Originally posted on Hoopinion  |  Last updated 12/26/11
The Hawks are going to make the playoffs. No disrespect to Lawrence Frank and Dwane Casey, nor the organizations that made the sound decisions to hire them, but there are only ten teams I expect to try and make the playoffs in the East this season. Furthermore, I expect only two of those ten teams -- Miami and Chicago -- to be especially good, with a very compact group of teams finishing third through ninth in the conference.I think the Christmas Day games lend early support to this opinion. Without Paul Pierce, the Celtics started Sasha Pavlovic and had Marquis Daniels, Keyon Dooling, and Chris Wilcox in the rotation. The Knicks are concerned about replacing Iman Shumpert and Jared Jeffries. The Magic willingly traded Brandon Bass for Glen Davis, further weakening the supporting cast for (the possibly unsettled) Dwight Howard who might finish the season there. I'm not sure that Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and Indiana aren't all going to finish ahead of at least one of Boston, New York...
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