season. Three teams that are considered to be title contenders, Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, and Detroit Pistons, are in this division; all three of them made the this season's playoffs and advanced past the first round, after which Chicago and Detroit will play each other for the right to face the winner between Cleveland and New Jersey. The Eastern Conference of the National Basketball Association is made up of fifteen teams, and organized in three divisions of five teams each. ... The National Basketball Association of the United States and Canada, commonly known as the NBA, is the premier professional basketball league in North America. ... The 2004-05 NBA season was the 59th season of the National Basketball Association (NBA). ... The Detroit Pistons are a team in the National Basketball Association based in the Detroit metropolitan area. ... The 2005-06 NBA season was the 60th season of the National Basketball Association. ... The 2006-07 NBA season was the 61st season of the National Basketball Association. ... The Toronto Raptors are a professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario. ... The Atlanta Hawks are an American professional basketball team based in Atlanta, Georgia. ... The New Orleans Hornets are a professional basketball team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. ... The Southwest Division is a division in the Western Conference of the NBA. The current divisions have been active since the start of the 04-05 season. ... The San Antonio Spurs are an American professional basketball team based in San Antonio, Texas. ... The Dallas Mavericks (also known as the Mavs) are an NBA basketball team based in Dallas, Texas. ... The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball team based in Houston, Texas. ... This is an article about the National Basketball Association team; for the defunct World Football League team, see Memphis Southmen. ... The New Orleans Hornets are a professional basketball team based in New Orleans, Louisiana. ... The 2006 NBA Playoffs was the postseason of the National Basketball Associations 2005-06 season. ... The 2005-06 NBA season was the 60th season of the National Basketball Association. ... The Cleveland Cavaliers (also known as the Cavs) are a professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. ... The Chicago Bulls are a professional basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois. ... The Detroit Pistons are a team in the National Basketball Association based in the Detroit metropolitan area. ... The 2007 NBA Playoffs was the postseason to the National Basketball Associations 2006-2007 season. ...


In addition a "Central Division" existed in the 1949-50 NBA season with Minneapolis Lakers, Rochester Royals, Chicago Stags, Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons and St. Louis Bombers as participating teams, with eventual champions Minneapolis topping the group . The Central Division of the 1949-50 season is not related to the present Central Division that started on 1970. The 1949-50 NBA Season was officially the 4th season of the National Basketball Association. ... The Los Angeles Lakers are a National Basketball Association team based in Los Angeles, California. ... The Sacramento Kings are a National Basketball Association team based in Sacramento, California. ... The Chicago Stags were the first NBA team in Chicago. ... The Detroit Pistons are a National Basketball Association team based in the Detroit, Michigan metropolitan area. ... The St. ...

Contents

Rivalries

Chicago Bulls vs. Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cleveland Cavaliers met MVP and Defensive Player of the Year Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the 1988 first round playoffs. No one expected the Cavs to push Jordan and the Bulls as hard as they did as they forced a deciding fifth game. Though the Cavs lost that fifth game, a new rivalry was born between two teams eager to be next in line as one of the best teams in the East. The Cleveland Cavaliers (also known as the Cavs) are a professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. ... This article is about the former basketball player. ... The Chicago Bulls are a professional basketball team based in Chicago, Illinois. ...


Bolstered by their performance, the talented Cavs worked their routine for the '89 season to attain the second best record (57-25) in the east. And with the fracturing of the talented but selfish team ethic of the Bulls, the Cavs seemed poised to avenge their rematch with Chicago in the first round. The Cavaliers swept the 1988-89 season series against the Bulls [6-0][1], outscoring the Bulls 635 to 561. True to form, the series went to a deciding fifth game. But with three seconds left on the clock Jordan scored one of the most famous game winning shots in basketball history. Dubbed "The Shot" by Cleveland fans, Jordan shot over the outstretched arm of Craig Ehlo to score a buzzer-beater. While the Cavs would rebuild and recover over the next three years, the Bulls would go on to championship status before their next meeting. The 1988-89 NBA season was the 43rd season of the National Basketball Association. ... The Shot is a game-winning basket made by Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls in the fifth game of the first round of the 1989 NBA Playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers, on May 7, 1989, on Clevelands home floor in Richfield, Ohio. ... Joel Craig Ehlo, referred to as just Craig Ehlo (born August 11, 1961 in Lubbock, Texas), is a retired American National Basketball Association (NBA) player. ...


In 1992 the second seeded Cavs met the top seeded champion Bulls in the Eastern Finals. Though putting on another tough effort, the Bulls beat the Cavs 4-2, but not before Cavs reserve Danny Ferry attacked Michael Jordan with a flurry of seemingly unprovoked punches in one game. The Bulls went on to win their second NBA title.


The two teams met again in the 1993 semifinals but the underdog Cavs were swept by Jordan and the Bulls on the way to their third NBA title. Jordan's game winning shot in Game Four only went further to prove that the Cavs seemed cursed never to defeat number 23.


With Jordan's unexpected retirement prior to the '94 season, the Cavs readied themselves to finally end the Chicago curse. Meeting once again in the first round play-offs, the Cavs would once again face defeat. Though Jordan was gone, Scottie Pippen would lead Chicago to a 3-0 sweep over Cleveland, and prove that it was the team, not Jordan, who beat the Cavs. The Cavs would remain an unremarkable team throughout the rest of the decade while the Bulls would go on to win three more championships. Scottie Maurice Pippen (born September 25, 1965 in Hamburg, Arkansas) is a former American professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association (NBA), and is most remembered for leading the Chicago Bulls together with Michael Jordan to six championships and being one of the best all-around players...


Chicago Bulls vs. Detroit Pistons

The rivalry started in the 1988 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. The aggressive Bad Boy Pistons were a team on the rise. Michael Jordan was the league MVP and Defensive Player of the Year and the ultimate challenge for Detroit's rugged, top-notch defense. Despite Jordan's individual talents (or perhaps because of them) the Bulls lacked the talent and physical and mental toughness to beat the Pistons who ravaged the Bulls in only five games. The Pistons would go on to upset the Boston Celtics and win their first conference title since they moved from Fort Wayne. The Boston Celtics are a professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. ...


In 1989, the Pistons were stronger than ever, posting the league's best record of 63-19. The sixth seeded Bulls (47-35) had surprising success in the playoffs by beating the superior Cleveland Cavaliers (57-25 won-loss record) 3-2 with "The Shot." The Bulls upset the Atlantic Division Champs, the New York Knicks, coached by Rick Pitino, 4-2. The Bulls then squared off to meet the team that was to become their greatest rival, the Detroit Pistons, in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Bulls miraculous success seemed to continue as they took an early 2-1 lead over the Pistons. But the Pistons clamped down and employed the supposed "Jordan Rules" (which consisted of solely targeting Jordan) which worked so well for them the year prior. The Pistons took a stand and won three straight and would go on to win their first NBA title in the next round. The Cleveland Cavaliers (also known as the Cavs) are a professional basketball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. ... The Shot is a game-winning basket made by Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls in the fifth game of the first round of the 1989 NBA Playoffs against the Cleveland Cavaliers, on May 7, 1989, on Clevelands home floor in Richfield, Ohio. ... Knicks redirects here. ... Rick Pitino (born September 18, 1952) is the head basketball coach at the University of Louisville. ... The Detroit Pistons are a team in the National Basketball Association based in the Detroit metropolitan area. ...


For the following 1989-90 season under new coach Phil Jackson the Bulls sought to subvert the "Jordan Rules" by focusing on the triangle offense or triple post offense refined by assistant coach Tex Winter. By sharing responsibility rather than shouldering it, Jordan led the Bulls to the second best record in the East at 55-27...behind the ever-tough defending champion Pistons who finished 59-23. In a pre-destined Eastern Conference Finals rematch, the Bulls pushed the Pistons like never before by forcing the series to seven games. But the Pistons showed their dominance by winning a brutal Game Seven at home by a score of 93-74. It was in this pivotal Game Seven that Scottie Pippen would suffer a migraine headache, leading many to speculate that with a healthy Pippen the Bulls may have been ready to supplant the Pistons as the best team in the East. The Pistons would go on to win their second consecutive NBA title the following round against the Portland Trail Blazers. The 1989-90 NBA Season was the 44th season of the National Basketball Association. ... Philip Douglas Phil Jackson (born September 17, 1945 in Deer Lodge, Montana) is the current coach of the Los Angeles Lakers, an American professional basketball team. ... The Triangle offense, also known as the Triple-Post offense, is an offensive strategy in basketball. ... Morice Fredrick Tex Winter (born February 25, 1922) is a successful American basketball coach and innovator of the triangle offense. ...


These growing pains resulted in a stronger than ever Bulls the following season in 1990-91. With a greater concentration on teamwork, the Bulls posted the best record in the Eastern Conference with a 61-21 win-loss record and Jordan regained the MVP award after years of being accused of being a selfish player. At the same time the Piston's armor was starting to crack by old age and injury. After their upset of the Atlantic Division champ Boston Celtics 4-2 in the Conference semifinals, it was now the Pistons with something to prove as they met a title poised Chicago. Still, some doubted the Bulls and maintained that the Pistons psychological edge and bench strength would loom over the series. But three years of aches and bruises allotted the Bulls a drive that not only inspired the greatness necessary to defeat the Pistons, but the greatness necessary to conquer a decade. Proving their growth, the Bulls swept the Pistons 4-0 and ended the rivalry on a triumphant note. Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer and Mark Aguirre of the Pistons, in their last show of defiance, walked off the court with :04 left on the clock so as not to congratulate the new Eastern Conference Champions. In the next round the Bulls defeated Magic Johnson and the Lakers to capture their first NBA crown. The Pistons incidentally continued to deteriorate over the years while the Bulls were just beginning their dominance of the decade. For the boxer, see Isiah Thomas (boxer). ... Bill Laimbeer at the White House after winning the WNBA Championship with the Detroit Shock. ... Mark Aguirre (born December 10, 1959 in Chicago, Illinois) is a retired American NBA player. ... Earvin Johnson redirects here. ... The Los Angeles Lakers are a National Basketball Association (NBA) team based in Los Angeles, California. ...


The rivalry was restored in the 2006 offseason when free agent Ben Wallace, the cornerstone of the Pistons' defense, stunned the league when he signed with the Pistons' rivals of old, the Chicago Bulls. For the British MP, see Ben Wallace (UK politician). ...


Detroit Pistons vs. Indiana Pacers

Main article: Pacers-Pistons brawl

This rivalry began brewing during the 2003-2004 season. The Pacers, finished with a league best 61 wins, and were not shy about reminding others, especially the Pistons, of that feat. The Pacers were led by Jermaine O'Neal, Ron Artest, and Reggie Miller, and were coached by Rick Carlisle, who'd been fired by Detroit at the end of the previous season. Detroit was led by Chauncey Billups, Ben Wallace, Rasheed Wallace, and Richard Hamilton. Their Coach at the time was Larry Brown. Indiana won the first three matchups between the two teams during the regular season, before being defeated by the Pistons in the final regular-season meeting at the Palace. That was also the first time the two teams met after Rasheed Wallace was traded to Detroit. The Pacers-Pistons brawl (a. ... The 2003-04 NBA season is the 58th season of the National Basketball Association. ... Jermaine L. ONeal (born October 13, 1978, in Columbia, South Carolina) is an American National Basketball Association player who currently plays for the Indiana Pacers. ... Ronald (Ron) William Artest Jr. ... Reginald Wayne Miller (born August 24, 1965, in Riverside, California) is a retired American professional basketball player. ... Richard Preston Carlisle (pronounced KAHR-lye-uhl) (born October 27, 1959 in Ogdensburg, New York) is a former basketball player and current coach of the NBAs Indiana Pacers. ... Chauncey Ray Billups (born September 25, 1976 in Denver, Colorado) is an American professional basketball player. ... For the British MP, see Ben Wallace (UK politician). ... Rasheed Abdul Wallace (born September 17, 1974, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association. ... Richard Rip Hamilton (born February 14, 1978 in Coatesville, Pennsylvania) is an American National Basketball Association player for the Detroit Pistons. ... Larry Brown For other people of the same name, see Larry Brown (disambiguation). ... Rasheed Abdul Wallace (born September 17, 1974, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American professional basketball player in the National Basketball Association. ...


The two teams met in the 2004 Eastern Conference Finals. Indiana narrowly won Game One thanks to some late heroics from Miller. Rasheed Wallace, unimpressed by the Pacers, boldly stated "They Will Not Win Game Two" during an interview before the second game (locally known as the "Guaran-Sheed" victory). Late in Game Two, with Detroit holding a two-point lead, Billups turned over the ball, and Reggie Miller appeared to have an uncontested lay-up that would've tied the game. However, before Miller could score, he was chased down by Detroit forward Tayshaun Prince, who leapt from behind and swatted away Miller's shot in a spectacular play. Detroit went on to win four of the next five games and took the series 4-2. The Pistons went on to win the NBA title, while the Pacers bitterly stewed. During Game Six of the Conference Finals, with Detroit clinging to a slight lead, Artest committed a flagrant foul on Hamilton, nearly causing tempers to boil over near the end of the game. Allen Iverson performing a high percentage layup. ... Tayshaun Durell Prince (born February 28, 1980, in Compton, California) is an American basketball player for the Detroit Pistons in the National Basketball Association. ...


The following season, on November 19, 2004, at the Palace of Auburn Hills, with less than a minute left in the game, Indiana led 97-82. As Pistons center Ben Wallace went up for a layup, Indiana's Ron Artest hit Wallace with a hard foul from behind. Wallace took exception and attacked Artest, shoving him in the face. Wallace than engaged in a verbal spat with Artest and a timeout was called to cool down the players. Artest tried to keep his cool so he went to the scorer's table and laid down. As he lay on the table, Artest was suddenly hit in the chest by a cup of beer thrown by a fan. Artest shockingly went into the crowd and tried to find the person who threw the beer at him. Four other Pacers, Jermaine O'Neal, Stephen Jackson, David Harrison, and Anthony Johnson also fought with fans. All were suspended for varying lengths (Jackson: 30 games, O'Neal: 15 games, Harrison and Johnson: six games, Reggie Miller: one game for leaving the bench to restrain Artest), with Artest carrying the longest penalty: the entire season. From the Pistons, Chauncey Billups, Derrick Coleman, Elden Campbell were suspended one game a piece, and Ben Wallace was suspended for six games. is the 323rd day of the year (324th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Palace of Auburn Hills (a. ... For the British MP, see Ben Wallace (UK politician). ... Ronald (Ron) William Artest Jr. ... For other uses, see Beer (disambiguation). ... Jermaine L. ONeal (born October 13, 1978, in Columbia, South Carolina) is an American National Basketball Association player who currently plays for the Indiana Pacers. ... Stephen Jesse Jackson (born April 5, 1978 in Port Arthur, Texas, USA) is an American professional basketball player for the NBA’s Golden State Warriors. ... David Harrison (born August 15, 1982) is a center for the NBAs Indiana Pacers, drafted by the Pacers out of Colorado with the 30th pick of the 2004 NBA Draft. ... Anthony Mark Johnson (born October 2, 1974 in Charleston, South Carolina) is an American professional basketball player, currently with the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA. Johnson is a 63 (1. ... Chauncey Ray Billups (born September 25, 1976 in Denver, Colorado) is an American professional basketball player. ... Derrick D. Coleman (born June 21, 1967 in Mobile, Alabama) is a former basketball player in the NBA. Coleman grew up and attended high school in Detroit, Michigan and attended college at Syracuse University. ... Elden Jerome Campbell (born July 23, 1968 in Los Angeles, California) is a former professional basketball player who played center in the NBA. Campbell played college basketball at Clemson University. ...


The Pacers battled through the suspensions, while the Pistons fought off an early season malaise that they attributed to their winning the NBA title the previous year. The teams split the four regular season meetings. Again, the two teams met in the playoffs, this time in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. After Detroit handily took Game One at The Palace, Indiana scored a stunning upset win in Game Two. The Pacers, although blowing an 18-point lead, won Game Three in Indianapolis. However, just as he did a year ago, Rasheed Wallace promised a Pistons win for Game Four by saying, "When we return [to Detroit], we will be tied at 2-2." The Pistons rebounded with blow out wins in Games Four and Five, leading to Game Six in Indianapolis. The Pacers, knowing a loss would lead to the retirement of Miller, fought hard, but fell to the Pistons. It was the second consecutive year the Pistons won a series over Indiana in six games. The Indianapolis skyline Indianapolis is the capital of the U.S. state of Indiana. ...


Current standings

Standings are current through games held on November 9, 2007. is the 313th day of the year (314th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...


W = Wins, L = Losses, PCT = Winning Percentage, GB = Games behind, final playoff seeding in parentheses. In sports, the phrase games behind, often abbreviated as GB in tables, is a common way to reflect the gap between a leading team and another team in a sports league, conference, or division. ... Current NBA Playoff logo. ...

Current Division Standings
# Team W L PCT GB
1 Detroit Pistons 4 1 .800 -
2 Indiana Pacers 3 2 .600 1.0
3 Cleveland Cavaliers 3 3 .500 1.5
4 Milwaukee Bucks 2 3 .400 2.0
5 Chicago Bulls 1 4 .200 3.0

Former teams in the Central Division

Central Division champions

Central Division titles

References

  1. ^ Databasebasketball.com: "Cleveland's '88 Season"

 
 

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