15. Indiana Pacers (15): Danny Granger is good, Roy Hibbert is solid and Darren Collison is okay. Past that, the Pacers are pretty lacking, and it shows. However, they are doing what they need to do to make the playoffs in the East – win, lose, win, lose, win, etc.
14. Philadelphia 76ers (14): Unfortunately, I might be wrong about my preseason prediction of Philly finishing in eighth, because they might finish higher. They’ll be bounced in the first round, but it’s good to see them coming together as a young team in a rising Eastern Conference.
13. New Orleans Hornets (13): What do the Hornets and Sacramento Kings have in common? They are both 1-7 in their last eight games. Fortunately for the Hornets, they picked up enough wins earlier in the year, to not let losing seven out of eight be a problem. However, if they continue this string of terribleness, you best expect they will be quickly leapfrogged by hungrier teams such as Memphis and Portland.
12. Denver Nuggets (11): Carmelo is all but gone – the only question is, when, where and for who. If it ends up being New York through a trade, Denver might as well change their name to the Denver ExKnicks, because they are currently milking New York’s roster for everyone not named Amaré Stoudemire.
11. Atlanta Hawks (9): If the Hawks can somehow acquire a center so that Al Horford and Josh Smith can shift to their natural positions of power forward and small forward, the Hawks might just usurp the Magic as the East’s No. 4 seed.