The Central Divison is generally considered the strongest division of the Eastern Conference, with its five teams being the Chicago Bulls, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Detroit Pistons, the Indiana Pacers, and the Milwaukee Bucks.
In the past two decades, it has been rare that neither of the teams in the Eastern Conference finals have not been from these five teams.
Among the well-known players coming from this conference are:
- Youngsters Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, and Tyson Chandler from the Chicago Bulls.
- Lebron James and Zydrunas Ilguaskis from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
- Chauncey Billups, Richard “Rip” Hamilton, Tayshaun Prince, Rasheed Wallace, and the oft “Defensive Player of the Year” Ben Wallace from the Detroit Pistons.
- Jermaine O’Neal and Peja Stojakovic from the Indiana Pacers.
- Michael Redd, T.J. Ford, and the first pick in the 2005 Draft, Andrew Bogut, from the Milwaukee Bucks.