9. Charlotte Hornets (15-13)
The Hornets season looked doomed after the season-ending injury to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist but if anything it has made them stronger. They have learned how to play defense without their best stopper and his weaknesses on offense have let them stretch the floor in his absence.
8. Miami Heat (16-11)
I still think that in a seven game series the Miami Heat are the only team in the Eastern Conference that has a chance to knock off the Cavs, but right now they are to inconsistent to be ranked any higher. Eventually Goran Dragic will get it going and click with Dwyane Wade.
7. Toronto Raptors (18-12)
Statistically, the Raptors don’t make sense. They are top ten in margin of victory and net rating but are just 21st in effective field goal percentage and 27th in points per game. They are right there, just a shooter away. The Raptors always seem like they are just another player away though.