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LeBron, Cavaliers The Clear Favorite In NBA Eastern Conference

Posted by Craig Parsons on 10/22/2014 10:50:18 PM

The 2014 offseason marked another chance for the NBA’s biggest superstar to shake up the power order in the NBA Eastern Conference and he didn’t disappoint. LeBron James decided to bring his talents back home and signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers. That and the flurry of activity that followed changed the way that the East is looked at and the adjusted odds reflect the change that happened over the offseason. Here is a look at the top three teams in the East with their odds to win the conference listed next to them.

Cleveland Cavaliers - 105

LeBron might point elsewhere when asked which is the best team in the East but the reality is that no team is more talented or deeper than the Cavaliers. LeBron James’ return will have the biggest impact in Cleveland but the team also did an excellent job of adding around him both through trades and free agent signings. Acquiring another superstar in Kevin Love gives the Cavaliers a starting five of LeBron, Love, Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, and Anderson Varejao that is better than any other in the East. The development of Tristan Thompson will help an improved bench that will also have veteran free agent additions Shawn Marion and Mike Miller. It might take some time for this group to reach its potential as they become acclimated and build their chemistry but there is no denying the raw talent is there for Cleveland to be the best team in the East.

Chicago Bulls +300

James passed the title of the best in the East to the Bulls but while he was quick to differ that label this Chicago team doesn’t exactly match up on paper. The return to health of former MVP Derrick Rose is key and the addition of Pau Gasol will really help their chances but the failure to land another superstar like Carmelo Anthony kept them from going over the top. Joakim Noah is a defensive force but Jimmy Butler and Mike Dunleavy won’t overwhelm anybody filling out the starting five. Taj Gibson will provide depth off the bench and the Bulls have a pair of intriguing shooters in European addition Nikola Mirotic and rookie Doug McDermott but it won’t be enough to beat out the Cavaliers at the top of the East this season even if Rose finally does stay healthy.

Washington Wizards +1500

The Wizards appear to be on the verge of becoming a legitimate contender in the East but their long odds to win it reflect that they aren’t there just yet. John Wall, Marcin Gortat, and Bradley Beal lead a talented young core that will be helped along by the presence of veteran Paul Pierce as well as fellow additions Kris Humphries and DeJuan Blair. All eyes will be on Wall as he continues to morph in to one of the league’s true superstars and if everything comes together as expected then Washington will be right there behind Cleveland and Chicago near the top of the East at the end of the season.



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