The Obligatory Prediction on Eastern Conference

I suck at predicting things, but I don’t think anyone else is that much better, so here are my predictions on the Eastern Conference:

1) Miami Heat.  Duh.  The question is will they be healthy enough to win 70 games?  They should at least win 60 and probably win the championship.

2) Orlando Magic. The second best team in Florida may also be the 2nd best team in the NBA.  I don’t think this team is as good as last season.  They could use another star player, I expect them to go try to get someone (Carmelo?) at the Trade Deadline.

3) Boston Celtics. I could see them the 4th best team, because this is an old team, and they will not be playing as many minutes.  They will be a tough team to face in the playoffs, especially for the Magic.

4) Milwaukee Bucks.  Skiles has probably one more effective season left before his players tune him out.  They have addressed their issues their offense.  If Skiles can make Gooden and Maggette play defense, then they could win 50 games.

5) Chicago Bulls.  Missing Boozer at the start will hurt.  They don’t have enough outside shooting to overcome their weakness on offense.

6) Atlanta Hawks.  53 wins last season was pretty much the high point for the Hawks.  Crawford had a great season and they were very healthy.  They will regret the Joe Johnson signing.

7) Indiana Pacers.  The 7th spot – 10th spot will be very close.  The Pacers are always around 33-38 wins, and the Collison trade should give them some much needed help at PG.  They also have enough expiring contracts to make a trade at the deadline.

8) Philadelphia 76ers.  I am not a big fan of Doug Collins, but the man will make his team play defense and overachieve.  In the East, it doesn’t take much to make the playoffs.

9) New York Knicks.  After going all in with lottery picks and young prospects, this is all they are getting: a shot at making the playoffs.

10) Washington Wizards.  They were playing good defense at the end of the year, so Saunders do have some positive effect on this team.  They could surprise some teams with their youth and quickness.

11) Charlotte Bobcats.  I am puzzled at what they are trying to do.  Losing Ray Felton and Tyson Chandler for pretty much nothing.

12) New Jersey Nets.  Lopez is very good, a future all-star.  Devin Harris is pretty decent player, and they don’t have to play Bobby Simmons and Jarvis Hayes anymore.

13) Detroit Pistons.  The 13th-15th spot will be a battle for more ping pong balls.  Not much separate these teams.  The Pistons still have no PG and Ben Wallace as a center.  Worse, Jerebko will be out for a while.  It will not be pretty in Mo-town.

14) Toronto Raptors.  Most magazines/websites/blogs predicts the Raptors to be the worst team in the NBA.  Usually that’s not how it works.  There is always a surprise team that will be so awful that no one could see it coming.  Make no mistake though, the Raptors will be pretty awful.  25 wins, I think.

15) Cleveland Cavaliers.  Did you know that the Cavs haven’t won a game without LeBron James in the last couple of seasons?  They may even have issues breaking 90 points.  They have to rely on Jamison to be the main scorer?  If they have a coach they can be creative on offense, maybe they could move up a little, but that’s not what Byron Scott can do.  I expect them to trade guys like Sideshow Bob, and Mo Williams by the deadline.






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