Fixing the Eastern lottery teams

For teams like Cleveland, New Jersey and Washington, how to clean the mess

Updated: June 18, 2011, 9:54 AM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN Insider

As we learned with the Philadelphia 76ers and the Indiana Pacers this past season, you don't need to sign a marquee free agent to leap into the playoff picture from one season to the next. In the East, plenty of teams are on the cusp of reaching the playoffs after the 2011-12 season (or what's left of it), but it won't just happen by accident. Here's how each East lottery team can improve this offseason and where on the roster each needs to apply the spackle.