The NBA season is grueling. 82 games, many taking place after boarding flights to different time zones, competing against some of the world's greatest athletes and fighting for a coveted playoff spot... unless of course you're playing in the eastern conference. But that looks like it's set to change.
For the past few years the eastern conference has lacked competition, with a predictable winner each year (the Cavs, or the Heat, any team with LeBron basically) and a trip to the playoffs not being a particularly difficult task. Meanwhile, the west has consistently seen prime time teams battling MVP candidates and starting lineups which look like All-Star teams. Playoff berths in the west are rarely taken for granted.
Things are actually starting to look a little different now. My beloved Knicks have a future (I think), the Celtics are on fire and other teams like the Wizards, Sixers and even the Bucks are making the future of the east look the least predictable that it has in a long time.
But this conference hasn't always been so poor. In fact, in the 1990s the east was fierce. Michael Jordan and the legendary Bulls championship teams didn't have such a clear run to the NBA finals as the Cavs did last year for example.
Here is my list of eight of the toughest teams to beat in the east (apart from the Bulls) from the whole of the 90s era:
The early 90s Detroit Pistons aka the Bad Boys, and a little later the Grant Hill squad.
The Cleveland Cavs, Mark Price, Brad Daugherty and John William's Squad.
The Indiana Pacers with Reggie Miller, Chuck Person and the mid to late 90s squad.
The Knicks, basically any Knicks squad between 1991 - 1999.
The young Orlando Magic team of the mid 90s, before Shaq and Penny separated.
The 1993 Charlotte Hornets. Johnson, Mourning and Bogues. Legendary.
The late 90s Miami Heat. Timmy, Alonzo and PJ Brown... oh and Pat Riley!
The Atlanta Hawks with Steve Smith, Mookie and Dikembe.
Did I miss anyone out? Are there any who you think shouldn't be here? Let me know!
The 1996 East All-Stars