NBA preview: Eastern Conference outlook

  • Updated: October 29, 2012 - 11:24 PM

Eastern Conference

1. MIAMI

Eric Spoelstra is trying to morph the Heat into a team of position-less players -- LeBron James is his "4" and Chris Bosh his "5," or are they? -- but the new Heat's tack is clear as they aim for a title repeat: Add shooters Ray Allen, Rashard Lewis (and Mike Miller, too) around their big stars.

2. BOSTON

Don't count the old guys out just yet, because the Celtics have retooled with Jason Terry, Courtney Lee, Jeff Green and rookies Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo. This is Rajon Rondo's team more than anything.

3. PHILADELPHIA

If his knees hold up, newly acquired Andrew Bynum just might prove there's reason to vote a center to the revamped All-Star Game ballots that now exclude the position.

4. INDIANA

The Pacers retained big Roy Hibbert and bring back Danny Granger and David West, but taking the next step might depend on if 6-8 shooting guard Paul George is ready to become a real star.

5. BROOKLYN

New city, new name, new logo, new vibe, and a remade team that re-signed Deron Williams and Brook Lopez and added a third max-salary guy, guard Joe Johnson, as well. Suddenly, the Nets might be the best team in New York.

6. NEW YORK

Linsanity is gone to Houston, and old-timers Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas and Rasheed Wallace have arrived. A knee injury that could keep Amare Stoudemire out for the season's first six weeks won't help.

7. CHICAGO

They just might have challenged Miami for the East's No. 1 seed if Derrick Rose hadn't torn his ACL in last spring's playoffs, but he did. The former league MVP won't be back until late February, and he admits he could miss the entire season.

8. ATLANTA

The Hawks have reached the playoffs five consecutive years, but never really have gone anywhere. New GM Danny Ferry has traded away Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams and is building around Al Horford as well as Josh Smith, who could be dealt at the trade deadline.

9. WASHINGTON

John Wall will start the season sidelined because of a knee injury, but the new-culture Wizards will appear more stable with Nene, Emeka Okafor, Trevor Ariza and rookie Bradley Beal.

10. TORONTO

The Raptors will be better with the arrival of Kyle Lowry, Jonas Valanciunias, Landry Fields and Terrence Ross, but will it matter?

11. MILWAUKEE

The Bucks possess a potentially electrifying backcourt with having Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis for a full season, but not enough elsewhere.

12. ORLANDO

Yes, Dwight Howard is gone, but don't forget Ryan Anderson is, too. This may be Glen "Big Baby" Davis' team for now.

13. CLEVELAND

This is reigning Rookie of the Year Kyrie Irving's time, even if it isn't the Cavs' time just yet.

14. DETROIT

The Pistons have some nice pieces -- Greg Monroe, Brandon Knight and intriguing rookie Andre Drummond -- but you don't win with some nice pieces.

15. CHARLOTTE

The Bobcats have added new coach Mike Dunlap and new players Ben Gordon, Ramon Sessions and rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, so they will be better. That's not saying a whole lot.

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Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle - LP: F. Rodney 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 3
Boston - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: L. Garcia 4
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: J. Williams 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland - LP: D. Pomeranz 4 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 4
Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 2
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 111 FINAL
Milwaukee 103
Dallas 105 FINAL
Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
San Antonio 100
Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 136 FINAL
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 116 FINAL
Denver 112
LA Clippers 104 FINAL
Portland 110
Phoenix 104 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Dallas 3 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
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