The biggest deficit in the NBA takes place in the Central division where the NBA’s best team resides. The Milwaukee Bucks enter the All-Star break at a remarkable 46-8 and 14.5 games up on the second place Indiana Pacers. Some of the numbers in this division are pretty crazy to look at as the third place Chicago Bulls are 27.5 games back, the Detroit Pistons are 28.5 games back and the Cleveland Cavaliers are a cool 32 games back. Like the Southeast division the only questions that remain in the Central is if they can sneak an extra team into the playoffs as an eight seed.
Odds to win Central Division – odds via Draftkings Sportsbook
- Milwaukee Bucks -10000
- Indiana Pacers +2500
- Chicago Bulls +50000
- Cleveland Cavaliers +50000
- Detroit Pistons +50000
Milwaukee does not have much to play for the rest of the year, but they will be looking to stay sharp once the playoffs roll around. The Bucks have a 6.5 game lead over the Toronto Raptors and an eight game lead over the Boston Celtics, so it will take a pretty drastic collapse by a team that has lost eight times all season. The closest race for Milwaukee right now is the race for the #1 overall seed, and home court in the Finals, as they currently have a 4.5 game advantage over the Los Angeles Lakers in that department as well. Milwaukee does have the fifth hardest remaining schedule, but they should have no issue getting the #1 overall seed in the playoffs.
Indiana currently occupies the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, but can realistically get as high as the fourth seed if they finish strong. The Pacers are just two games back of the fifth place Sixers, and 3.5 games back of the fourth place Miami Heat, and have the 16th hardest remaining schedule. Indiana’s remaining 27 opponents have a combined winning percentage of just .499, so them moving up is certainly not out of the question.
The final question in this division is if Chicago or Detroit can sneak into the final Eastern Conference playoff spot. Chicago is currently five games back of the Orlando Magic and the Pistons are six games back of the final playoff spot. The Bulls have sixth toughest remaining schedule as their final 27 opponents have a combined .525 winning percentage. Detroit has the second hardest schedule the rest of the way with their final 25 opponents having a combined .546 winning percentage. It doesn’t seem likely for either team.
I think this division finishes how it looks now with just the Milwaukee Bucks and the Indiana Pacers making the playoffs.