Blogtable: A New Look In The East

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes to weigh in on the three most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

Summer Loving | Free-agent Flop | Top of the East

How do the top five teams in the Eastern Conference rank, right now?

Steve Aschburner, NBA.com1. Miami, 2. Indiana, 3. Chicago, 4. Brooklyn, 5. New York. I do think the Pacers, the Bulls and even the Nets all might finish closer to the Heat than the Knicks did in 2012-13 – a 12-game gap in the standings – so yes, it will be a closer race. My Nos. 2-4 will be better through maturation (Indiana), returns (Chicago) or additions (Brooklyn), and all of them will beat up on the bottom seven or eight teams in the conference, further padding their records. But the two-time defending champs still have the best player in the league (by a wide margin), uber-confidence and that winning formula. Miami’s challengers would be wise not to over-exert for the No. 1 seed, saving their powder for springtime.

Jeff Caplan, NBA.comThe Heat obviously remain the cream of the crop although they did not address their size issue (pending Greg Oden‘s decision) and they let go of Mike Miller. Sorry Brooklyn, but I’m putting Indiana No. 2. They nearly knocked off Miami in the East finals and every one of their guys (plus coach Frank Vogel) should come back better. Danny Granger is on the comeback trail and I like how Larry Bird beefed up the bench. Again, apologies to the Nets, but I’m going with Derrick Rose and the Bulls next. You know they’re going to bring monster defensive effort every night and with Rose back, the Bulls will actually score, too. OK, Nets, you guys are next. This is quite a collection of talent and they should win 50 games just by showing up. Health and rookie coach Jason Kidd are the wild cards here. Kidd has a lot of veteran egos to massage and a lot to prove under pressure. The Knicks bring up the rear among the top challengers. I’m not as down on the Andrea Bargnani trade as others, but I’m also not sure how much better they can be.

Scott Howard-Cooper, Heat, Bulls, Nets, Pacers, Knicks. The distance between 1 and 2 has closed because the closest challenger will get a lot better, probably. If Derrick Rose returns and is able to play at a high level, along with adding Mike Dunleavy via free agency, Chicago will take a step forward. It’s just after the waiting game with Rose last season, no one can say with any certainty when that return will happen.

John Schuhmann, NBA.com1. Miami 2. Indiana 3. Brooklyn 4. Chicago 5. New York. And yes, things should be tighter between the Heat and Pacers , because Miami lost a weapon (Mike Miller), while Indiana gained a more potent bench with the additions of (the returning) Danny Granger, C.J. Watson and Chris Copeland. Furthermore, both Brooklyn (with all their weapons) and Chicago (with their defense and toughness) will be serious threats to the champs if they stay healthy enough. Can the season start now?

Sekou Smith, The order hasn’t changed at all at the very top. Miami remains the true beast of the Eastern Conference and the league. Indiana, Chicago, Brooklyn and New York round out the top five for me … today. The Nets and Knicks could flip flop spots a dozen times between now and the start of training camp on my list. I have lingering questions about both outfits and how they will play with new faces in critical positions. I do not think the gap between the Heat and Pacers has tightened dramatically. It was already paper thin, based on what we saw in the Eastern Conference finals last season. The Pacers are the one legitimate challenger to the Heat, and by legitimate I mean not a theoretical challenger but one we’ve seen push the Heat to the limit in real time.

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blog1. Miami 2. Indiana 3. Chicago 4. Brooklyn 5. New York. I really like what Indy’s done this offseason in terms of adding to their bench, and adding  a healthy Granger to the mix should be a huge boost. But will it jump them past Miami? I’m not sure how much closer they can get than they already were — after all, they pushed them to seven games in the Conference Finals just a few months back. Either way, I think the Heat are still the class of the East. It’s just that now they know for certain the Pacers are breathing down their necks.


  1. Pau Gasol says:

    Knicks is a joke, Bulls is a joke, Nets with deron is a joke, only team worth mentioning here are the Heat and the Pacers. now lets go to the West.

  2. bbbb says:

    Heat (1-3)
    Pacers (2-4)
    Knicks (2-5)
    Nets (1-4)
    Bulls (1-6)
    Cavaliers (5-8)
    Wizards (7-8)
    Pistons (7-8,might come along w/four teams who will battle for last seed)
    Hawks (might come along w/four teams who will battle for last seed)
    Raptors (might come along w/four teams who will battle for last seed)
    Celtics (might come along w/four teams who will battle for last seed)

    *If the heat goes to 2-3 bracket,the eastern conf. will be more fun. ^_^
    *Pacers is better this season. Granger is back. I think he should be the sixth man.
    *I’m a knicks fan. ^_^ The team’s defense(weakness last season) is better this season w/mwp,shump,tc as starters. Woodson is a great coach,a big edge over the Nets.
    *Nets lineup is a monster,arguably be a Heat/Spurs – level roster; though chemistry and coaching is still a question mark. They could be in 1-5 spot,depends on the circumstances.
    *Thib is a great coach,and can make the team on 1-6,but I’m not sure if rose will return to his mvp-mode again, plus health of the team is a question.
    *Cavs is a tough to beat team. They can be the big upset in the post season. They can force a 1st/2nd seed to six games; they are capable of beating 3rd-4th seed. I hope they can make it to the 2nd rd,and put up a great series(like warriors in last playoffs)
    *the last two spots will be a close match(like lakers-rockets-jazz-mavericks race last season,but I bet on wizards and pistons)

  3. Cripple Rapist says:

    knicks???? funny….. That’s what I heard last season…. Now who won the chip??? melo? kobe? MIAMI HEAT!!!!

  4. knick4life says:

    So you guys want to play the injury game.Lets play that game, i saw with my own eyes with Iman it took about two months for him to really get his game back.Chicago.Next two bad anklesfor your court general 35 and 37 respectively former champions.Last i saw Pierce no locked down defensive player.Garnett old.Nets.oH BTW Joe Johnson joke.JJJ.Nets.Champions barely you are counting on a old /young Wade.IN and out BOSH.No miller.Hmmmmmm barely beat Pacers who are offensively challenged.Spurs a rebound away from putting up another banner.Knicks are the only tean to address a weakness in bringing in K-mart and MWP.significant upgrades .oh lets not forget Iman Shumpert one of the best defenders in the league.Bottom line they won 54 games last season with Pacers and Bulls winning the series.We are better both offensively and defensively.I see no major improvement in these two teams.Stop listening to pundints look at the facts.The Knicks were number one in offense effeciency,yss number one fact.They are better more versatile with more options this year. defensively light years better.Orange and blue get used to it.Knickstaaaaaaape.

  5. Rod R. says:

    I’m not putting any time in any order at this time because anything can happen this season. Teams have become better or worst with new additions, as well as trades. However, at this time, I would like to just speak about the Chicago Bulls. Chicago has been through a lot when it comes to the health of its players. As we all know, D Rose got injured in 2012, and that affected the team’s performance this 2012 – 12. But what we forget is that the Bulls were without its star player for the ENTIRE 2012 – 13 season and still made it to the Semi-Finals. We beat a team with ALL of its star players and bench, and advanced. The Bulls never complained but were resilient when Deng, Hinrich, and Noah were hurt. The Bulls were the only team in the EAST that went to playoffs undermanned and still advanced. D Rose is a beast, we know, but Derrick Rose is only one man. He need his teammates, and his teammates need each other. The Bulls win because of their attitude, heart, and individual strengths. Coach Thibs instills so much in the team, and even a seemingly mediocre player can step up and hugely impact the game. The Bulls didn’t need to bring in Super Stars this offseason to be affective. The team has what it needs to be affective. Just watch, the Bulls with shock the NBA this season, and it won’t be solely because of Derrick Rose, but the team as a whole.

  6. Ramey says:

    Miami Indiana Chicago Brooklyn NYK regular season…… Miami is Miami and if they get Oden I don’t see them being forced further than 6 with anybody… Indy is deeper, still though, whos handlig the rock?? Chi has Rose who still needs more help scoring especially in the 4th maybe they’ll trade deng for someone…..Brooklyn starting 5 won’t need HC with all those veterans they’ll cruise through the season they’ll need someone off the bench though…. Lopez will probably win most improved though… The Knicks are Melo and JR no consistent defense Amare doesn’t fit, Felton inconsistent TC is TC they should get a top 5 just bc of better talent —- Knicks fan (can’t wait to rebuild)

  7. Dallas fan says:

    East – Heat, Nets, Pacers, Bulls, Knicks, Cavs, Celtics, Raptors, Pistons, Hawks, Wizards, Magic, Bucks, Bobcats, Sixers
    West – Spurs,Rockets,Thunders,Warriors,Clippers,Grizzlies,Nuggets,Wolves,Blazers,Mavs,Lakers,Kings,Pelicans,Suns, Jazz

  8. Dallas fan says:

    East West
    1) Miami 1) San Antonio
    2) Brooklyn 2) Houston
    3) Indiana 3) Oklahoma
    4) Chicago. 4) Golden State
    5) New York. 5) Los Angeles Clippers
    6) Cleveland. 6) Memphis
    7) Boston 7) Denver
    8) Toronto 8) Minnesota
    9) Detroit 9) Portland
    10) Atlanta 10) Dallas
    11) Washington 11) Los Angeles Lakers
    12) Orlando 12) Sacramento
    13) Milwaukee 13) New Orleans
    14) Charlotte 14) Phoenix
    15) Philadelphia. 15) Utah

  9. Zohan says:

    It’s make or break for the bulls #seered

  10. knick4life says:

    Next June is our goal not june or july of this year. Keep sleeping and we will keep winning.Dont drink to much haterade.You have been taped….KNICKSTAPED!!!…1.Knicks 2.Miami out of respect for the champs.Everybody else??? WC.ORANGE AND BLUES SKIES.Get used to it!!!!

  11. money time says:

    if Lebron was still playing for Cleveland half of you wouldn’t care about the heat none whatsoever

  12. James baker says:

    I think it goes like this since Dwayne wade is coming back stronger and better the heat are #1 next is problely the pacer#2 because they can stop u defensively but then again they have danny granger which will help them next would be a tie with the bulls and the nets because rise is coming back but then again the nets got the best starting five and all people who knows how to score and play defensive next will be the piston if they get rondo because the piston is a nice squad that could tear u apart so they are fifth to me and the Knicks would be next I guess

  13. Tom says:

    For all the people who are using the 2011 and 2013 Eastern Conference Finals to say that the Pacers are much closer to the Heat than the Bulls: For the series the Heat were +11 against the Bulls and +28 against the Pacers. I realize the Pacers series went 7 games, but the Bulls series was a lot closer than people remember. Also, I think most people can agree the 2013 Bulls Heat series is kind of irrelevant considering the Bulls were missing Rose, Hinrich and Deng.

  14. Elesa says:

    My list is:
    1 Heat
    8 Pistons
    4 Pacers
    5 Knicks
    3 Brooklyn
    6 Wizards
    2 Bulls
    7 Idk… Cavaliers?

    That’s playoff order, so don’t say I put the Pistons second.

    Going off this, the Pacers would thrash the Knicks, Heat would beat Detroit, Brooklyn would beat the Wizards and the Bulls/Cavs one would be interesting to watch, since they’re rivals.

    Second round would be Pacers and Heat again, we’ll see what happens there. Brooklyn faces the Bulls again as well…

    xD Wow. Hire me lol. Jk 😉

  15. PitBull says:

    The Bulls can beat Miami. They did it without D Rose last season. The knicks cannot be champions with Melo around. He’s such a ball hog! Basketball is a team game, He can score 60 points and the knicks will still lose.

    • Jojo Lecitona says:

      Yeah right in game 1 of their 2nd round series but what happenef next the bulls were beaten black and blue by miami. Look back durung the 2011 playoff bulls were beaten again by miami with your drose as media mvp. How I that?

  16. roye says:

    man paul george and danny granger. and roy and david, it will be a super tough conference final again!!

    east will get be champion again

    • James baker says:

      West gonna win champion because they got grizzles maybe the spurs warriors thunder rockets with jams harden and dwight Howard don’t forget and the t-wolves they gonna be hard if they can stay healthy also the pelicans they gonna be something to watch with all them star on their team

  17. Chicitybtch says:

    Come on pacer fans. The only reason why you got to the eastern conference finals is because d rose hasnt played last two playoff seasons. you can now go back to being number 3

  18. Julien says:


    East Conference Final: Heat vs Nets

    • James baker says:

      1. Heat

      2. Pacers

      3. Nets

      4. Bulls

      5. Piston

      6. Knicks

      7. Hawks

      8. Washing wizards

      Eastern conference= heat and bulls

      1. Spurs

      2. Rockets

      3. Thunder no shooting guard

      4. Grizzles

      5. Mavericks

      6. T-wolves

      7. Pelicans

      8. Lakers or trail blazers

      Western conference = t-wolves

      Championship= heat and rockets

      • James baker says:

        8. Clippers not the lakers

      • James baker says:

        Take out the hawks and put the cavs in #7

      • James baker says:

        Western conference rankings!

        1. Spurs

        2. Rockets

        3. Thunder

        4. Grizzles

        5. Clippers

        6. Mavericks

        7. T-wolves

        8. Pelicans

        Eastern conference rankings!

        1. Heat

        2. Pacers

        3. Bulls

        4. Nets

        5. Cavs

        6. Piston

        7. Knicks

        8. Wizards

        Eastern conference finals= pacers and bulls or heat and bulls or heat and pacers

        Western conference finals= spurs and rockets or grizzles and wolves

        Championship= rockets and heat

    • James baker says:

      The warriors fit in some where but this year is gonna be crazy no matter what happens

  19. PhillipRC says:

    BULLS HAVE ABSOLUTLEY NO SCORING! There’s no way they can be 3rd with just Rose gettin buckets. What is Noah gonna average 15 points again? Not much help. “Killer defense” is nothing when you can’t score. They dropped their best player in the playoffs in Nate Robinson. So good luck with that bulls fans.

  20. vern says:

    I don’t think the Nets are gonna make too much noise this season. A rookie coach 2 fading allstars and a few egos will hamper them. At least this upcoming season.Also, depending on injuries. Pierce and Garnett may not make it 5o the post season. As far as Chicago, I’ll have to see Rose play before I rate them.I really think Indiana is the only east team to really say they’re better.

  21. RJ says:

    Top 5- 1. Miami 2. Indiana 3. Brooklyn 4. Chicago 5. New York

    Starting from the bottom like Drake, New York is a good team. The problem is their just good, they have all the pieces to be great but they haven’t made that jump yet. Melo and STAT can’t coexist together, both are big time scorers and need the ball to be effective. Stoudemire must be traded, however no one wants his huge contract. Melo is a superstar he can go for 40 in any game, but he needs another superstar player. Chicago should be higher ( like 2 or 3 I’m leaning on 3) on this list, but that depends on D.Rose. Best defensive team in the East and arguably in the NBA. Jimmy Butler was a diamond in the rough for them, and they acquired sniper Mike Dunleavy. Chicago is looking great, but the success of that team hinges on D.Rose’s ACL. Brooklyn is at the 3 spot because of D.Rose’s ACL, KG, and The Truth, otherwise they’d be 5th. With Brooklyn its simple….. WIN. You have the best starting 5 in the NBA, a solid bench, a billionaire owner, all you have to do is WIN! Jason Kidd will be a great coach, he’s been coaching for 20 years on the court as a point guard, what makes people think he can’t do it in a suit and tie like JT? Indiana is number 2, simply because the Heat are champs. Indy is scary, the league should be very afraid. Paul George is developing into another LeBron. You think that’s a stretch? I dont he played well in playoffs especially in the Conference Finals. Guarding LeBron isn’t easy but he did a good job at making it tough for him. Roy Hibbert was their MVP, he controlled the middle, scored at will, and was dominant. If Vogel would have kept him in the game during Game 1the Pace rs would be NBA Champs. The one question I have is what about Granger? He’s a good player, and a starter in the NBA. Will he mind coming off the bench as a 6th man? If not trade him, he’s still a good player who can score in bunches and defend on the perimeter, teams would love to him aboard. Miami two words…… NBA CHAMPIONS. The Heat are the best team in the league, period. Their best player is some guy named LeBron James I here he’s pretty good. The one negative about Miami is they can’t deal with star big men (centers and power forwards). Roy Hibbert and David West killed them, Hibbert averaged 20 & 10 in the ECF. A good big is needed ( Greg Oden will have to suffice). The question on every basketball fans mind is will the Big 3 disband in 2014?

  22. Rocketman says:

    Sorry folks I would like to see all of these teams including the Heat play in the Western Conference. They would get beat up bad.
    The east is the powder puff league and I don’t believe the Heat will repeat.I think Pacers, Bulls, and Nets all have a great shot.Remember in Miami if one of the big three goes down with an injury stick a fork in them. Lebron is not Michael Jordan or Hakeem and can not carry the team alone.Pacers have inside track in my opinion because they have played togther Nets are interesting but do they have enough basketballs for the starting 5. I still think champion of 2013-2014 is coming from the west.
    OKC, Spurs,Clippers, or Rockets.Yes Houston and all you Howard haters can bash on him but Houston is going to be able to play half court pound it in your face or small ball up tempo and I hate to see if they get hot from downtown in a series.That could be trouble for any team including the heat.

  23. lee says:

    wouldnt surprise me if the cavaliers got there either but this division is going to be alot tougher next year and miami took a step back the 2nd is hard to win the 3rd is going to be alot harder and if the do lose i think alot will change with miami lebron might even go back to clevland i deff think chris bosh will be let go and i hope the bulls pick him up this year i dont think he will have as many options now that people have seen he isnt on a superstar level like he thought he was there is a big differance in lbj and bosh and lbj is a true superstar there isnt many of those in the league

  24. lee says:

    i see the nets and bulls fighting for the number 2 spot maybe number 1 the heat isnt as great of a team without miller i think he will be a bigger loss in the playoffs then people think plus wade cant stay healthy bosh hasnt had a good season since being there and lebron has been carying this team alot more then anyone gives him credit for im not saying the want still be great because the will but the took advandage of a down year last year in the east i think the top 4 are the heat nets bulls pacers and just for a 5th the knicks i think anybody after that is a toss up id give the wizards pistons a good chance this year for the bottem of the playoffs who is the other team idk i might be forgetting someone but dont think so charlotte could be a surprise team big al might help there scoring enough for a 8 seed

  25. wasee says:

    I think knicks can still be a legitimate contender. They have a solid starting five. I think it’d going to be 1 Felton 2 shumpert 3 bargani 4 melo 5 chandler. Then they have a bench. Smith pergioni stoudimire martin and world peace. Knicks just have to pay solid d like last year. All they need to do is take less jump shots and run more pick and roll and drove in more. They have a good starting five and a bench. Don’t overlook them. Brooklyn just might be overhyped like last year

  26. lee says:

    i wish the bulls wouldve signed mike miller as well he can help at the 2 and 3 and trade boozer and some other peaces away try to trade for maybe bosh who would fit with the team betteer for a more balanced offensive weapon plus is d would improve just because of the coaching and a move back to the 4

  27. Unkle Daddy says:

    Even with Rose back in the fold (I hope for his sake he stays healthy) the Bulls are not as good as Miami or the Pacers. The Pacers will take the East provided the roster stays healthy. If the Bulls want to be the best they need wing help, a starting SG is a major factor, but if Butler can out do last season and grow even more into his game, watch out.

  28. sleeplessbull says:

    i love one think… everybody is talking about the bulls here.. so let me get my pic here:
    the rest is irrelevant!!!

    and C.Finals will be Bulls – Indiana where the bulls are gonna lose! 🙂 lol… dont want to. but thats my feeling!

  29. deeman2k4 says:

    Ok I tried to stay out of this discussion but I have to say something. Time for some real talk. I’m a Bulls fan but I know have to have a realistic perspective. 1 yes Miami are the 2 time defending champs and should be respected as so until somebody beats them. So they should get the nod as finishing 1st in the East. 2 based on the good off season moves and what they showed last season the Pacers are my #2 seed. The pushed Miami to the brink and will only be better and hungrier to build on last year. Plus P. George is a star and he’s just scratching the surface and should be better this year. 3 its hard to pick from here but I’m going to go with Da Bulls here with Rose back and eager to show he is not to be wrote off I think the Bulls will at least be able to lock down the 3 spot if they can stay healthy, Butler can thrive in his starting role, and they get good production from the bench. They could finish higher but they also could also finish as low as 5th if things don’t go well but definitely no lower. 4 sorry Knick fans as much as I love Melo I don’t think the Knicks have gotten any better and everybody else has so I have the Nets finishing in the 4 spot again. They made big offseason moves with proven winners who I think have more left in the tank than people think. From a talent and skill stand point I think this team may be the most talented team in the East from top to bottom. Before you Heat fans can say anything I said from top to bottom outside of LeBron, Wade, and Bosh Miami isn’t that talented. With DWill, JJ, PP, KG, and Lopez that’s a killer starting 5 and the bench isn’t bad either with JT, Evans ( a hard nose defender and rebounding beast), Blatche, and AK47. The Nets will be a team to contend with. I only have them finishing 4th because the will have chemistry problem at the beginning like any team that made that many moves so I think the other teams who have played together longer will beat them out but come playoff time this team really scares me. 5 yes it’s the Knicks there is no way any other team in the East breaks into the top 5 it’s these teams and everybody else. The Knicks will remain a strong team but unless Shumpert has a breakout year, Amare stays healthy and show some of the skills he had before, and they somehow find a scorer in the post each of the teams I have before them will be better than them and the will have another 1st round exit in the playoffs.

  30. Bradley #knickstape says:

    As a knicks fan, looking at these posts may give you a bit of discouragement going into next season but its ok.
    Because I seriously just think that the league is scared of what MELO is about to do.. This past season was just the beginning, I really thought that we had a chance make it to the ECF but we ran into a tough team that we WILL run into again & we just ran out of gas.. The pieces that were working for us coming in to the playoffs just didnt work againt Indiana.
    Also, If you’re a fan of any team in east I am LAUGHING at you if you’re really stressing Chicago, they have absolutely NO depth coming off the bench.. I also think the Brooklyn Nets are this seasons 2012-2013 Lakers.
    They have all of hype, I really like they’re team but will they fit??? We’ll just have to see.
    The Miami Heat will continue to dominate but that will all end in 2014.. Unless they are able to recruit a new big 3 around Lebron..
    1. Miami
    2. New York/Indiana
    3. Indiana/New York
    4. Chicago
    5. Brooklyn

  31. Melo James says:

    Awesome! I’m sure people are looking forward to 13-14 season. I’ll just lay out the facts:

    Nets: No surprise there, Almost every NBA fan would want to see the Nets play with their new roster. With KG as the main big man, Pierce, Terry, and Johnson as the gunners, D-Will as the Point Guard, and Jason Kidd in the lead, who wouldn’t want to see them play?

    Rockets: Here’s where we see whether Dwight can play with Harden and Lin. He’s had a disappointing season with the Lakers, having cooperation problems with Kobe, and a not-so-good relationship with the other Lakers. Dwight has only two choices: be comfortable in Houston, or fly to another team.

    Bulls: For you Bulls fans out there, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for: The Return. Rose says he’s “100% healthy” but is he “100% Derrick Rose”? There’s a chance that Rose might lose his touch after more than a year of rest. Yes, he practiced during those rests. Yes, he worked out during those rests. But practices, scrimmages, aren’t NBA games. The thing about NBA games, is that it varies. Different teams, different players, different tactics and so on. Then again, he might also come back the same, or even better.

    Spurs: Some might say “Spurs are getting old”. But then again, that’s what they said last season. And the season before. So far, Spurs have made an impressive performance even with age diminishing their athleticism. But it certainly doesn’t seem that way. They were swept the Lakers and the Grizzlies. They were 5 seconds away from beating the Heat. Those are very impressive for old guys.

    OKC: They had a disappointing off-season, mostly because of Westbrook’s injury during the playoffs. With Westbrook out, their offense burdens KD alone. Ibaka and Perkins may be good on the defensive end, but their offense has yet to be polished.

    Pacers: They’ve served us a great ECF with MIP vs. MVP. Paul George, along with Steph Curry and Danny Green has surprised us all. They took the Heat to a Game 7. And that is without Danny Granger.

    That’s it! Hope I didn’t miss anything! I’m a big Heat fan, but I repect all other players and teams 🙂 hope you all do too!

  32. Yo says:

    Cavs win ECF this year, no doubt

  33. Big Al says:

    Chicago, Indiana, Miami, Brooklyn, New York

    Yup, the Heat are in third. With Miller gone and not having a proper center by the start of the season, LeBron is unlikely to win a third straight crown. They barely got past the Pacers and Spurs. With Rose back, the Bulls can certainly beat anyone in the East, maybe even seriously gun for their first title since Jordan. And Hibbert,, George and Hill can only get better drawing inspiration from their great run in the post season.

    The retooled Nets show great promise, but remember, Pierce and KG aren’t spring chicken, and the chemistry they will have with Deron remains to be seen. They also have a rookie coach in Kidd, so that’s a gamble as well. They can certainly go deeper in the playoffs in 2014, but the other three teams in the East may still prove too much for them.

    Finally, only Metta is the good addition for the Knicks. They should have also gotten Monta Ellis because they need more explosive, consistent offense. Melo is surrounded by mainly defensive teammates other than J.R, who isn’t even a starter. And only time will tell if Amar’e will ever get back to his former self.

  34. Reggie says:

    I think Miami or Chicago get first place. Thibideou overworks his players for regular season wins, so their gonna win a lot of games. As a knick fan, I think we’re gonna be third place because we’re a great regular season team with the potential to be a great playoff team if we remain healthy which will be much easier this year because we got a lot younger. I got Indiana fourth and Brooklyn fifth because Brooklyn is gonna struggle with chemistry out of the gate and Indiana’s style of play heavily favors the playoffs then the regular season. They can’t play that grind it out type of basketball for 82 games and danny granger is gonna get hurt again because he just missed an entire season from chronic knee pain, not surgery. That means that’s an issue that won’t drastically improve.

  35. Leon says:

    The Heat wont be the 1 seed again. Everybody is putting them on top when they dont realize the Pacers nearly knocked them off last year and they just might get a healthy Granger and added Watson and Copeland, the Bulls with DRose are going to be back to the strong Bulls they once were, and the Nets just got KG, Peirce and JT. Heres what I think.
    1. Indiana
    2. Chicago
    3. Miami
    4. Brooklyn
    5. New York
    6. Cleveland
    7. Detroit
    8. Charlotte

    • Pakyaw says:

      Nearly knocked off the heat?. Just because the series went to game 7 , doesn’t mean they belong to that level of the heat.. Pacer never been ahead in that series, and game 7 is a blowout!

  36. Fredrostacks says:

    No love for Cleveland still if healthy they crack the top five over New York

  37. OctoPPus says:

    PACERS CAN BE NO 1 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. JoeyGiglio says:

    I am surprised the bulls were so commonly ranked third. I would think more of them would have them at 2. But people who are saying the knicks are being slept on are ridiculous, who do they have besides Shumpert and Melo really/? Felton is a bum, Martin is a bum, Chandler is a bum, MWP is good, Smith is too streaky

  39. Willie Black says:

    I agree that Miami, Indiana, Chicago, and Brooklyn but I think that the Knicks will have a decline this year this team really didn’t address any of their needs and lost some important players. They still need to figure out how to get the best production out of Carmelo, Amare, and Chandler on the floor at the same time, they also need to find a consistant 2 scoring option I don’t believe that you can put all your faith in J.R. Smith, and who will be their starting point guard? I think there will be a surprise team to step into the top 5 next year (Wizards or Celevland) I thik that the Knicks will be in the 6-8 range this year.

  40. caloyski says:


  41. Omar says:

    Why is everybody underrating Brooklyn’s moves? Sure, Pierce and Garnett are older. But they still led a battered Celtics team to the playoffs last year. And they’ll add intangibles, like experience and toughness. I’m a Bulls fan, but even I know their star-studded lineup, and improved bench, should outshine the Bulls. At least on paper.

    1. Miami 2. Brooklyn 3.Chicago 4.Indiana 5.New York 6.Cleveland 7. Washington 8.Boston

  42. Ilija says:

    The only team that can beat the Heat in the East is the Pacers, the rest are not even close

    • asdf says:

      I’d say that the only team in the East that can beat the Pacers is the Heat. I really think that with the additions these offseason and Granger back in the line-up they solved their only problem against the heat: the bench. Stats show that their starting 5 outplayed Heat’s starting 5, so it’s just the matter of getting a better bench and to me the East is set for the next few years, but it will be the Pacers, not the Heat who will be winning it. I’m not hating on Heat, they are a really great team, it’s just that facts/stats are against them.

  43. R says:

    With Rondo no one talks about the C’s ?! doesn’t matter we’ll be coming out of nowhere…

    • Carlos says:

      agreed. olynyk showed he can play, jeff green is a great player, Bradley will finally be healthy from the start, marshon brooks has a chip on his shoulder, and rondo will show again why he’s the best natural pg in the league. everyone is counting us out. and that’s totally fine by me. put the pressure on someone else. i’ll be happy to see all the surprised faces around the country,.

      • asdf says:

        You must be dreaming. C’s have a legitimate chance to make the playoffs, but they aren’t better than any of these teams. They just lack the talent overall.

  44. Jess says:

    1) Bulls
    2) Pacers
    3) Heat
    4) Knicks
    5) Nets (or maybe another team)

    My reasoning behind the ranking is that BOTH the bulls and pacers were within seconds or within 1 or 2 plays of eliminating the heat from the playoffs. Don’t forget that this was with both teams having one of their top scorers out. Miami STILL DOES NOT have a good center. You don’t think Noah or Hibert are going to come back with more fire??? Unless they can get oden to sign or find a good center, Miami will be eliminated from the playoffs this season (as much as I like lebron). Bulls and Pacers have all the right pieces. Good centers, good scorers, good bench, and most importantly 1 or 2 good defenders on both teams (Butler and George).. Heat will be 3rd with all the obvious.. Knicks and nets still don’t have good defenders.. Knicks over the Nets jus based on speed and chemistry.

  45. Robert says:

    I do consider all of the ideas you have offered for your post. They’re very convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are too brief for novices. May you please prolong them a little from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

  46. art says:

    how come that you guys are all for heat. its just a simple arithmetic. heat minus miller is a very different bench in miami and wade is getting older and bosh is is not the way he was two years ago. pacers plus granger, could be at the bench. bulls might be better this year with d rose. nets remains to be seen. and knicks are just good offensively but not defensively even wiht mwp,

  47. Luke says:

    Knicks being dismissed too easy here. Rose will need more than 12 months to get back to his best. Nets coaching staff will have a big job ahead of them to reinvigorate Pierce and Garnett (Terry’s a nobody). My 5 are Heat Pacers Knicks Bulls and then Nets. This is based on nothing in particular, same as the report itself and ensuing comments.

  48. J says:

    1 heat
    2 bulls
    3 pacers
    4 nets
    5 knicks

    things could change still with oden Jennings and others not yet signed

  49. ChrisDavid says:

    Cavaliers‘ Mike Brown knows how to win in Cleveland and knows how to utilize bigs, and Cavz have a lot of them.

    Irving is a budding superstar and will be backed up by Jarret Jack who is more than capable for the job.

    Wizards have shown they can be very good with a healthy John Wall last year. With the development of their young guys, especially Beal, and a bunch of very good veterans, they’re a playoff team that can do damage in the playoffs. Think GSW last season.

  50. ChrisDavid says:

    76ers is obviously in tanking mode, Magic are still developing, Bucks slides because of the other teams improving and them getting worse, Bobcats are promising, Pistons will be easily figured out by opposing defenses with logjam at the frontcourt, Celtics will still be competitive with Rondo at the point and teammates who will compete(Green, Bradley, Sullinger, Wallace, Olynik), Raptors are built for the playoffs but unfortunately there are 8 teams better than them.

  51. ChrisDavid says:

    Knicks are a very very good team but the other 4 teams are just better. Only way they would have a shot at homecourt is if Amare becomes the Amare when he first came to the Knicks and learns how to defend, Bargnani becomes consistent, Felton be the Felton pre-Nuggets trade.

    Bulls are very capable to take the top seed this year but I think they would be pacing themselves to avoid injuries; thus, sacrificing a higher seeding for a chance to be healthy in the playoffs. But if they play the way they’ve been playing the past 3 seasons, they would be the number 1 seed but will be limping in the playoffs again.

    Pacers will be legit contenders this year. With just 1 game from advancing to the NBA Finals, the team will be hungry. They have All-Star Paul Goerge in a contract year, Hibbert oozing in confidence for his achievements last playoffs, re-signed their MIP(David West) have Danny Granger back, and a capable back-up PG in CJ Watson. Larry Bird is also back in the front office.. and we know Larry doesn’t like players playing like ‘sissies’.

    Heat still has the best chance of winning it all though I rank them 2nd for the regular season. The reason I put them here is because teams will now have their injured superstars back in their roster and teams will now have figured out how to beat the Heat for all the air-time they have in the playoffs. Fatigue can also become a factor and a reason they would be dropping to 2nd seed in the East.

    Nets have a very complete roster. They are the most optimal prototypical team for me. They have a loaded starting line-up and a very deep bench. They can go big(Johnson, Pierce, Kirilenko, Garnet, Lopez), small(DWill, Terry, Johnson, Kirilenko, Garnet), 3pt-heavy(Dwill, Terry, Johnson, Pierce, Garnet), defensive(Dwill, Pierce, Kirilenko, Evans, Garnet), and any line-up you can think of.. they have the pieces for it. Pressure, health issues, Kidd being inexperienced as a Head Coach would be a problem for this team but they are still legit contenders capable of winning it all.

    • BillWaltonFanClub says:

      Tu shay brother, I couldn’t agree more with you, except slightly on the defensive line up; probably just keep jj instead of pp, but other than that, i think you nailed it! This Nets team has all the makings for another “all coming together at the right time” kind of magic very similar to the ’08 Celtics, who never looked back from day one to the trophy presentation.

  52. ChrisDavid says:

    1) Nets -Title Contenders-
    2) Heat -Title Contenders-
    3) Pacers -Title Contenders-
    4) Bulls -Title Contenders-
    5) Knicks
    6) Hawks
    7) Wizards
    8) Cavaliers
    9) Raptors
    10) Celtics
    11) Pistons
    12) Bobcats
    13) Bucks
    14) Magic
    15) 76ers

    • Pakyaw says:

      Trust me , bulls is not a title contender.. Those kind of roster in their team , is not for contender… And bulls is a injured prone team..

  53. Hornets are back in Charlotte, can we get the Sonics back in Seattle? says:

    Find it hard to believe not one of these experts rates Cleveland over New York. Mike Brown will have the Cavs playing some hard nut D, they can score, they’ve just added a #1 draft pick who can play from the word go and signed a man who when healthy(mind and body) is probably the best all-round C in the game. If Bynum can even manage 20 minutes a game he’s gonna have a big impact. I wouldn’t write off Washington either as a chance to sneak into the top 5, it’s gonna click there eventually, might be 2013-2014. Go Bulls!!!

  54. Neil Young says:

    Surprise! The Heat have already won next year’s trophy, and will win 18 straight championships, with three perfect seasons. Next 9 years MVP: Lebron (best player imaginable, past present or future). Defensive player of the year: Chris Bosh. Rookie of the year: Dwyane Wade. Scoring crown: Birdman, Winningest coach in NBA history: Erik Spoelstra.

  55. steagl3 says:

    If everything goes according to plan it should be Miami and Brooklyn in the ECF next year. Paul Pierce is LeBron’s top competitor from a win/loss standpoint (I think they’re just about 50-50 in that dept with the playoff edge going to LeBron after this past season). Sure PP is quite a bit older but he has and can continue to guard LeBron when needed and you know KG will step in also. What will be more important IMO is the guarding of D-Wade and the wingmen which I don’t have supreme confidence in Joe Johnson or D-Will in that department. Still, on paper, and if everyone remains healthy, the history of these players points to a Brooklyn-Miami matchup which I think would be an outstanding series and definitely a ratings buster.

  56. Cripple Rapist says:

    I don’t know about you guys, but… here’s my list in the EAST
    CHICAGO… Their bench got weaker comparing them to 2010 bulls… see the difference so you may have an idea…

    rising teams in any order.. CAVS Kyrie Erving,WIZARDS John Wall ,RAPTORS Rudy Gay,CELTICS Rajon Rondo,PISTONS Josh Smith specially if smith plays for 3 spot… These teams still have a legit allstar in their rosters…

  57. NBA Anaylist says:

    The Bulls did the worst job of acquiring talent than any other team this off season. Rose notwithstanding, And they dont even h-ave a 7 footer on the roster. While every other contender finds a way to get the bench pieces they need. the Bulls are forever making excuses.

    Addition by subtraction is not good math.. They just loss Nate Robinson, Beineli, and Rip Hamilton. They got Tony Snell and Dunlevy. No talent or depth upgrade at all. When Jokim gets hurt this year, they will not have any depth at center either.. Last year they could have picked up Greg Birdman Anderson but went the cheap route and got Malcom Thomas who the just cut.

    As long as the Bulls are cheap they will always be Second City, By the way, if you have not noticed they are sacrificing this seasond for next year to get the next Tony Kukoc – AKA Great white hope– AKA Mirotic. Tell me we have not seen that one before.

  58. kenny says:


  59. with derrick rose back the bulls are going to be more powerful than any team except the heat with derrick rose back formacl and with the addition of mike dunleavy
    1 heat, 2 bulls, 3 nets, 4 knicks, 5 pacers

  60. jonny says:

    The Celtics didn’t work when they played in Boston, and the Celtics aren’t going to work playing in New Jersey

  61. […] Blogtable: The top five in the East […]

  62. Mothebeast says:

    The top 5 guaranteed no.1 heat Lebron is not going to stop the guy is just to big, fast, and one of the best d.fenders in the game today no.2 Knicks. Melo is just getting used to the team I think they should look to trade jr smith for a better player unless jr can stay consistent pacers reason why I pick the pacers no.3 is because I don’t think paul George is ready to take this team to a championship YET. No4 bulls bulls are going to be dominant next season with or without rose they have a great team I think they would of had the heat if it wasn’t for a lack of bench players next season if rose comes back like he left then they will be unstoppable but I think rose wont be 100% mentally back for another 2 years and no.5 most people might laugh but the cavs are going to be the most improved team with kyrie Irving ready to lead and Bynum choosing t go to the cavs the need one more good player I think to win the championship maybe pick up Rudy gay or joe Johnson but even without them I think they will make it to the playoffs easily no.5 The reason why nets are not on my top 5 is because they are going to be like the la lakers last year too many old guys don’t equil up to a championship they injuries I think will hurt their season

  63. Pacers 4 Champs!! says:

    I honestly think that with the offseason that the Pacers’ had, they have become the #1 team in the east. The Bulls, & and Derrick Rose, should think that their big men aren’t getting any better, Nate Robinson is gone (No bench depth), and Derrick rose will probably not be an MVP candidate like he was before he got injured. The Knicks, although acquiring MWP, have no defensive backbone. Tyson Chandler is getting old, Carmelo takes too many shots ( he kinda has to ), and they live and die behind the 3pt line. The Nets had a strong offseason, but they must stay healthy and need to find chemistry (highly unlikely) before the playoffs. Last but not least, The defending champs, Miami Heat. What Miami doesn’t understand is that they need a big man, Chris Bosh is at most a PF. If they do happen to get Greg Oden, they can probably compete with the Pacers. Indiana will win the east, they will probably finish 1-3rd seed and will thrive the playoffs.

  64. faruq says:

    Can not wait to see the bulls lose. Pacers are by far the better team two series vs heat have gon 8-5 bulls heat is 8-2. Pacers are deeper and match up better with miami. Pacers and miami at the top bulls may not even be ahead of the nets. But watching them lose this playoffs, I’m gonna record every bulls playoff game just to replay it, when they get eliminated. I HATE bulls fans, so dillutional

  65. Will I Am says:

    I have read all these comment. All I have to say is Miami is Miami. How can u put Indiana in front of the BULLS. Indiana won 4 more games then the Bulls when they was running there offense through Noah. Wow. Really. Indiana the second best team in the east? No I dont think so. For the NYC’s teams I think I done said to much already.

  66. tom mcdonald says:

    How can the Pacers not be better this coming season. Paul George is just getting rolling. He is likely to come back stronger and a stronger defender. Gilbert is going to continue to refine his game and is a dominant rebounder as it is. You know what you get from West even if he gets a little nervous.
    Can you imagine the Pacers we saw push Miami to the limit with a healthy Granger and Watson coming off of the bench?
    This is a team with a team concept. They are hungry, talented, deap, and will be better.
    I don’t know if Miami will get any better, but Indiana certainly will

  67. And bulls fans I think they are being nice ya should be four or five Brooklyn will be better for one year at least.Guys still will have problems scoring Deng will probably have health issues again and rose will have limitations. People seem forget the man tore a muscle had surgery and you think he will be in MVP form right away come on something that would take any of us year before we could just jog . Look the first few months the coach will montored and limint his mins and he will be out of game shape after all star break you guys will either go on a run and challenge the 2 and or 3 seed but ended up in the four seed sorry. And before ya troll on me and bring up the playoffs last year Brooklyn was three shot jackets, Wallace who never really fit in, some guy who was with a kardishain,and some other guys in jerseys. Now u have a coach and three players with rings who all won the rings not in the prime but when the sacrificed for the team. Kg terry Paul so this year Brooklyn will be a team with five double dight scorers and two bigs that can average a double and a deep bench that can run with any bench.

  68. Eric W says:

    Bulls, with MVP Rose and home court advantage, lost 4-1 to Big Three Miami at its worst. Miami will be better than it was that year and the Bulls will have a while before Rose is at 100%. Miami is easily #1 in the regular season, and Indiana should also be higher than the Bulls as that team has shown it can truly challenge the Heat. Miami threepeats, and rebuild the roster after the big three opt out and resign.

    • Chiraq says:

      That was the year the Bulls heavily depended on D Rose tho. Coach thibs use his bench more so they will not repeat

  69. dre says:

    listen men this is the NBA anything can happen but D rose will not change anything the heat will be on top of their game pacers are going to kill NY again nets are going to crush every team other than the heat

  70. Melomvp says:

    I think Nets and bulls seems to be overrated.. Not bec. Drose is back it means they will be better than last season it might change maybe they will have more wins but wont make landing at 2 or 3 same goes to Nets.. Not bec. They had the best starting line up in papers doesnt mean they are good or better than knicks thats the same thing happen last season they say nets will be the new face of new york but what happen who won the atlantic division, who end up no.2 in east that almost stayed at 1 if the team just stayed healthy, reporters always knocking the knicks out of the top 4 but, did they saw what happen last season after having coach woodson as a full time coach they been no.1 in east for almost 3 months and still they done the same thing now noT learning for the last year season.. They think brooklyn still be better than knicks.. Knicks still had the core of the team from last season. Im not comparing but knicks 2nd unit still can be as good as the nets starters..
    Starter of knicks…
    Mwp/ bargnani

    Off the bench
    Smith ( 6th man of the year)
    Stat ( all star player 6*)
    Kmart( been one of the league top pwer forward)

    What nets had?

    • chigchig says:

      hahaha are you kidding?

      so you think smith, stat, pablo, kmart and barg/MWP is better then KG, deron, JJ, Pierce and brookes (they are all all stars) hell on paper that starting 5 is top 3 in the league according to accomplishments and skill.

      there bench isnt bad either, althought i disagree with them getting AK for that price.. robbery!
      kirelenko, blatche, terry, reggie,

    • bball247 says:

      Knicks bench better than Nets starters…REALLY? As a fan I understand bias but come on man! Pablo better than DWill (uh NO!)…Stoudamire NOW! not 8 years ago with Suns but better than Garnett or Pierce or AK47 now (uh hell NO!)…JR Smith who had to realize his value in the NBA and return to the Knicks rejected by others or MWP better than Joe Johnson or Paul Pierce… (this is the closest comparison but even at his age Pierce plays smarter and more efficiently than Smith and Johnson even with his tendency to play down to his ability is more of a winning impact player than J.R. ). Kmart just needs to retire! I’ll take Blatche, Reggie Evans, or AK47 anyday over him in 2013. Shumpert, Melo, and Chandler are ballers all day. Felton balls when he feels like being part of a team. The rest of the Knicks are just roster spots Mike Woodson can hopefully coach up! Problem is Knicks have ZERO scoring in the post and not enough consistent wing help for Melo … and how did they solve that problem; by picking up Bargani a player more one dimensional than Stoudamire!

  71. J Heat says:

    Grainger coming back won’t matter for the Pacers, because they’re honestly better without him, with the minutes going to Paul George or Lance Stephenson. Derrick Rose, God bless his knee, doesn’t have a superstar wingman amongst the bunch to compete with the Heat, and losing Nate Robinson is a bigger blow than people think. For the Nets, Deron Williams needs to lose weight for them to contend. In addition, guarding Wade and Lebron with Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce is an absolute joke, especially when the Nets only have KG to rebound the ball.

    • Buck says:

      Forget about Brook Lopez, Andre Blatche, and that Reggie Evans fellow who had multiple 20-10 games? Brooklyn is stacked on the inside quite nicely. Defense is what is going to define them, but people forget they were a 49 win teM with Deron Williams not fitting well in Avery Johnsons system the first half of the season. This is a team that minus KG and Pierce had a great start to 2013 in January, including taking out OKC on the road decidingly, and beating the Places in a season series. KG and Pierce are a little defensive liabilities, but not anymore than Kris Humphries was, realistically. The difference is, they provide a lot of half court offense that practically forces a zone defense.

      • Me says:

        KG is a defensive liability?????

      • EA says:

        Buck Know basketball please… KG is a X defensive player of the year means number 1 in the league and he is still great just not as quick on the feet as he use to be and with help but never a liability never. Also for J Heat. You forgot about a beast Brook Lopez.

    • chigchig says:

      yeah pacers lose mins to either stephenson or granger and granger actually stunts PGs growth coz he is a less athletci version of him

      nets will be alright and are actually built for playoffs now.. i am actually predicting they play east finals.. deron is good but isnt a number 1 option neither is JJ.. PP though, the truth proved he is.. and you have KG concentraing solely on defense and hustle and brooke maning the post for offense.. plus there bench comes on and are a decent mob.. cant wait for start of the season

    • Yave says:

      The Nets got Lopez who I think is better than Bosh and averaged like 7 or 8 boards a game so they can still out rebound miami

  72. bluenorange says:

    Stop with the heard mentality out of 30 jounalist last year no one had the KNICKS…Have an original thought .Think outside the box.So disrespectful!! to borrow a phrase.Knicks finish one at worst two and you dont want to have to come to the garden.MSG.We have a defensive presence now to go along with our offense.By the way check to see what team wds the most efficient last year offensively.New York 1 Miami two. Youy have just been taped.Knickstaaaappppppped.

  73. J Heat says:

    This is the year the Heat learn to dominate. No team comes close to the Heat. So while the other teams work out their chemistry issues because they’ve brought in different pieces, the Heat are already better because their core rotation has not changed. If they learn how to get Bosh involved in the pose, nobody from the East will be able to take more than two games from the Heat in the playoffs.

  74. v says:

    Get real people. Besides point guard, the pacers and heat are better at every other position. The constant labeling of this team as threat to heat is always amusing because they are about a 4-1 threat to heat as has been the case in last three playoffs. I y s heat/pacers and everyone else. Maybe nets depending on jason kidd’s coaching. Bulls and bulls fans, get real. This all heart no talent roster is played out, D-rose is the truth but so LBJ in Cleveland and look how well he won titles there.

  75. sports fan says:

    I think after the regular season the standings could very well be 1.Miami 2.Indiana 3.Chicago 4.Brooklyn 5.New York
    But come playoff time anything can happen, especially with the top 4. Since Miami went 7 games against Indiana & were pushed to 7 games in the finals (almost lost the championship in game 6) it will be that much harder for them to threepeat. It’s very possible the Heat can be knocked out in a 7 game series in the 2nd round. The eastern conference finals could end up being any combo between Indiana, Chicago, & Brooklyn – these 3 teams are going to be very very hungry come playoff time.

    • chigchig says:

      hungrier then lebron trying to catch kobe and jordan as 3peaters/ even further cement his legacy as a GOAT contender? i think not..

      wade will be wade (19-5-5 and some defensive goodies) and bosh will get his through the reg season (19/7) that with lebron tryna catch jordan makes me put them as favourites to 3peat and will coem out of the east (might get pushed to 7 but in the lebron MIA era they havent lost a game 7 or a series except to the mavs)..

      btw im not even a miami fan.. im just a ‘have u seen that dude lebron’ spectator lol

  76. Wall Ball says:

    The Bulls have been doubted by many. In order to win the chip we know we have to go thru the Heat. DRose and Thibs have said that DRose is 110 and 100%. We will see. The starting 5 has improved with Jimmy Butler being a playmaker now. Dunleavy, Kirk and Snell, Taj and Snell coming off is all they need. Loul or Butler will play with them anyway. I’m not doubting Indiana, in fact, I love their team and Paul George is a monster! Miami is Miami. Without the fix being in last year, they wouldn’t have won it. Great TV but this fix thing is getting old! Old just like Dwade has gotten over the past few seasons. Melo needs to share the wealth. If he moved the ball, played more d and rebounded the rock I could see him leading his team further in the playoffs. D Will is soft! He’s not a champion. He can win games but his lack of focus will also lose games. His killer instinct is questionable. I love Paulie and KG. They are both winners and champions. I’d like to see them do it again but not this year since D 1 is back! My rankings are as follow:Chicago, Indiana, Miami, Brooklyn, New York, Cleveland, Washington, Toronto

  77. ItalianNate says:

    I feel like the bulls are highly overrated. I am fine with Miami a number one, because even though some key bench players will be one year older, they still have the mvp and two great players to help him out. At number two I see Indiana, even if Granger does not return the Pacers have made great free agency moves. The Brooklyn Nets would be the number three team to me: they signed 5 players in the off-season and all of them are proven players in the league, if you add Williams, Lopez and Johnson it makes up for a great core. I think the fact that Kidd has no coaching experience will not have too much of an influence in the regular season. The fight for number four is a tight one but I still see New York as a favorite. Although a lot will depend on how the players at the four spot will play coming off injuries(Amar’e and Bargnani), but the core of the team remains the same as last year’s so they know each other and chemistry will help. The Bulls to me are coming in at five because they dismantled their entire bench, and now all they got are their starters. And the anticipated DRose return is not going to have an immediate impact, when a PG sits out for a year it takes a while to get the rhythm and the feel for the game back. I am not questioning his talent. As far as the other players go I feel like Deng may be already thinking about his destination for next year, and I have a feeling Chicago will try and dish him off before the trade deadline, and the rumors will have a bad impact on the player

  78. newyorksteelo says:

    Yall are a bunch of sell outs lol. How dare you put the Nets or even the bulls in front of the Knicks. New York has gotten better every year as they play together more and will continue to improve. Nonsense 🙂

  79. Simba says:

    I love that my Knicks are being counted out and overlooked. It puts less pressure on us going into the season the same way these writers predicted a 5th/6th seed berth last season. The one thing the Knicks have over the Nets is continuity and that will play a big role towards who has the better seeding come playoffs. The Bulls bench isn’t as great as everyone is hyping it up to be, they have major holes to address. Their defense will get them by but if anyone gets injured for prolonged stretches they don’t have the bodies that can just step up. I predict it will again be Indy and NY battling it out for the 2 spot although I have questions about if the Heat can sustain their league dominance for another season. I mean this is their 4th year and they’ve gone to Finals the last 3 times meaning they’ve played more games than anyone else. Throw in the Olympics that was right in the middle of this run and you have to wonder if wear and tear won’t affect one of their stars, possibly even LeBron. All in all, I just don’t think there’s going to be that big a shake up when it comes to the playoff seedings of the top 5 teams from last season in the East.

  80. ac says:

    NYK 2014 champs baby!

    Probably not, but I guarantee we will finish with a better record than Brooklyn AND beat them in a series if we meet them in the playoffs. KG, Pierce, and Joe Johnson are all washed up + Deron Williams and Brook Lopez are starting to not be able to stay fully healthy.

  81. theholyspectator says:

    3 peat for miami heat, everyone else are simply filler teams…people still dont recognize that the best basketball player on earth hasnt even peaked yet..

  82. amitpal says:

    The top five is going to be 1 bulls, 2.heat, 3. indiana, 4. Nets, 5 knicks. Under tom thibs bulls like getting the first seed and the bulls r arugably the best regular season team under thibs. That doesnt mean theyre the best team.The second place is a toss up for miami and Indiana. The nets will need time to get chemistry together plus a rookie coach. The nets could possibly end in 5 with knicks coming fourth.

    • Joel belza says:

      Haha funny

    • AL says:

      Until the Bulls can beat the Heat, don’t you dare put them #1. 2011, they got murdered by the Heat in 5 games after took the first home game. In 2013, they also got murdered in 5 games (lost 4 games straight).

  83. #BULLS says:

    The bulls are kinda being over looked here… I love it! These same critics a few years back didnt even have the bulls in the top 5 in 2010. N we went to the confrence finals lead by a guy playing on a rookie contract. Only in his 3rd year and got an MVP award and made the nba create a rule for players like him the following season. I love when the bulls suprise ppl lol. our bench has improved a lot. Because last years starting point guard is now the back up for our super star pg. We have a true shooter now. Still have Taj. N we will add more as well. But this team is deep. You saw what 1/3 of our team did in the playoffs… Lol playingwith house money….

  84. #BULLS says:

    The bulls are kinda being over looked here… I love it! These same critics a few years back didnt even have the bulls in the top 5 in 2010. N we went to the confrence finals lead by a guy playing on a rookie contract. Only in his 3rd year and got an MVP award and made the nba create a rule for players like him the following season. I love when the bulls suprise ppl lol. our bench has improved a lot. Because last years starting point guard is now the back up for our super star pg. We have a true shooter now. Still have Taj. N we will add more as well. But this team is deep. You saw what 1/3 of our team did in the playoffs… Lol playingwith house money…

    • slider821 says:

      they are being looked over, but thats because no one knows how DRose will come back. I’d love to see him come back to his previous self. But we’ve also seen the worst case happen to another team (BRoy), so no one really knows.

    • manie says:

      the bulls haven’t made to the east final therefore they have to prove themselves. Booser and Noa are not going to be any better and we have seen the bulls at full strength finishing with the best record but regular season awards to don’t guarantee and playoff success

      • dracula says:

        They Have Made It To The Eastern Conference Finals

      • norques says:

        Wauw! You dont make any sense. Boozer and Noa had huge seasons. Boozer averaging 16 & 10, Noah 11 & 10. IN THE PO’s. They wont have to be better with a healthy DR. The bulls need more buckets. But not from those to guys. Simple as that. Please explain your horrific standpoint 😀

    • NJ_Nets says:

      Overlooked??? They are either 2nd or third on everyone’s list in the east. You can’t expect them to be rated over the 2 time defending champions, and there is a big x-factor when your best player hasn’t played in over a year and half. The team being overlooked is the Nets… they added KG, PP, and AK and everyone has them in the same place they finished last season… as if they haven’t improved at all with their moves. Now that they are Nets, all of a sudden KG and PP are too old? If they were on any other team, it would be a different story. Anyone in their right mind would have loved for their team to add KG, PP, and AK… period.

    • Kaare says:

      what rule?

    • PacersZealot says:

      Why do you have to make your post so hard to read? I read the first sentence and was semi interested in reading the rest, but your paragrapgh is mostly broken and indecipherable. I have never been a bulls fan (growing up in the Reggie Miller era of Indiana Pacers history) but I do occasionally enjoy reading about the discontent of other less talented teams in the league. So please make your next post a little more legible in order for us to get full amusement out of it. Thanks 🙂

    • Michael says:

      Regarding the Derrick Rose Rule, it was not created because of him, but was dubbed so because when the rule was created, Rose was the only player eligible to sign such a contract.