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NBA Eastern Conference Preview Part 2

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Having already assessed the Eastern Conference Atlantic Division , Gareth O’Reilly returns to cast his eye over the remainder of the Eastern Championship.

It would be hard to look beyond the Miami Heat for the winners of the Eastern Championship although I can see the Cavs causing a fair few upsets throughout the season as they look to make a return to the play offs.

The Chicago Bulls have their star man back and look like they will return to the force they were before Derrick Rose went down with a torn ACL. When Rose went down over a year ago so did the Bulls play off hopes for two seasons. The fans may have been extremely frustrated with the delay in getting Rose back for the business end of last season but the extra rehab time should mean that the former League MVP should now be back to his very best.

In my opinion the Central Division could be one of the most exciting throughout the whole of the NBA. The Cavaliers were in turmoil in the immediate aftermath of the loss of hometown boy Lebron James. However the team have now rebuilt and although it has taken three years they now look ready to get back on track and for the first time since the departure of “The King” the city of Cleveland now look to have a reasonable chance of making the play offs.

The addition of Anthony Bennett in the draft is going to be massive to go along with Kyrie Irving and Andrew Bynum as the supporters who once burned the jersey of their superstar come enemy now have three new superstars to worship.

The Detroit Pistons haven’t had a great few years and it looks like that trend is going to continue as the Head Office in Detroit have simply failed to add substantial bodies this off season. The Pistons have managed to acquire Josh Smith but as Lebron James once said “You can’t win anything by yourself”. Despite this a rebuilding phase may be on the cards for Detroit as Greg Monroe and Brandon Jennings show that the team is at least heading in the right direction but it does look like it will be another few years before the Pistons can start to look towards the play offs.

The Pacers had their best season yet in 2012-2013 and will look to go one better and reach the NBA Finals. The emergence of Paul George as one of America’s finest shows that his team may very well be on course to secure a title in the next three years. They have managed to snap up Luis Scola to help their inside game whilst a fully fit Danny Granger should allow the Pacers to take it to the next level for this season.

The Bucks once again appear to be the team that is going to struggle in the Central Division. They will rely heavily on Brandon Knight who will be backed up by OJ Mayo. An improvement on last season’s record should be the best the Bucks fans can hope for.

The Atlanta Hawks have lost star man Josh Smith as they look to restart their rebuilding process. Hawks fans will still be able to look forward to watching Al Horford and Jeff Teague safe in the knowledge that their season will be over by the beginning of May.

The Bobcats are next up and well I can certainly report that they are improving. Kemba Walker is set to be their star man.  The one thing that is always certain with the Bobcats is that they nearly always create a few upsets. It is surely unthinkable that they may go through another season only winning eight games anytime soon so for the Bobcats the only way is up!

The Miami Heat will once again be favourites to win their third straight Championship. Come this time next year I could well be writing about a very different Miami Heat with a lot of the current rosters contracts up at the end of this season. Winning the title may well be enough to convince everyone involved that another few years would be a good thing. Chris Anderson proved to a massive addition last season and Greg Oden will be hoping to have the same impact this campaign.

The Heat will have to adjust to life without Mike Miller who has proved to be an impact man off the bench for Erik Spoelstra’s squad in the last two play off seasons so the decision by Pat Riley to amnesty the sharp shooter could be a good or a very bad call, only time will tell.

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The Magic just didn’t look like themselves last season without their former star man Dwight Howard. Looking ahead to this season one of the NBA’s favourite characters Glen Davies is set to play another pivotal part in any potential success this team is going to have.

John Wall continues to go from strength to strength but so does how strongly the Wizards depend on their star point guard. The Wizards might be a long shot for the play offs as apart from Wall, Washington fans only really have Nene and Al Harrington to cheer on so it looks likely that it will be another year of slow progress for the Wizards.

That concludes the look ahead to the Eastern Conference and it certainly looks like this upcoming season will be the one of the most exciting ones yet. Next week I will preview the Western Conference when I will reveal who I think has the edge in the race to win that Championship ring.

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  1. October 9th, 2013

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