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Can anyone beat the New Jersey Nets? Just wanted to see how that looked on paper. Yes, the Nets are the class of the conference. Yes, there must be hope for the Cubs. With the addition of Dikembe Mutombo at center and Rodney Rogers off the bench and with Kenyon Martin on the verge of stardom, the Nets are the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.
What's next, the Cubs winning?
So can anyone chase the Nets down? The Detroit Pistons are the NBA's Anaheim Angels. Quick, name a Pistons starter. Two? Gotcha! But they'll win a lot of games playing defense and playing unselfishly.
Don't count out the Philadelphia 76ers either. It would be easy after a season of injuries led to an early playoff exit. But if Allen Iverson goes to practice and Larry Brown remembers he is there, they could make a run.
From there it is a lot of ifs. If the Pacers can make a trade for a point guard (Gary Payton?)
if the Magic can magically rebound the ball
if the Hornets can keep Jamal Mashburn healthy (and stay off of Bourbon Street)
if the Celtics can again get the magic from Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker
if Vince Carter plays like Michael Jordan
if Michael Jordan plays like Vince Carter ...
Yes, it's an iffy conference.