The post-2024 All-Star break Eastern Conference NBA power rankings

Who are the favorites to make it out of the East after the NBA All-Star break? We re-rank every playoff contender's title chances ahead of the final push to the postseason.
Miami Heat v Boston Celtics
Miami Heat v Boston Celtics / Maddie Schroeder/GettyImages
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Here for the experience

8. Orlando Magic

name, Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner
Orlando Magic v Chicago Bulls / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

Record: 30-25; Net rating: plus-1.0

The Magic are a flawed team but one that knows what its strengths are. The Magic’s defense (fifth in DRTG) has the ability to suck the oxygen from the gym, but their offense can do the same (in a bad way, 24th in ORTG).

This season is about gaining experience, identifying growth areas and tinkering in the summer. Getting tentpole stars Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner a taste of playoff basketball is enough of a reason for the Magic to go all-out in making the postseason. 

Would it be that crazy?

7. Indiana Pacers

Tyrese Haliburton
Indiana Pacers v New York Knicks / Steven Ryan/GettyImages

Record: 31-25; Net rating: plus-1.3

Their run to the In-Season Tournament final and signature wins over the Bucks, 76ers and Celtics this season show the Pacers can hang with the best teams in the East.

The question is whether the Pacers are hot or cold by the time the postseason comes around. For every winning stretch the Pacers have, they seem to follow it up with a losing one. Indiana has lost three or more games in a row three separate times this season.

But Haliburton is a gamer, and the Pacers have a net rating of plus-3.0 in the games he’s played after missing some time with a hamstring injury. They also acquired a co-star in Pascal Siakam who gives this team championship-winning experience. I can’t rank the Pacers any higher than this, but if they upset a team in the first round I wouldn’t be terribly surprised.