Reef’s Way Too Early NBA Eastern Conference Rankings for Next Season

Eastern Conference

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers – With LBJ, Kyrie still on the team, they will still be on top of the Eastern Conference.
  2.  Toronto Raptors – They lose Bismack off the bench, but resigned DeRozan.  They will still be up there but have less than their 56 wins from last year.
  3.  Indiana Pacers- The Pacers were only 3 games back from 3 seed last year and finally gain a true point guard with Teague, a rebounder and scorer with Thaddeus and add in Jefferson…and possibly Stephenson returning.  I’m having Pacers as a 3 seed and possibly leaping to a 2 seed next year.
  4. Boston Celtics – Brad Stevens has taken this underrated team and had 48 wins and added Al Horford.  They will be a factor but less than the 48 wins from last year.
  5.  Miami Heat – Miami resigned Whiteside (and still waiting to hear on Wade) and lost Joe Johnson and Luol Deng, the Heat will still be a top 5 team in East with Whiteside, Bosh and possibly Wade. If Wade is gone, likely a 6-7 seed.
  6. Washington Wizards- Wiz get new coach Scott Brooks and resigned Beal and signed free agent Ian Mahamni to tighten up the middle.  Wall  & Beal will improve from their 41 win season a year ago.
  7. Atlanta Hawks – It is hard to figure out the Hawks who are in rebuilding mode.  They lost Teague and Horford and add the toxicity of Dwight Howard.  I think Atlanta will likely be between a 7-9 seed and slip from their performance from last year.
  8. New York Knicks – This has to be the year the Knicks makes it back to the playoffs.  They added Rose, Noah, Lee to roster which should improve from the dismal 32 wins last year.
  9.  Detroit Pistons – I think the Pistons will stay around the 42-43 win total next year as they were last year.
  10.  Charlotte Hornets – So you resign Batum to 5 yrs $120 mill and sign Roy Hibbert…it’s only downhill for the Hornets this year.  Will not be close to the 48 win total of last year.
  11.  Chicago Bulls – Lose Rose and Noah, and gain……….. Denzel Valentine & Rajon Rondo Bulls will have another low 40 win season.
  12.  Orlando Magic – New coach Frank Vogel loses Oladipo and gains Imbaka. Frank can’t be happy with losing their explosive player.  Growing season for Orlando.
  13. Milwaukee Bucks- I’m probably low on Milwaukee who has a talented squad but I think they will be in a log jam with NY, Detroit, Charlotte, and Chicago for anything from 8th to 13th.
  14. Brooklyn Nets- The only notable signing was paying too much for Heat’s Tyler Johnson…likely another sub 24 win season for Brooklyn.
  15. Philadelphia 76ers –The 76ers will improve with Simmons but not enough for the coach to keep his job and will improve with at least 18 wins this year.
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