5th Detroit Pistons

It won’t be the second coming of the ‘Bad Boys’, but the Pistons are growing into a threat once again in the Eastern Conference. Tobias Harris will have had even more time to acclimatise with his new team mates, while Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson continue to develop an All-Star-like partnership. The bench isn’t half bad either as they look an all-round team with defence and offence to create a terrific balance. Even with all that said, this is still a season that could go wrong with the East being so tight. Anything from 4th-11th seems very possible for so many teams this season.

4th Boston Celtics

Jaylen Brown may not shine as the 3rd overall pick in this year’s draft, but he will be a quality addition to a Celtics team that continues to improve. Thankfully they didn’t go down the route of trading away so many quality assets to acquire one home-run player, and that leaves them with a deep bench to complement their starters. Al Horford was the big pick up, and just like he did in Atlanta, he can help the Celtics to home court advantage in the first round. The Celtics will remain a hard team to beat, but with the added firepower to go alongside Point Guard Isaiah Thomas, the TD Garden will become a fortress once again.

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3rd Toronto Raptors

They have more competition this season in their quest to topple the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the Raptors can improve on their franchise record 56 wins from last season. Jared Sullinger was a fantastic pick-up to add to a side that looks starkly familiar to last season. Sullinger is also an improvement on Bismack Biyombo with his greater versatility giving Coach Casey the chance to play him alongside the still improving Jonas Valanciunas. With Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan they have the second best backcourt in the #NBA. But they will need DeMarre Carroll to remain healthy this season as they still have little cover at Small Forward.

2nd Indiana Pacers

For me, this is the standout roster in the East. A potential MVP candidate in Paul George, who is suddenly surrounded by talent that should suit his style of play.

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For the past few seasons he had still been playing in the roster that was built around Danny Granger. Monta Ellis remains a threat in the clutch while Jeff Teague, Thaddeus Young and Al Jefferson are fantastic additions, while I was a big fan of rookie Georges Niang in College. Kevin Seraphin was another nifty pick-up for this Pacers team, and they could prove the biggest threat in the playoffs to the dominance of LeBron James in the East. Myles Turner will continue to improve for the team that will be the side to watch this season.

1st Cleveland Cavaliers

There are no prizes for guessing this one, as the NBA champs return to retain their throne. They are not looking remarkably deep, but should JR Smith be coming back then the starting line-up will be the same as they finished with last season. Mike Dunleavy will help massively in giving LeBron more time to rest, and he will also provide another shooter when James takes the role as Point Forward. It will be a far from perfect regular season once again for the Cavs, but all will be working towards the playoffs.

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