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NBA East preview: Eastern reign doesn’t end with Heat

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It wasn’t all that long ago that David Stern found himself defending a playoff system in which a 48-win Golden State team was left watching in the West while a 38-win Miami squad was moving on in the East.

Just a phase, the NBA commissioner confidently assured.

Now, as Stern prepares to walk out the Olympic Tower door one final time, he does so with many reasons to smile. One is that he was right about the balancing of powers.

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