Jul 18, 2013; Brooklyn, NY, USA; From left Paul Pierce , Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry during a press conference to introduce them as the newest members of the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Eastern Conference - How they'll finish

Here’s my look at “our” Conference. Flip me some Comments, and let’s get the dialogue started.

ATLANTIC DIVISION

TEAM WINS LOSSES COMMENTS
Brooklyn Nets

52

30

Built to win now. Perhaps the worst team in the NBA for a young player. The Nets rival the Warriors and Spurs as most likely to be ravaged by injuries. If elder statesmen like Kevin Garnett & Paul Pierce go down, all bets are off. Until then, the Nets have the skills & depth needed to go deep in the playoffs.
New York Knicks

44

38

A slapped-together roster, albeit one with serious talent. If coach Mike Woodson gets this strange collection of players over 48 wins, he’s a genius. Metta World Peace, Iman Shumpert, Andrea Bargnani? Sure, they still have Carmelo, but I don’t get it. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt, but taking the Under.
Toronto Raptors

42

40

full analysis in upcoming post
Boston Celtics

31

51

When is Rondo back from injury? The Celtics may be buried before he steps on the floor, so watch for a trade. I’d love to see Jeff Green or Gerald Wallace in Raptor colours. Kelly Olynyk may get sufficient minutes to be Rookie of the Year. Canada B-Ball is on the rise, but Boston is not.
Philadelphia 76ers

18

64

The NBA’s most blatant tanking team has the roster of a first-year expansion squad. They might not win 15 games. Kwame Brown & Spencer Hawes are your big threats in the low post – are you joking? Wilt Chamberlain is turning in his oversize grave.

 

CENTRAL DIVISION

TEAM WINS LOSSES COMMENTS
Indiana Pacers

52

30

Experienced & playoff-toughened, yet young enough to stay healthy. An excellent coach tops off a Top-4 squad. Paul George will get his chance to be The Man. Roy Hibbert must be more consistent. Their lineup isn’t star-studded, but it’s without a weakness.
Chicago Bulls

49

33

Is Derrick Rose back in top form? If so, they could go deep in the playoffs. Tough, smart, well-coached. Their frontcourt isn’t pretty, but gets the job done. Watch for a big season from Mike Dunleavy.
Detroit Pistons

44

38

They boast a serious pair of starting big men in Greg Monroe & Andre Drummond, but their swingmen are so-so at best. I’m not a Brandon Jennings fan, but perhaps listening to veteran Chauncey Billups will cause the little chucker to pass more. I admit they may prove me very wrong on the Over.
Milwaukee Bucks

43

39

Lots of second-unit guys, like Luke Ridnour & Caron Butler, but I don’t see a scary starting group. I expect John Henson to take a step forward. Ersan Ilyasova can do a lot of things, but will he? Is Larry Sanders a one-season wonder, or the real deal? Too many unanswered questions for a higher ranking.
Cleveland Cavaliers

43

39

The dark-horse Eastern Conference team. Canada’s second team, with homebrews Tristan Thompson & Andrew Bennett ready to step forward. And of course, their point guard is Kyrie Irving, who’s an MVP candidate. Will Andrew Bynum play at all? Don’t sleep on this team.

 

SOUTHEAST DIVISION

TEAM WINS LOSSES COMMENTS
Miami HEAT

59

23

How do you forecast anything but success for this group?  A three-peat? Maybe, but only if Dwayne Wade’s health isn’t a problem. Not even LeBron can win by himself, and they still haven’t improved their bench. Good luck with Greg Oden, the Designated Injury.
Washington Wizards

42

40

Poised for better times, & they will get a taste this season, led by John Wall. The Wiz gave up very little to acquire Gortat, whom they desperately need to flesh out a dubious front court. Martell Webster? What’s he ever done to warrant a fat contract?
Atlanta Hawks

41

41

An early favourite for the NBA’s most unpredictable team. I’m wimping out by calling them at .500, but they could win 25 or 50. Solid on paper, but the games aren’t played there. They need to coalesce in a hurry.
Charlotte Bobcats  33

49

It’s a long trip up the mountain when you’ve been down as far as this team. Keep plugging, get younger, draft and develop well. Kemba Walker & Al Jefferson are players, but it’s not enough. They will give up a lot of points.
Orlando Magic

22

60

Swimming in the tank with the 76ers. Who will score for these guys? At least they are taking steps to dump Hedo Turkoglu. A young team, with some nice parts like Vucevic & Nicholson.

Brian Boake is Senior Editor for Raptors Rapture. “Like” Raptors Rapture on Facebook and follow us on twitter @RaptorsRapture for all the latest news and updates about the best damn NBA team from Canada. Remember, for the best deals on Toronto Raptors tickets for any game on the 2013-14 NBA schedule, visit our friends at TiqIQ.com.

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