East threats to Bulls-Heat matchup

Breaking down the other six East squads to watch (PER Diem: March 28, 2012)

Updated: March 28, 2012, 5:53 PM ET
By John Hollinger |
Anthony/HowardJim McIsaac/Getty ImagesBulls-Heat East finals? Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony might have something to say about that.

This is not the Eastern Conference you're used to seeing. I wrote last week that the quality of the playoff pack in the Western Conference had slipped, and the flip side of that is most of those wins have leaked Eastward. While the bottom of the conference remains as brutal as ever -- Cleveland is 17-30 and still outranks five other teams -- the East has five of the top eight teams in the standings and seven of the top 10 in my Power Rankings.