ESPN ranks the East, Bulls 6th

ESPN has ranked the Eastern conference: (43-39, good for 6th place)
Cavs, Celtics, Magic, Hawks, Heat, Bulls, 76ers, Wizards (playoff teams)

Our voters have the Bulls winning as few as 30 games and as many as 55,
and perhaps it comes down to what they think of reigning rookie of the
year Derrick Rose,
whose scintillating playoff performance was followed by a tumultuous
summer. In any case, most of our panel is bullish on Chicago overall.

Well except for the Wizards, and swapping the Bulls/76ers, the ESPN writers just picked the same order that the teams finished in the East last year.   Apparently they don't see much changing, and I'm not sure I disagree a whole lot.

The only pick I really disagree with on the list is the Wizards, but even then I can't argue them too much further down if they remain even somewhat healthy.   I'd probably move the Raptors up to 8th, but it's worth noting that they were tied in predicted record with Detroit just a game back.

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  • I think the Wizards will challenge for the 4th or 5th seed in the East. Not only will Arenas, Butler and Haywood be healthy but the addition of Foy and Miller will be very noticeable. Also, the youngsters McGee, Young and Blanche have a lot of potential. Add in the underrated coaching of Saunders and you have a recipe for significant improvement.

  • I agree with johnfriendly that the Wiz have a great opportunity to move up in the standings - they can't get much worse luck than they had last year. I think Miami will take a big step back - Wade can't do it all and I don't think he'll want to do anything that could hurt his stock long term. I do think the 76ers will take a step back as well - I don't think they know their own identity anymore. And the Bulls will only get more than 35 wins if Noah can play like he did in the playoffs, if Thomas improves (which I expect given his pending free agency) and if Deng can stay healthy and efficient. Oh, and Detroit stinks.

  • In reply to edwardbuell:

    Miami will take a big step back?! What about "Supercool Beas"?!?! ;)

  • In reply to edwardbuell:

    Not much to radically disagree with.

    The top 4 are a slam dunk, although I might swap the Celtics and Magic.

    After that Miami, the Bulls, Toronto, the Wizards and Sixers could all finish as high as 5th or miss the playoffs altogether, at least one of them has to miss.

    Either Indy and Charlotte might sneek into the 8th spot.

    The Knicks, Bucks and Nets will bring up the rear.

    Doesn't picking the Bulls any higher than 7th mean that Gordon was indeed part of the problem, not part of the solution.

  • In reply to edwardbuell:

    the bulls are what i call "the best of the rest" meaning that they can't touch the top tier teams but can definatly beat everyone else. aslo i don't think if were much improved this year that means that losing ben gordon was a good thing, brad miller and salmons will have gotten to play a whole year with us and excluding those 2 it will be a good thing that we have another year of expierience under our belts

  • In reply to Matthew:

    plus don't forget you could have a healthy deng also boosting our teams rank which we didn't have a good portion of last year...and all these facts/possiblities would be unfair if you were to judge gordon on them if they were to happen

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