View Full Version : Ranking the Eastern Conference - SI

08-15-2008, 01:14 PM
Another look at the eastern conference. this one from marty burns of SI.

With the NBA in full summer mode, it's a good time to take a look at how teams stack up right now. First up is a snapshot of the Eastern Conference, followed by the West later this week.

It's extremely difficult to get a read on the East, especially the bottom half. Nearly every team that finished out of the playoffs last season looks improved, with no obvious doormats. The battle for the No. 8 spot could be very tight among a handful of teams.

Here's a look at how we see it at the moment, with the caveat that the view could change between now and the start of training camp in October:

1. Celtics:
2. Cavaliers:

3. Magic: It's easy to forget that these guys won 52 games last year and won their first playoff series in 12 years. With Dwight Howard coming into his own, big man Tony Battie back after missing all of last season with a shoulder injury and coach Stan Van Gundy having another training camp to implement his system, the Magic should be even better next season. Orlando could miss part-time starter Maurice Evans, who signed with the Hawks, but the addition of free-agent signee Mickael Pietrus (formerly of the Warriors) should help strengthen its perimeter defense.

4. 76ers:
5. Wizards:
6. Pistons:
7. Raptors:
8. Pacers:
9. Hawks:
10. Bobcats:
11. Heat:
12. Bucks:
13. Bulls:
14. Nets:
15. Knicks:

marty burns (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/marty_burns/08/13/east.rankings/1.html)


08-15-2008, 01:36 PM
What up with the Cavs getting so much love? All they added is Mo Williams.

Finally someone places the Magic in the right spot.

08-15-2008, 05:00 PM
Cavaliers should changes place with Pistons and the wizard Should change place With toronto if jo is healty.

08-15-2008, 06:52 PM
They are right where I would put them. I love the roster that they have, it is so talented with a mixture of younger and older players. Dwight Howard at center is already going to be a great advantage over most other teams for the Magic. Howard is an amazing rebounder and scorer on the offensive end as well as a great shot-blocker on the defensive end. I think Rashard Lewis will start as their power forward. He's a great shooter and a good rebounder as well. He's also got some quickness on the defensive end of the floor. Small forward...I'm not so sure who's going to start, it might be Lewis at small forward and Turkoglu at power forward but I think Hedo will the the small forward. He's a good shooter but he is also great at driving to the basket and drawing fouls. His defense leaves something to be desired but the rest of the players around him can fill in the holes he leaves. Mickael Pietrus is my pick for starting shooting guard. The new player that just came from Golden State brings a lot to the table as well. Once again another good shooter. Also loves to come off screens for mid-range jumpers. His defense is very solid, and not to many opposing players can get by him one-on-one. Jameer Nelson will be the starting point guard. Once again another good shooter. One of the things that I love about him is his ability to get to the rim and then pass the ball out to one of the 3 other shooters that will be on the floor. The bench will be very good as well with J.J. Redick, Keith Bogans, Battie, and Courtney Lee. This team is deep and will make some noise in the post-season.

08-15-2008, 07:04 PM
He got the magics right but almost everything else is wrong, IMO. Pistons are still number 2, although i think the magics will have a better record at the end of the season, Raptors are number 5, Cavs 6 and wizards are 7. Honestly, why the hell are the Cavs getting so much love. They're not even gonna get out of the first round this year, and yet everyone is ranking them 2, WTF!