Maybe it's a little too early, but I have a simple request for everyone (and please hold me to it too). Let's stop calling the Eastern Conference the Leastern Conference or the NBA's JV Division this year. The huge disparity between the East and West just isn't there anymore after this past summer. Some ballas from the West namely Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis, Zach Randolph, Jason Richardson, Troy Murphy (joking) and Mike Dunleavy (bad joke) are now in the NBA's Far East. 2k7 Draft picks Al Horford, Yi Jianlian, Joakim Noah, Acie Law, Rodney Stuckey, and Nick Young should help make this conference better both now and in the long run.
The East is back!
But who knows? Maybe I'm completely off and it's all just a mirage and the East is still the Least.
Make jump for this year's GSoM Eastern Conference Preview.
Forget the regular season records, this who will have the POWER in the East by the end of the season:
|1||As much as it pains me to see Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge's collusion help those "woe is me" Celtics' fans, media, and organization, this is the team to beat in the East.|
|2||They're old, but they're savvy. They're emotionally instable, but they're smart. They're over confident, but they've made it to 5 straight Eastern Conference Finals. They're a walking contradiction, but don't doubt them.|
|3||This is the most puzzling and hardest to project team in the NBA. They could win it all or they could miss the playoffs entirely.|
|4||Sure the Rashard Lewis 110 million dollar deal was pure comedy, but pair him with Dwight Howard (he's a beast!) and they're a force this season. Maybe Stan Van Gundy can help Dwight Howard become that dominant player he should be.|
|5||The most overrated team in the league. They didn't pull the trigger on a Pau Gasol trade last season and paid dearly in the Semifinals (though I give them a ton of credit for knocking out the banged up Heat). They won't pull the trigger on a Kobe Bryant trade this season and they'll pay dearly.|
|6||LeBron my man- say hello to double and triple teams nightly. Is there any poorer of a fit for Coach Mike Brown's slowdown game than Larry Hughes?|
|7||For awhile there I actually though Isiah had a plan. I thought he was trying to build something resembling the OG Detroit Piston Bad Boys in the big apple. Little did I realize that he was actually trying to bring back the Fat Boys. There's no other way to explain the Twinkie Trio of Eddy Curry, Zach Randolph, and Jerome James.|
|8||If they do the smart thing and package RJ in a deal for Jermaine O'Neal, they'll return to the Eastern Conference Finals. Kidd, Vinsanity, and Jermaine versus The Truth, Ray-Ray, and KG- oooh, the Eastern Conference Finals would be so much fun. Until then they're just scratching to make the playoffs in the much-improved Eastern Conference.|
|9||Raymond Felton, Jason Richardson, Gerald Wallace, and Emeka Okafor are a very, very respectable unit. I expect them to contend up until the last week of the regular season for a playoff spot and possibly even make it to the East's elite 8. On a side note, how come their games aren't televised on BET? 106 & Park would make a great pre-game show.|
|10||I wish our old friends on the Washington Warriors all the best, but I just don't see them having much luck this season. They've got too many problems down low and on D. Don't sleep on Andray Blatche though.|
|11||I hate to see this team return to Craptor status especially when they have such great fans, but what can you do? Last year was a fluke.|
|12||They probably won't be that good this season, but watching Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Joe Johnson nightly is certainly a treat. The Hotlanta Hawks are finally, finally headed in the right direction.|
|13||I say we start- er, resume The Yi Movement. FREE YI!|
|14||The playoff drought ended in the Bay last season, but it's just begun in Indy. Hope they enjoy all those vanilla flavored losses- hey they asked for it. Jermaine O'Neal will be gone by February. If the Warriors didn't waive Pat Burke this preseason I'd say they'd be in the driver's seat for Jermaine.|
|15||You might as well 6-6-6 this season in Philly. At least they can say they're getting Iggy with it!|
For a much more detailed look at the Eastern Conference make sure to check out:
- 2007-2008 NBA Blog Previews: Atlantic Division
- 2007-2008 NBA Blog Previews: Central Division
- 2007-2008 NBA Blog Previews: Southeast Division
How do you think the Eastern Conference will play out this year? Post your picks in the comments section and we'll see who's the genius come May.
What's on tap for the GSoM NBA Preview:
- Western Conference Power Picks (Saturday)
- NBA Hardware Picks (Sunday)