My original post was this - Does losing to the Pacers mean the Hawks are better than the Wizards?
The Hawks did take Indiana to 7 games winning 3 while the Wizards won just 2. I wondered how much better the Hawks will be next season with a healthy Horford and an emerging Millsap and Teague. But it's hard to compare series. And the Wizards did make it to the 2nd round. So I'll take Washington.
Then, I wondered if the Wizards have become entrenched as the 2nd best team in the Southeast Division. These divisions do not mean much. But 4 teams from the division made the playoffs (Orlando only team did not). This tied the West's Southeast Division with 4 teams making the playoffs. Not going to say the Southeast is near the best division in basketball. But there are at least 4 competent teams. Charlotte probably will be better and the Hawks will improve. But I still see Washington and Miami ruling this division.
Then, it got to who is the 2nd best in the East. This is assuming Miami comes back somewhat the same as this year. Indiana is really just lucky to make the ECFinals. I do not see them getting better next season (and probably worse with age).
Chicago is probably the wildcard. A healthy Derrick Rose changes everything. With the defensive minded Bulls lineup, a healthy scoring option like Rose greatly elevates them. And if they get Carmelo, then wow. They could be favorites in the East.
I figure Brooklyn to be somewhat passable next season. Toronto is still there. New York could be better.
But it's looking like the Wizards have a good shot to be one of the top 3 teams in the East for the next 1-3 years. Losing Gortat and Ariza would be a big blow. But I figure they will sign 1 of them and a competent veteran in the offseason.
So here's hoping for at least a berth in the ECFinals next season. Then, they could be primed for a title shot in a few years.