There are only about 11 games remaining in the 2010-11 NBA regular season and thus far it has been an eventful one for the top three teams in the East.
The Miami Heat received the most hype prior to the season, with some Vegas oddsmakers predicting the union of LeBron James and Chris Bosh with All-Star Dwyane Wade would result in a ready-made title favorite. So far, it has been an uneven season for Miami despite its respectable 49-22 record.
The Chicago Bulls are having a great season and could find themselves as the top seed in the East by season's end, and maybe the only 60-win team in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls have bought into rookie coach Tom Thibodeau's defensive system and have played solid team ball all season despite injuries to two of their starters (Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer). They have been led by the quietly effective Derrick Rose, who is having an MVP-type season.
The Boston Celtics led the Eastern Conference standings for most of the year as they committed themselves to not having to face a Game 7 in the NBA Finals on the road. However, with the team's recent struggles with incorporating new players Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic into the starting lineup, the team has faded as of late and may have to win a title on the road after all—if they return to the Finals this year.
No knock on the Magic, Hawks, Pacers or Knicks, but these are the teams most likely to represent the East in the Finals this year. But what are the strengths and weaknesses of these three strong teams? Here is my objective assessment.