Ranking the Eastern Conference

Anyone else think the Eastern Conference trophy looks better than the O'Brien trophy?

Barring a season ending injury to either Paul Pierce, KG or Ray Allen – I find it highly probable the Celtics will repeat as Eastern Conference Champions. With a rookie head coach (Michael Curry) and virtually the same roster (unless you count Kwame Brown), the Pistons won’t pose much of a challenge. Hoopsworld Jess Camerato agrees with me. Here’s her top 10 teams in the East:

  1. Boston
  2. Cleveland
  3. Detroit
  4. Philly
  5. Toronto
  6. Orlando
  7. Washington
  8. Indiana
  9. Atlanta
  10. Miami

She’s taking heat for picking Cleveland second, but I really can’t argue. I realize Elton Brand is a beast, but Philly is already the most overrated team in the conference. Until Dwight Howard learns to dominate in crunch time (the man needs a signature, go-to move), Orlando won’t reach that next level. In the end, I don’t see much difference between the 2-6 teams. Indiana is a stretch at 8….I expect Miami to challenge for the playoffs. And Atlanta could be worse off, especially if they don’t match the $58 million contract Josh Smith just signed with Memphis.


15 Responses

  1. Here are my rankings:

    1: Celtics
    2: Doesn’t matter
    3: Doesn’t matter
    4: Doesn’t matter
    5: Doesn’t matter
    6: Doesn’t matter
    7: Doesn’t matter
    8: Doesn’t matter

    Screw ’em all… we’re repeating

  2. I think Milwaukee will challenge. They’re deeper than Miami, but there stars aren’t as good. I like Bogut.

  3. Get Indiana the hell out of there and put in Chicago or Milwaukee.

  4. wow, no way redsarmy. how can you say that? that’s insanity!! how dare you make such a bold proclamation when you have a team that has yao ming, tracy mcgrady, ron artest and shane battier? the rockets were already the second best defensive team in the league, now you bring in ron artest and you easily (leisurely easy) become the best defensive team in the league. remember, defense wins championships guys. the team who plays better defense will win it all, houston will easily be the better defensive team. plus, if the constant partying is any indication, they have allowed the championship to get to their heads way too much. they won’t repeat, they should already be working real hard. their partying indicates they aren’t nearly as hungry. teams have to be extremely disciplined to repeat, if they let up, they won’t. that’s why it’s hard to repeat, you have to be really hungry to repeat. it’s not like the 50’s and 60’s, when the lakers and celtics were able to cruise their way into winning many championships in a row. in addition, you also lost a key player in james posey. you minus james posey in the finals, and it might have been the hated lakers hoisting the trophy. you guys have zero defensive stoppers now that he is gone, we have two. there are simply many reasons to doubt they will repeat.


  5. with all due respect because I think the Rockets can be a very good team…it is not about the individual defensive talent, but about TEAM DEFENSE. If the Rockets can develop a scheme that works like the Celtics did this year, they will be a tough team to beat. Not saying unbeatable by any stretch of the imagination, but just saying

    but i thought this thread was about the Eastern Conference…

  6. you are right Eli, it’s a thread about the eastern conference, but when redsarmy talked about repeat, that included the west as well. if redsarmy had said that the celtics were going to be eastern conference champs again, then i wouldn’t have posted anything.

    on the team defense requirement, they obviously played team defense to become the second best defensive team in the league. with artest, they just got better defensively. artest will fit right in since it’s a new team, and most importantly, it’s contract year. he will want to play very well without stirring internal conflict. people feel like he will implode the team and screw their chemistry, but not under these circumstances. too much is on the line for him. new team, higher expectations and a contract year. all this will reel him in and tame him.


  7. Rockets Dynasty born 7/29/2008

    Yao Ming and Mcgrady get injured

    Rockets Dynasty dies 3/15/2008

  8. I seem to remember Paul Pierce asking to guard Kobe and shutting him down. There’s one defensive stopper. I seem to remember our power forward winning Defensive Player of the Year. So there’s your two defensive stoppers.
    You’re forgetting (or ignoring) that Artest and Battier play the same position. You’re not adding Artest to the 2nd best defensive team, you’re cutting Battier’s minutes for Artest. Therefore, they’re basically the same defensively, but upgraded offensively. Not to say they’re not a good defensive team, I just think the logic is wrong. They didn’t add a completely new defensive element, they just got a better version of what they already had.

  9. I gotta go with:
    1. Boston
    2. Detroit
    3. Cleveland
    4. Chicago
    5. Orlando
    6. Washington
    7. Philly
    8. Toronto
    9. Miami
    10. Atlanta

    I think it’s clear that Boston is 1 and Detroit is 2. Cleveland is up there, but not on their level. I really think Chicago will do well. Lets not forget this team made it to the 2nd round 2 years ago, and just had a terrible year. Throw in Derrick Rose and I think they are contenders. Dwight is an absolute beast. Washington is great on offense, but they play little defense and are injury prone. Philly looks nice on paper, but who knows if it will work. Toronto has a couple nice players. Miami is a big question, who knows if Wade will play like he used to and how Beasley will turn out. Atlanta I don’t think improved much last year, just made it in due to the lack of any good teams at the bottom of the east. I think it’s much more improved this year. There’s still only 2-3 top teams, and then 6 or 7 medicore teams that could contend.

  10. well I will tell you this, the rockets will put ron artest at power forward and shane battier at small forward but like i have always said about the rockets, I’ll be surprised to see that team stay healthy for the course of a year, ESPECIALLY yao ming, and if yao is the one to go down then im sorry you are not beating us, not with a undersized PF (Ron artest) and no other real size to contend with garnett let alone getting through the duncans and nowitzkis and gasol/bynum tandum, so once again, I would be surprised to see the rockets make it to the finals

  11. Hilarious John.

  12. Wade and Beasley might be worth 20 more wins but that’s only 35 for Miami, right? Who do they have in the frontcourt, Beasley, Blount and Haslem? Even if Beasley is the second coming, I suspect Chicago, Milwaukee and even Indiana have a chance to be ahead of them. Atlanta I think might fall way back even though they kept Smith.

    As for the Pistons, this might be the ’91 Celtics for them; I think Orlando and Cleveland (if Lebron misses hardly any games) could go by them. Washington theoretically could also; but at this point there’s no reason to believe they’ll be healthy until they actually make it through a season. Philly and Toronto will be in the mix; it’ll be interesting to see how Philly responds to having expectations.

  13. Mike – You’re forgetting about Marion, so they have Wade/Marion/Beasley. Last year they played half the season without Marion, half without Wade (and when he played he was unhealthy) and the entire season without Beasley.

  14. […] Smith NBA.com NBA TV special programming for Bob Cousy’s 80th birthday Red’s Army Ranking the Eastern Conference Full Court Press Will the Grass Be Greener in Dallas? Is Pierce Handcuffed by the Past? Houston […]

  15. 1.there’s no way indiana is going to make the playoffs. 2.Cleveland won”t be second in the east until they get a second offensive option.
    3.if their stars remain healthy washington could beat any team in the east
    4. if miami gets a center and backup players the would be in the top 8 in the east at least.
    here’ re my rankings:
    1. boston

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