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Ranking the Eastern Conference

With the season less than a week away and the summer all but settled, it's time to take a look around the league and decide whose fortunes are rising and whose falling this year. We're going to start with the Eastern Conference. I'd love to see your rankings, 1-15, with any explanations of why you place a team in a certain spot, especially if the change is major from last season or defies conventional wisdom. Even if you don't want to rank all of them, let us know any of your shocking or unconventional views on, or even questions about, the conference and its teams. Who's the best? Which teams are coming up and which have passed the far side of the hill? Who will make the greatest leap forward and who will fall precipitously? Also, has the Eastern Conference as a whole finally closed the once-obvious gap with the West? Let us know what you think!

Eastern Conference Teams

ATLANTIC: Boston, New York, Toronto, New Jersey, Philadelphia

CENTRAL: Cleveland, Milwaukee, Indiana, Detroit, Chicago

SOUTHEAST: Orlando, Miami, Charlotte, Washington, Atlanta

--Dave (