Re: Who's number one in the east?
Something about the Celtics screams 'built for the regular season' to me. They have to win basketball games, which means their stars will have to play nearly 40 minutes per game. After an 82 season grind, all 3 of them sat the last few weeks of the regular season out (Allen with ankle, Pierce with elbow, Garnett with something but I don't remember - please correct me if I'm wrong)
By the time they've played 90-plus games (including All-Star) and see the Pistons in the 2nd round or ECF, they'll be tired and ready for a nap. The youth on the Pistons (or any other team really) is able to give starters the rest they need to remain relatively fresh for the postseason. Not with Boston, because their team outside of the big 3 would struggle to compete in the D-League. They're not used to shooting first.
As for the rankings now, I'd say:
1 Detroit (good balance of youth and veterans still in prime)
2 Boston (stars will work very hard for this)
3 Washington (because someone has to win that division)
4 New Jersey (may be their last year to make noise)
5 Chicago (once they get Kobe they will start winning more)
6 Toronto (I've heard good things, but I think the jury's still out)
7 Cleveland (Lebron is the only good player here)
8 Atlanta (look very talented and Acie Law is for real)
Sorry New York, Charlotte, Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia, Indiana, Milwaukee - you're lottery bound.