I'm bored. Here's my predictions for the standings atop the Eastern Conference this coming season, barring injuries to major players:
1. Miami Heat
Too much talent, they're going to gel a lot quicker than everyone seems to think. Lebron's going to average a near triple double. And their role players are going to do exactly that - fill roles, and play up to the level of talent they're playing with. I'm looking forward to watching.
2. Orlando Magic
Perennial Contenders. This might be high for them with an aging Vince Carter, but JJ Redick will probably fill in more minutes pretty admirably and Pietrus in the starting lineup instead of Barnes means more offense.
3. Chicago Bulls
Great offseason, they've got clearly defined roles as a team and are deep and athletic at the wings. I hope they keep Deng instead of trading Noah and Deng for Carmelo. Carmelo's an incredible scorer, but Deng is pound for pound the most well-rounded player on that roster and super productive when healthy. Plus Noah's just one of those competitors that don't come around that often.
4. Boston Celtics
They're old, but they're deep. Plus, Luke Harangody's jump shot makes me smile. I've always liked Boston as a blue-collared hardworking team. I might even have them too low, they could go number 2 or 3.
5. Milwaukee Bucks.
I think Atlanta's going to regress this year and Milwaukee is a young team with two solid anchors at arguably the most important positions in Jennings and Bogut, and some solid additions in the offseason paired with a tough defensive minded coach.
6. Atlanta Hawks
So much talent on the wings, but an aging Mike Bibby. New coach, don't know much about him actually. This is a guess, a complete guess.
7. New York Knicks
I don't know if swapping out Amare for David Lee is enough to get the job done, but Felton's consistency can't hurt. I think this will be a fun team to watch. Hopefully Anthony Randolph has his breakout year.
8. Crapshoot - Philadelphia? Washington? Charlotte?
There was a bit of a power shift from West to East, but the last few playoff spots could be up for grabs. That said, I don't think we'll be seeing any upsets in the first round.
Feel free to tear me apart for my opinions, I'm open to criticism. Plus, like I said, work is slow so any arguments would be greatly appreciated.