The Chicago Bulls may not have been the prohibitive preseason favorite to win the Eastern Conference in NBA probabilities but let there be no doubt that they are for real and last year’s breakout season has proven to be no fluke as they have led the Eastern Conference since the season began.
The Miami Heat is a huge favorite to win the Eastern Conference in NBA future odds after they took the crown last year following a disappointing and inconsistent regular season. The Heat has been right behind Chicago for Eastern Conference supremacy and look to be a prime candidate to take the title this year.
The Eastern Conference has also seen several potential surprise value teams emerge that may not get the public love or full court “press” but certainly have proven to have the ability to go deep into the post season. Such teams as the Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers, andPhiladelphia76ers are all making noise as potential contenders that were off the radar to start the year.
And then there is “The Over The Hill Gang” in Bostonas the Celtics are starting to get it together after a dreadful start. Bostonwon 9 out of 12 games from January 22 through February 10 to eclipse the .500 mark and get back in the post season race. The Celtics were 14-12 and built on a foundation of the NBA’s best ranking defense.
Philadelphia was the surprise of the Atlantic Division that Bostonwas supposed to dominate. The 76ers were also built on defense as they ranked 2nd only toBoston in team defense. The Sixers are the ultimate team game type that is greater than the total sum of their parts as their leading scorer, Louis Williams, was averaging just 15.6 points per game.
Speaking of defense, Chicagois among the best and ranked 3rd overall in the NBA. What sets the Bulls apart is that they also have an offense and superstar leader. Derrick Rose was averaging 22 points per game along with 7.8 assists per outing to spark an offense that ranked 9th in the NBA.
The Miami Heat have used their 2nd ranked offense to challenge the Bulls for Eastern supremacy. The Heat were ranked 16th overall in the NBA for defense and were of course led by King James and his 28.1points per game.