Eastern Conference preview
Picking the divisional winners in the Eastern Conference has never been easier. Barring a plague of injuries, locker-room mutinies or spectacular pratfalls that will prompt heads to roll, Boston, Cleveland and Orlando will finish on top. All three are worthy choices to be in the NBA Finals.
Checking my picks, I'm partial to defensive-oriented big men, bucking the pundits' consensus about the Magic (who generally aren't seen as a good bet to return to the Finals) and Bobcats (who aren't viewed by most as a playoff team). And teams keeping their powder dry for 2010, like the Knicks and the Heat, should be much worse.