With the exception of Chicago and maybe Atlanta, we have no reason to think that any of these teams would ACTUALLY be better if they were healthy. I can come up with a bunch of reasons why these teams are actually bad, Watch:
Chicago - lack scoring, boozer is getting old and jimmy butler is unproven as a starting 3
Brooklyn - lopez has been injured most of his career, D-will has been on the decline for a while, rookie head coach in Jason Kidd who is in over his head
Atlanta - young and inexperienced guards, and mostly score in transition. not built for winning close defensive games
NY - lack depth, discipline, and have an offensive focused game which does poorly against defensive minded teams especially on the road (plus they have bargnani)
Washington - lack any veteran leadership, and don't defend consistently
Charlotte -they struggle offensively and don't have an identity on the offensive end
Milwaukee - seriously? , ok their core is either too young, or too untalented.
My point is, I'm not saying that we don't have to play well but this idea that we have to play at "peak performance" in order to stay ahead of milwaukee the next few years is just incorrect.
What we should think as fans is:
The East is actually up for grabs. The Heat are coming to the end of their road. D-rose will never be the same. and there is no reason to think that this group, with some added depth, cannot continue to improve and stay ahead of these teams, who have actually regressed
The Seattle Seahawks, before the season started looked at each other in the locker room and said "why not us?"
We need to start thinking the same thing