The Eastern Conference is not very good. As the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs got underway, it was pretty clear that the best contenders are coming out of the West. You could even venture a guess that three, maybe four of the teams in the Western Conference could legitimately beat the best of the East in the NBA Finals.
But that doesn’t mean the playoffs have any less intrigue. On the contrary, with such a small margin separating No. 1 from No. 8, there’s more of a chance of great first-round matchups, where any team could win on any given night. Given the complaints about the NBA as a top-heavy league, a little more parity could be really good for the league as a whole. So why not take our shot at predicting the first round of the Eastern Conference?