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How good are they?: reviewing each of the Eastern Conference playoff teams

Kicking off a series looking at each of the teams in the East that expect to be playoff contenders

NBA: Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

We’re still a month or so away from preseason games, so it makes sense to start previewing the season ahead. We’ll dive into the Celtics in great detail, but before we get there, I thought I’d start by sizing up the opponents.

I’m kicking off a series titled “How Good Are They?” and we’ll dedicate a staff roundtable discussion post for each team in the Eastern Conference that seems likely to be competing for a place in the playoffs. For the sake of this exercise, we’ll ignore the Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons, and Indiana Pacers. While it is possible that one of those teams could surprise the league with sooner-than-expected growth (Pistons?), chances are, all three will still be at the bottom of the standings (or more accurately atop the draft lottery odds rankings).

We’ll go in reverse order based on the way the teams finished last season, so we’ll kick things off with the Washington Wizards and New York Knicks. Understand that the offseason isn’t over yet, and significant changes can occur (see: Mitchell, Donovan), but this is how we see things as they stand now.

We hope you enjoy this series and feel free to lend your own analysis in the comments below each article.

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