Atlanta Hawks: Eastern Conference Power Rankings, Nov. 19

5 of 6

Previous: . Boston Celtics. 6. team. 18. .

Brad Stevens is the man. Outside of Coach Bud, Stevens is by far and away my favorite coach in the Eastern Conference. On his coaching tactics alone, the Celtics are a playoff team. Now that they have a go-to playmaker in PG Isaiah Thomas, this team can win playoff games when they get there.

I love how physical, team-oriented, and well-coached this club is. They don’t have traditional superstars, but I see a glimmer of the Atlanta Hawks in their construction. Should the Hawks and the Celtics meet in the playoffs, that will be a real treat for avid fans of the sport of basketball.

100. . . Previous: . Indiana Pacers. 5. team

The Pacers went all in on playing small ball and it’s working so far. Indiana has done a 180 and now has better players in the back court than front court. Playing Paul George at the four seemed a bit risky, given his gruesome leg injury suffered with the Men’s National Team, but I trust HC Frank Vogel’s judgement in being able to pull off that type of lineup.

If George is healthy and Vogel can continue to effectively run small ball in Indy, then the Indiana Pacers can not only make the playoffs, but could make it to the Eastern Conference Finals for the third time in four years under his watch.

More from Atlanta Hawks

. . Previous: . Miami Heat. 4. team. 110

How can you not love the starting five of the Miami Heat? Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside are blending well with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in 2015-16. Justise Winslow is looking like an All-Rookie first teamer.

Though I still have concerns about their bench depth, I think that Pat Riley will make at least one big trade to help get Erik Spoelstra’s club over the top. The Miami Heat can play for an NBA Finals appearance, but likely won’t win the ECF in 2016.

Next: Tier I: Eastern Conference Title Contenders