Derrick Rose and the stingy Bulls invade the TD Garden on Sunday eyeing their second victory over the Celtics this season. With the best record in the Eastern Conference, the Bulls are one of a number of teams that can claim to be the beasts of the East this season.
For the second straight season, Chicago is set to post an even better regular-season record than the vaunted Heat. That doesn't mean the Heat are pushovers. A year after advancing to the NBA Finals (and going through the Bulls in the process), the Heat are playing at the highest level they have since LeBron James and Chris Bosh came together with Dwyane Wade in South Beach.
Everyone seems to have caught Lin-sanity in New York, and Jeremy Lin's emergence has energized the Knicks from the coach to the backup ball boy. But don't forget about the 76ers, who still lead the Atlantic Division and scored a huge win over the Lakers last week in Philadelphia.
The Pacers may not be in first place, but they have overcome the lack of a superstar to earn the mantle as one of the teams opponents least like to play. Danny Granger and David West are as good as ever, and center Roy Hibbert will make his first All-Star Game appearance this season in Orlando.
The Hawks, Magic and Celtics would like to be included in this conversation, too, but they still have a few things to prove.