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Can any team overtake the Cavs in the East?

It seems like a foregone conclusion that even despite making a coaching change midway through the season that the Cleveland Cavaliers are going to run away to win the Eastern Conference. This is a conference that has a Boston Celtics team in third place with only one player that would start for a team with legitimate championship hopes and a bunch of other guys who would only be role players.

But it can’t be that easy for the Cavaliers right?

DeMar DeRozan is one of the best scorers in he NBA and has the Toronto Raptors sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference.

DeMar DeRozan is one of the best scorers in he NBA and has the Toronto Raptors sitting in second place in the Eastern Conference.

The Eastern Conference might finally avoid having a team with a losing record make the playoffs this year, but the Bulls are struggling, the Pacers are a middle of the road team despite the return of Paul George. The Wizards have fallen apart and are out of the playoff picture right now, and the Atlanta Hawks might be ready to blow things up.

Could the second place Toronto Raptors legitimately give the Cavaliers a run for their money when the playoffs come?

DeMar DeRozan has quietly become a start since he was drafted with the ninth overall pick in 2009. The 26-year-old shooting guard has always shown a great ability to score and he is doing that at an extremely high level this year, averaging 23.4 points in 36.1 minutes per game through 52 games. He has also picked his assists numbers up, averaging 4.1 per game as he continues to create opening and find teammates as defenses crash towards him as he slashes to the rim.

He and Kyle Lowry work perfectly together and have proven to be the best backcourt duo in the Eastern Conference this season. Lowry is averaging 21 points and 6.3 assists per game. Former Atlanta Hawks wing and the team’s big free agent addition DeMarre Carroll has added to the outside shooting, making 37.8-percent of his three’s, averaging 1.8 per game as he is scoring 11.7 points a night.

With that much athleticism and scoring ability out on the perimeter, opposing defenses have been forced to least Jonas Valanciunas against softer matchups inside and not only is he averaging 12.3 points per game, but he is cleaning up on the boards, averaging 9.4 rebounds per game and 3.3 offensive boards per game.

And they have a decent bench with Luis Scola (9.4 ppg, 5.3 rpg), Terrence Ross (9.2 ppg), Corey Joseph (8.8 ppg), Patrick Patterson (6.3 ppg) and Bismack Biyombo (5.4 ppg, 8.1 ppg).

But even though their defense ranks fifth in the league, allowing only 97.4 points per game, against the five other teams ranking in the top three of either conference they are allowing 106.5 points per game.

Could the Celtics be the team making the run?

You don’t often say in the NBA that a coach is leading a team to victory because basketball, more than any other sport, it about the players, but Brad Stevens has this team over achieving. Isaiah Thomas (21.5 ppg) is scoring like he always does, and behind him they have a ton of guys who can score, but their ridiculously fast-paced offense will be slowed down by a good defensive team. They are averaging 105.7 points per game, but only 90.5 against the Cavaliers. And they have nobody who can even imagine matching up against LeBron James.

The Miami Heat have a lot of good players, but lack a true offensive game changer. That is why they are constantly being linked to Carmelo Anthony with the trade deadline coming, because Chris Bosh (19.1 ppg) and Dwyane Wade (18.7 ppg) have been volume scorers more than anything.

Until further notice, the East just looks like it will belong to LeBron James the Cavaliers once again.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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