How Will the Eastern Conference Playoffs Shape Out?

Making Sense of the Eastern Conference

11/26/12 in NBA   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

Nov. 26, 2012; Brooklyn, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) gestures to Brooklyn Nets point guard Deron Williams (8) during the second half at the Barclays Center. Nets won in overtime 96-89. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRENo more Howard.  Rose on the sidelines.  Bynum on the sidelines.  Pierce and Garnett another year removed from their prime.  Who is left in the East to compete with the Heat? 
 
Here are the current standings in the Eastern Conference as of Monday night:

1. Miami
2. Brooklyn
3. New York
4. Milwaukee
5. Atlanta
6. Charlotte
7. Philadelphia
8. Boston 

Chicago, Indiana, Orlando, Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto, and Washington round it out in that order.
 
Which teams are in the top-8 to stay?  Which teams are moving up?  Which teams are moving down?
 
1. Miami – No movement
 
The conference is Miami’s to lose.  With a healthy Rose, things may have been different and I could see a team like New York or Brooklyn giving them a fight for the top seed, but at the end of the day, your money has to be on Miami to snag the 1-seed in the East this year.
 
2. Brooklyn – No movement
 
Their overtime victory against cross-state rival New York was just one of many enticing duels to come.  I think the Nets edge out the Knicks for the 2-seed based on having more of a balanced core of players and the veteran leadership from their backcourt, but either way, Brooklyn will most likely be on the top-half of the playoff bracket in the East.
 
3. New York – No movement
 
Anthony is playing some of the best basketball of his career and that alone could lead the Knicks to a top-2 seed, but I’m penciling them in at 3 for now because I’m just not too sure about his support apart from the steady defense of Chandler.
 
4. Milwaukee – Down
 
7-5 isn’t usually something to be too excited about, but when you’re a team that’s only finished over .500 once since 2003, it’s actually quite a big deal.  Skiles is currently letting his backcourt run wild and the results have been mostly good so far, but there’s just not enough frontcourt support or overall depth to keep Milwaukee in the 4-spot.  I see them as a 7 or 8 seed at best.
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