There comes a time where all teams in professional sports go through a period of struggles. While some deal with problems longer than others, what is going on in the NBA's Eastern Conference is alarming to watch. Nearly one-quarter of the 2013-2014 season has been played and only two Eastern Conference teams are above .500. As the Western Conference sits back and laughs at their peers, the play of the East has been very difficult to watch. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem like it is going to change any time soon.
At the top the Indiana Pacers have looked like a dominant force that is poised to stop the Miami Heat from gaining their third straight title. After that, the entire conference is up for grabs. Right now it seems like those teams are grabbing at the opportunity to lose at some point in the playoffs. Teams that were expected to be power houses throughout the year are among the bottom teams in the conference. Worst yet, it doesn't seem as if many of them are not able to make many moves that will improve their position. At this point in the year these are three teams have the potential to salvage their season:
At 8-9 the Bulls will have to make a move to bring in a guard that can score and distribute in light of Derrick Rose's injury. Chicago was able to make a playoff run last year without Rose but it seems as if they aren't ready to take the same chance this season. Luol Deng is the main bartering chip to be placed in front of teams as trade talks intensify. Where he could end up is the captivating part of the conversation. There are teams within Chicago's division, along with teams in the West, that could be interested in a trade opportunity. That brings up the second team in the East that has a chance to save their season.
The Cavaliers were expected to make a leap forward this season but haven't taken any strides at this point. One point of contention has been the struggles that Dion Waiters has had fitting into the roster. Kyrie Irving is the main focal point of that offense but rumors are rising about Dion's frustrations with his role. Cleveland could potentially develop a trade that would remove him from their roster and free up additional space that could be used to attract Deng. This roster needs another scorer who can help take some of the pressure off of Kyrie throughout the year.
The Sixers have a roster that is comprised of some young and talented players but none of them are even over the age of 25. Teams that turn the corner need some form of veteran leadership that this group does not have at this time. The group could put together a package deal to ship some of these players to an organization that has one or two veterans willing to be dealt. At 7-12 they are currently sitting in the eighth position. There's a lot of time left to see if this unit can play well enough to grab one of those lower seeds. Still, they have the room to make a move that can shore up a young roster towards extended success.
Turning around an NBA season requires some aspects of luck, roster moves and the team players coming together for the long haul. Nearly every team in the Eastern Conference is in a bad place at this point in the year. These three examples show some options abound to change their current track but something needs to be done sooner rather than later.