Offseason review: Rating the East from Heat to Sixers

Updated: September 21, 2006, 12:01 PM ET
By Marc Stein | ESPN.com

Add an unofficial conference championship to the shiny gold trophy they won in June.

That's right. The Miami Heat had the best summer of any team in the East.

Better, even, than the Chicago Bulls had.

Just by getting Pat Riley's commitment to coach another year -- and with an assist from the Bulls, who weakened the Heat's chief rivals by signing away Ben Wallace -- Miami will begin the new season as a heavy favorite to get back to the NBA Finals. It doesn't matter that a clutch ...

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