How NBA Eastern Conference stacks up: Predictions, team-by-team analysis

SFChronicle.com
How NBA Eastern Conference stacks up: Predictions, team-by-team analysis
How NBA Eastern Conference stacks up: Predictions, team-by-team analysis

Here's a rundown of teams in the NBA's Eastern Conference, in Bruce Jenkins' predicted order of finish (with last season's record). PHILADELPHIA (51-31) Nobody can tell the 76ers this is a copycat league. In the age of relentless 3-point shooting and the de-emphasis on size, Philly will take the court with two centers (Joel Embiid, Al Horford), 6-foot-9 power forward Tobias Harris, underrated 6-6 swingman Josh Richardson and 6-10 point guard Ben Simmons. Put another way: no traditional backcourt players in the mix but top-to-bottom great defense. ... We'll see if Horford's presence overly crowds the lane for Simmons, who needs to be more of a relentless half-court presence, but Horford is a winner,

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