The powerhouse of the Eastern Conference containing a majority of teams who can foreseeably make the postseason. As we get closer and closer to the NBA Tip off, be sure to check out the past articles for the NBA previews. Less than 24 hours till game time! Lehhhhhgo *Trey Songz Voice*
Chicago Bulls (ended 2015-16 9th in the Eastern Conference, 42-40):
Last year the Bulls barely missed the postseason. This year, they are definitely not making the postseason. They signed Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo to create an all new backcourt shifting Jimmy Butler to SF. The previews of this team in the preseason showed they have a lot of work to do. Robin Lopez manning the middle with Taj Gibson at the 4 makes this starting lineup weak with the shooting. This wouldn’t be so bad if this lineup excelled at stopping the opposition. Since that is not the case alongside a team with a dearth of shooters, this season is going a struggle all year round. Unless Rondo and Wade find their shot and MCW decides he can shoot a jump shot, I expect this team to be barely in the playoff hunt until being left behind by the competitors.
34-48 is my prediction for the season.
Cleveland Cavaliers (ended 2015-16 1st in the Eastern Conference, 57-25):
The defending champs are back with some new weapons in the form of new young players via the draft and Mike Dunleavy. Shooters galore everywhere you look and LeBron loves having shooters around him. These guys are the team to beat in the East and getting JR Smith back put them way over for me. Their starting lineup is solid and their bench is deep. The only issue is the backup PG issue. This can be fixed with staggering LeBron and Kyrie minutes as well as having Iman and JR handle the ball. Kay Felder can be a solution if he is given minutes to prove himself. All in all, I see the Cavs maintaining their alpha position in the East all the way to the NBA Finals
59-23 is my prediction for the season.
Detroit Pistons (ended 2015-16 8th in the Eastern Conference, 44-38):
Last season, Reggie Jackson and Andre Drummond led the team to the postseason after a long hiatus. This year with training camp under their belt with the new additions to the team, I expect a higher position for this team. Reggie will miss the first quarter of the season but when he returns I expect them to climb up the conference at full strength. I like Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris but they need to play off each other better for this partnership to work. I believe they can be a top four team in the east, if they can pull it together.
49-33 is my prediction for the season.
Indiana Pacers (ended 2015-16 7th in the Eastern Conference, 45-37):
This team worked hard to get into the playoffs with Paul George back on the court. The new upgrades over the summer have me excited on the new identity of the team going forward. Jeff Teague/Thaddeus Young/Al Jefferson make solid additions and help George with the offensive workload. How Teague and Monta Ellis work together is a major issue (seeing that Ellis works better as the primary ball handler). If this team finds their groove, I can see them challenging the Pistons for the second spot in the Central division and could be a perfect foil to the Cavs. There are a lot of what ifs though but this team on paper is intriguing.
51-31 is my prediction for the season.
Milwaukee Bucks (ended 2015-16 12th in the Eastern Conference, 33-49):
This team is stuck in limbo due to some people still on the team i.e. Greg Monroe. Your big signing from two seasons ago is coming off the bench and doesn’t fit the defensive schemes you have going on. Prime example with the coaching staff and the front office people are not on the same page. Moving Giannis to the PG position makes this team scary but losing Khris Middleton means not having their long range bombers. Trading for Tony Snell and Michael Beasley are small band aids to a huge scar with the Middleton injury. I think Jabari Parker will make a big Also what is happening with John Henson? Will they start him at PF or have him backup Miles Plumlee at C? So many questions Jason Kidd will need to solve this year (good luck J Kidd because you will need it). At full strength, this team barely makes the playoffs. I say they get an extra win or two at most.
35-47 is my prediction for the season