The Eastern Conference has certainly been inferior to the western conference all season long, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be an entertaining race to the playoffs. Teams have already hit the home stretch of the regular season, and playoff seeding is up for grabs as always. Here is Cavs Nation’s win/loss predictions for each team in the East.
10. Brooklyn Nets – End Of Season Prediction 37-45
The team is for sale, and most of its players are likely to be traded soon. The Nets have the worst salary situation in the NBA, and their most experienced veteran just waived a no-trade clause to play for the Minnesota Timberwolves. They will likely win a few more games on pure talent this year, but their playoff hopes remain very slim.
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9. Charlotte Hornets – End Of Season Prediction 39-43
The Hornets have made a strong turnaround since the beginning of the season, but it won’t likely be enough to fend off the Pacers for the 8th seed in the East. Charlotte is 4-6 in their last 10 games, and with Kemba Walker hoping to come back from injury next week, there is the potential to make a late season run at the playoffs. With little firepower outside of Walker and Al Jefferson, the playoffs might be slipping away.
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8. Indiana Pacers – End Of Season Prediction 40-42
Indiana is 8-2 in their last ten games and playing inspired basketball. Two major questions remain to be answered before the season ends: Will they have enough in the tank to claim the 8 seed, and will Paul George make a risky early comeback from a gruesome leg injury to make those playoffs and possibly make some noise?
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7. Miami Heat – End Of Season Prediction 41-41
If anything about the Heat’s season is clear, it’s they are recovering from LeBron’s departure better than Cleveland did in 2010. While the health issues that have befallen Chris Bosh and consistently nagged Dwyane Wade have made this season difficult, the trade for Goran Dragic and the emergence of Hassan Whiteside make the future look bright in South Beach. The potential for a first round matchup with the Cavs will make the finish to the regular season very interesting.
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6. Milwaukee Bucks – End Of Season Prediction 45-37
A 45-win season for the Bucks will be looked at as a very solid turnaround from the team that only won 15 games in the 2013-2014 season. When you throw in the mix of young talent with Giannis Antetokounmpo and a heathy Jabari Parker, and this team could compete for a higher seed in next year’s playoffs. The 45-win total may also be enough to garner some Coach of the Year votes for Jason Kidd.
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5. Washington Wizards – End Of Season Prediction 47-35
The Wizards are currently 34-27 but are going downhill fast. Their talent is taking a backseat to their inexperience and lack of battle-tested leadership. For them to get to 47 wins they will need to win 13 out of their final 21 games. Even with the recent downturn, that should be a manageable record to finish the season.
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4. Chicago Bulls – End Of Season Prediction – 51-31
There is no quit in this team. Regardless of injuries to Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler, as well as other role players fighting various ailments, the Bulls continue to play hard and win games. The missing talent will catch up with them, though, and they will limp into the playoffs both literally and figuratively, while not playing their best basketball.
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3. Toronto Raptors – End Of Season Prediction 52-30
The Raptors are currently tied for the #2 seed in the East, but will struggle to hold off the surging Cavs. Their play has been mostly consistent all year, while also playing several games without All-Star Demar DeRozan. They can be expected to finish the season on a high note and be favored in their first round match up.
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2. Cleveland Cavaliers – End Of Season Prediction 53-29
The Cavs have been arguably the hottest team in the NBA for the past 6 weeks, going 20-4 in their last 24 games. For them to get to a 54 win total for the season, they will need to win 15 of their final 19, and while that won’t be easy to do, their current hot streak and chemistry should make it possible. For the Cavs to go from 19-20 to a 54-win team would be the type of turnaround that gives them great confidence to make a long playoff run.
Click “Next” to see who Cavs Nation predicts will finish first in the standings!
1. Atlanta Hawks – End Of Season Prediction 64-18
The Hawks have run away with the East. They currently hold a 10.5 game lead over the three teams fighting for second place. Coming down the stretch, they will rest their starters and many games will, as far as the records go, be meaningless. The showdown with the Cavs later this week is good for ratings, but it means far more to Cleveland than it does to Atlanta.
11. Boston Celtics – End Of Season Prediction 35-47
12. Detroit Pistons – End Of Season Prediction 35-47
13. Orlando Magic – End Of Season Prediction 27-57
14. Philadelphia 76ers – End Of Season Prediction 18-64
15. New York Knicks – End Of Season Prediction 16-66