For most of the season, we had assumed that the Atlantic was the worst division in the NBA. With the tankathon Sixers, the wretched Knicks and Nets, and woeful Boston, it seemed only natural.
But the Central may have a better claim. Its best team, the Pacers, is in freefall, trying to find any semblance of its early season magic. The Bulls lost Derrick Rose within a few weeks and watched as all their hopes and dreams were rendered moot.
But the real kicker is that its three lottery teams -- the Cavaliers, Pistons and Bucks -- are three teams that not only weren't tanking this season, but expected to be good and contend for a playoff spot this year. The Bucks are the anti-Suns, finding themselves much worse than they expected despite payroll. The Cavaliers and Pistons make up two of the most disappointing teams in the league in roster-to-win-total ratio.
The Central holds some of the best rivalries in NBA history. It's a shame to see it reduced to nothing more than broken dreams.
With that uplifting note, here are this week's Power Rankings.