Now that Carmelo Anthony is in a New York uniform, the East has another title contender. Or do they? With the Celtics, Heat, and Bulls all going strong this season, there isn’t much room for another elite team in the conference. So how do these teams stack up against each other?
I think, when it comes to making NBA picks come playoff time, the Celtics are still on top. They showed their playoff strength last season, making it to Game 7 against the Lakers. And they are already 5-1 against Miami and Chicago. I wouldn’t bet on anyone in the East beating them in a 7-game series.
Miami has to be next – even though they can’t beat Boston, they will soon overtake them in the standings at the pace they are going. And Chicago isn’t too far behind. When Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah get healthy, they’ll join Derrick Rose to make a pretty effective starting team.
As far as I can tell, the only thing New York did with this trade is jump Atlanta and Orlando to land in fourth place. We’ll have to see how well they play over these last couple of months of the season, but I don’t think they have a shot at the title this year. But they may have a better chance in the years to come, especially if Chris Paul decides to join forces with them. Boston will drop out soon, leaving only Miami and Chicago to contend with. One thing’s for sure – you better not miss the Eastern Conference playoffs for the next few years.
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