We are without a doubt a much weaker conference than the West. However, based on recent games, I see a lot of upward movement next year, primarily from (in this order):
I think there's going to be a lot of competition for the 6-8 spots next year with the above teams, Atlanta, Milwaukee ... and MAYBE us.
I'm predicting the three tiers to be
1. Miami, Chicago, Indiana
2. New York, Brooklyn, Boston
3. The rest mentioned above.
I am most scared of Cleveland. They played some hard games against us this year, even without Anderson & Kyrie. They have tremendous cap room next year with 33M on books and nobody of value to retain. They need a good SF, a couple Vets and need to get bigger. I think that if they brought ina couple good free agents like Josh Smith, tony allen, paul millsap ... they will be a force. I think Kyrie is better than Lebron. There I said it.