I remember one year the Hawks surprisingly started the season 13-0 (or was it 12-0?) and went into the all star break leading the division. They ended up making the playoffs.... and then getting bounced out in the first round. I'm just saying is all.
Then again, THIS Eastern conference isn't exactly the Eastern conference of the mid- to late-90s.
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2122976 This took me about 10 minutes to sift through the first few paragraphs of the story to make sure I got everything right. ESPN is calling this the largest single player transaction in NBA history: