We don’t have to wait that long because the NBA season will officially kick off in a few days. We are all excited top see our favorite teams and players square off against each other in hopes of reaching the Finals. Big trades happened during the off-season and we are all focused and waiting to see if things will work for the Big Three of Boston Celtics. The arrival of Rashard Lewis by Orlando Magic also brings a whole new twist to the competition in the used-to-be mediocre Eastern Conference. Having said that, I now present to you my top 8 teams of the Eastern Conference:
Detroit Pistons – Even if the Pistons are filled with veterans, they will still be a dominant force in the Eastern Conference. Team work and experience are key factors in winning.
Boston Celtics – With the advent of the Celtics’ Big Three (Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen), this former lottery team turned into a championship contender overnight. The three stars are undeniably great players, but will they find the right chemistry? We wait and see how it goes.
Miami Heat – If the Heat can keep their players healthy, especially Shaquille O’neal and Dwayne Wade, this ball club might another chance for a title run. This team has enough talent, but they must avoid injuries if they are to make a run for the Larry O’Brien.
Chicago Bulls – Ben Gordon and Luol Deng are expected to get extension contracts with the Bulls. The young and talented Bulls will be able to make their way to the playoffs, but they need a dominant big man now that Garnett is in the East. Rookie big man Joakim Noah can add depth to their roster, but let’s face it, he’s just a rookie.
New Jersey Nets – The triumvirate of Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson is intact and the returning Nenad Krstic COULD spell the difference. But even with Krstic back, the Nets still need a decent rebounder and shot blocker.
Cleveland Cavaliers – Lebron James can’t do it alone. The Cavaliers need to toughen up their roster and get help for King James. The absence of Anderson Varejao and Sasha Pavlovic will leave the Cavs bench thinner than the previous season.
Orlando Magic – Dwight Howard is emerging as a dominant big man in the East and the addition of Rashard Lewis to the Magic gives them better opportunity this season. But they still need to improve the roster depth of the team if they intend to go deep into the playoffs. This year’s line up is better than the previous season, but this is still not a championship contender.
Toronto Raptors – The Raptors are already nice team but they are quite young. Andrea Bargnani needs to improve especially in rebounding. Chris Bosh is already a 20-10 threat and if Bargnani can elevate his game and have double-double figures, the Raptors might land in the higher seeds in the playoffs. Toughening up their roster is also crucial to their success.