10. New York Knicks (14): Despite a tough loss to the Heat, the Knicks have been doing what’s necessary to hold on to their playoff spot. It’s not going to matter, though, if someone other than Carmelo Anthony or J.R. Smith can’t create some scoring in the postseason.
9. Atlanta Hawks (6): A tough loss to the Raptors on Sunday weakened their firm footing among the Eastern playoff contenders. They will, however, get a shot at redemption on Monday when they head to Toronto for a rematch.
8. Los Angeles Clippers (7): The Clippers are staying with the Lakers stride for stride, but still trail by 1.5 games and are slated for a playoff matchup with the Grizzlies. Memphis isn’t the team you want to start the playoffs against, which means CP3 and Griffin will be tenaciously tested.
7. Indiana Pacers (9): In the month of April, the Pacers have won all but one of their nine games. They’re cruising towards the playoffs and are one of the hottest teams in the East. Watch out; Indiana could be the dark horse to represent the East in the 2012 Finals.
6. Miami Heat (3): Inconsistency is going to be killer when the Heat face off against playoff-caliber teams night in and night out. They continue to lose against top-tier teams, including losses against Boston and Chicago this past week.
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