The final 2 spots in the East as of now are being held by 2 teams that are below .500. When was the last time any of you basketball fans were clamoring to see the Sixers or the Pacers this year? Yeah, I know. Me neither.
- Boston Celtics
- Miami Heat
- Chicago Bulls
- Atlanta Hawks
- Orlando Magic
- New York Knicks
- Philadelphia 76ers (17-23)
- Indiana Pacers (16-22)
I like the Boston Celitcs on top and with Kevin Garnett back in the line-up, let's hope they stay healthy. Now I just need to check and see if there's a time table for Kendrick Perkins. I know Perkins has practiced, but last I saw he was on the bench during the game.
I'm anti-Lebron but pro-Dwyane Wade/Erik Spoelstra/Pat Riley, so I'm torn when it comes to the Miami Heat. Even being anti-Lebron, I have to admit that play when he twisted his ankle, went out of bounds, and then drained a 3 from the corner was impressive. Yes, I'm not blind. I saw it, and I was impressed.
How about Derrick Rose's triple double (i.e. granted it was against the Memphis Grizzlies, but it still counts)?!?! What about Kyle Korver's 3-point shooting? If those guys can keep up the effort and keep making shots while Boozer is out, then I'd consider the Chicago Bulls to be a viable threat. I'm just not sure about their strength with Joakim Noah still out of the line-up.
I think the biggest surprise is Atlanta. In the words of Elmer Fudd, they've been "very, very quiet" yet the numbers don't lie (27-15).
I like the Knicks and am impressed with how well Amare Stoudemire is playing. I anticipate heading to Madison Square Garden again before the NBA All-Star break to catch the Los Angeles Clippers and/or the Los Angeles Lakers in town. I'm not sure how long the Knicks can continue to "bring it", but I am pulling for them.
Those are my thoughts on the East.