Summer Forecast: Which way is the East going?

2008-09 offseason predictions: East | West | Awards | Conf. champs | NBA champs

In the NBA, summer is the season for optimism. New draft picks, big trades, new coaches, new hope.
New and improved. That's how almost every team appears through the rose-tinted sunglasses of summer.

But if you like a dose of realism with your optimism, we're here to help.

We asked 25 of our writers, editors and contributors for their take on the upcoming season, team by team.

Here is the collective wisdom of our committee:

* - The Pistons finished slightly ahead of the Cavaliers in our average prediction.

Predicted standings based on the votes of these 25 ESPN writers, editors and contributors: Henry Abbott, J.A. Adande, Kevin Arnovitz, Jon Barry, Jordan Brenner, Maurice Brooks, Chris Broussard, Ric Bucher, Chad Ford, Jemele Hill, John Hollinger, Mark Jackson, Scoop Jackson, Tim Legler, Jackie MacMullan, Chris Palmer, Chris Ramsay, Dr. Jack Ramsay, Jalen Rose, Chris Sheridan, Marc Stein, David Thorpe, Royce Webb, Brian Windhorst and Matt Wong.