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What are your opinons on the who the legitmate contenders for a NBA championship in the Eastern Conference. Is it just limited to the Pistons and/or the Heat? Pesonally (although ever since Antoine Walker was traded back, I'm biased), I think the Boston Celtics can do some serious damage in the playoffs. Considering they've won 10 of 11 (only loss due to a buzzer beater by Latrell Sprewell) and they just easily took down the Houston Rockets, I think they could make a serious Eastern Conference Championship run.

The Antoine Walker trade and Gary Payton resigning makes the Celtics deep. Ricky Davis comes off the bench along with a great second unit composed of Tony Allen, Marcus Banks, Davis, and Al Jefferson. The Celtics now have 4-5 serious options instead of the two they had when they played the Nets in the ECF a few years back. Pierce and Walker play very well together and along with Ricky Davis, they make up a group of scorers that can compete with the Phoenixs, Detroits, and Spurs (in terms of scoring, not overall). Walker gives the Celtics a good rebounder to go along with Lafrentz (and Blount, who has been bad this season, but just exploded for 20+ against the Rockets). Payton gives the Celtics a good veteran that will help in the playoffs and Banks, Allen, and Davis are very good defenders capable of containing star players.

Besides the Pistons and Heat, are their any serious contenders for a championship out of the Eastern Conference?
 

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Just the Pistons and Heat right now. Boston is playing good ball, but I'll wait to see how they play after their hot streak ends. They've had some very impressive wins, but I don't know if they could get past Detroit or Miami.


Miami has a great cast of role players and has the best 1-2 punch in the league. They have a good shot at finishing with homecourt, and if they do that they're going all the way. Detroit for obvious reasons. Great defense, experience, and the chemistry should be there. I think Miami is the only team that could beat Detroit in a 7 game series at this point.
 

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1.heat
2.pistons
3.boston
no one else
 

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Only the Heat and Pistons should be considered contenders in the East. No other team has shown dominance like these two have.
 

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Yup, Pistons and Heat. Celtics have played well, and may surprise some teams, but I haven't seen them dominate enough teams defensively. Walker and Pierce, their two best players, aren't very good defenders, and Payton has no chance of guarding the likes of Billups, Parker, or Wade like he'd be able to do in his prime.
 

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Besides the Pistons and Heat....maybe. The Celtics have shown that they can play with, and beat good teams, see Phoenix, Detroit, and Houston. That being said, our defense needs to play better or the Celtics won't be a contender.

edit: Oh, and since when are Pierce and Walker not good defenders? I'll give you Payton, and LaFrentz/Blount, but Walker and Pierce have been playing pretty good on defense lately.
 

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Realistically it's the Heat and no one else.
I laugh at the "experts" who think Detroit can beat Miami in a playoff series.
So long as the heat stay healthy, the only team on their level is a healthy San Antonio Spurs. The Heat are ready to flat out rip through the playoffs right now.

I can't really forsee anyone pushing them to 7 games even. Shaq and Wade for one. For two their role players. The schemes the Pistons used against the Lakers won't work against the Heat. The Pistons will have to double Shaq. And when that happens it's all over.
 

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KokoTheMonkey said:
Miami has a great cast of role players and has the best 1-2 punch in the league. They have a good shot at finishing with homecourt, and if they do that they're going all the way. Detroit for obvious reasons. Great defense, experience, and the chemistry should be there. I think Miami is the only team that could beat Detroit in a 7 game series at this point.
I agree. Detroit and Miami, and that's it. Miami is pretty damn good with Shaq taking care of business in the middle, Wade finishing in the clutch and dominating the perimeter, and their roleplayers doing their thing. I still don't think they can beat a Pistons squad that is on top of their game (like last year). Either way, both teams have a legit shot at winning the whole thing if they get to the finals.
 

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Miami and Detroit are probably the only ones. I don't think Boston can get away with outscoring Miami and Detroit for 4 games in a 7 game series without much defense. They are playing great right now, but just like Phoenix, without defense, I don't think they can get far into the playoffs.

Also, nothing would make me happier than if the Nets got the 8th seed with Richard Jefferson back and healthy and then eliminated the Heat.
 

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Miami
Detroit
Boston

every one else is a slim step above mediocrity and can't be taken seriously
 

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Miami and Detroit are the only teams that have played with any sort of consistancy this season, that's why I don't see anyone else contending for the championship from the Eastern Conference at the moment.
Cleveland and Washington would have been close in the 1st half, but they've both struggled since the All Star Break.
Boston has been playing well, but it's too early to lock them in as contenders just yet.
 

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Miami and Detriot

Boston may be contenders to make the eastern conference finals (when they face detriot in the second round they may cause them trouble, but i seriously doubt it), but in no way do I see them contending for the nba title.

Detriot and Miami are the only 2 teams with chances to win the nba title imo
 

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the obvious two are Miami and Detroit, but Boston has been doing really well. I do hold their weak conference against them though, but Antoine Walker has become really disciplined about shot selection since he came back to Boston.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
dk1115 said:
the obvious two are Miami and Detroit, but Boston has been doing really well. I do hold their weak conference against them though, but Antoine Walker has become really disciplined about shot selection since he came back to Boston.
His poor shot selection before his current tenure with the Celtics was mainly due to him having Jim O'Brien as a coach. Don Nelson certainly didn't help. Walker could be a top 15 post player if he played in the post. I'm not saying that his coaches are the only one to blame (Walker is a little thick-headed), but his shot selection in previous seasons has mainly come from them.
 

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I really don't think anyone is going to stop Miami this year - Shaq is just far too motivated and Wade has been amazing all year. Their supporting cast is doing a great job as well.


Boston and Detroit are in the same class now as far as I'm concerned. They are both very deep teams. Boston has the superior offense and Detroit obviously the superior defense. I think they match up well and if they see each other in the playoffs, it will go seven games. I wouldn't have made this statement in January, but they are just a different team with Antoine Walker on it. Ricky Davis has been sensational for the past two months as well.

Miami I just think beats anyone in they face in the ECF in five games.
 

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Well, the two main contenders in the East are the Pistons and the Heat obviously. Just heads and heels above the rest, although not unstoppable.

Boston Celtics are on this next level. They have a good team since the trade deadline and are in a good groove.

The only other team out East, taht I see that can do any damage in the playoffs is the Chicago Bulls. They have a team that could prove successful. The size of Eddy Curry and Tyson Chandler, and the inside presence of Eddy Curry. The clutch play of Ben Gordon, and Luol Deng can go off on you any night. But they are relatively inexperienced, so they will have a tough time getting to the finals.

out west, San Antonio, Phoenix, and Houston are the main teams I see competing for a spot in the finals, with Dallas with a possible chance at it.

Spurs vs. Heat is my projected finals, with teh Spurs winning.
 
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