The wisdom of the ESPN crowd looks eminently reasonable to me and not just because the collective essentially shares my earlier speculation regarding the Hawks.
My current estimation: 44 wins and the fourth seed.
The professionals' average prediction: 45 wins and the fourth seed.
There are few surprises (to me, at least) in the results. It's interesting that a large sample produces a conservative prediction even a for highly variable team such as the 2009-10 Wizards. Overall, I think the four-tier hierarchy* in the East to be a fair bet even though the bottom of the second and top of the third tiers will likely become enmeshed.
*Championship contenders: Boston, Cleveland, Orlando
Playoff probables: Atlanta, Chicago, Miami
Mid-table mediocrities: Charlotte, Detroit, Indiana, Philadelphia, Toronto, Washington
Awful also-rans: Milwaukee, New Jersey, New York