NBA Check In – Eastern Conference

eastern-conference

 

With a couple weeks gone in the new NBA season I figured is was time for us to take a look at some of the things going on. With a bit of a wild offseason it’s going to take some time for everyone to gel and take their true form. Unfortunately for the Boston Celtics they have lost their superstar Forward Gordon Hayward to one of the most gruesome injuries you will ever see. With that being the most obvious news out of the Eastern Conference other things have gone down in this young season already.

I would be mistaken if I didn’t start at the top and talk about “Insert Team With Lebron James” the Cleveland Cavaliers. With 8 new players this year including all stars Isiah Thomas, Derrick Rose, and Dwayne Wade this team has one goal in mind and that’s beating the Warriors. After a bit of a sluggish start Lebron decided to go off for 57 points against fellow contenders the Washington Wizards and send an early season statement. It’s almost scary thinking about a team that’s this good and they still have a point guard that averaged 30 points last year waiting for the turn of the calendar. I will get into more about the Cavaliers soon in regards to their chances of seriously competing for the title this season.

After the Cavs you have a couple teams that feel they have a chance but they lack the quality depth to really contend. One of those teams is the aforementioned Wizards, they have the best backcourt in basketball with Bradley Beal and John Wall. Also they have a decent stretch big with Gortat to pair with Otto Porter Jr but they really lack coming off the bench and rely on John Wall entirely too much. The Boston Celtics would have been considered a step above this level if not for the Hayward injury 5 minutes into the opener. Now I would have to say they have similar deficiencies to the Wiz, all be it different with all the young players they have. I don’t know how much better Kyrie makes them and the loss of Jae Crowder and his defensive ability is going to show come playoff time.

Outside of those three you have to look at the teams with the young talent that are planning for the future. The 76ers and the Bucks are the teams that seem to be set up for the future and with the uncertainty of wether Lebron will return to the Cavaliers next season these two teams are in perfect position. Giannis Antetokounmpo is looking like the second coming of Julius Erving with the way he always seems to be above the rim and in the air. In fairness I never saw Dr. J play live but the length and athleticism show on every possession with this kid. Look for him to make an MVP push but ultimately come up short because the team won’t be good enough. In Philly they have finally turned all those top 3 picks into a solid team with a young core and I would suggest that you put them on your TV whenever you get the chance. It’s basically like college basketball got shot up with steroids.

Beyond that you have some playoff teams and some terrible teams but the only one left that makes any noise is the Raptors. It’s just hard to take them seriously as they fail to show any life in the Playoffs year after year. The real battle after that will be for a lottery pick with Atlanta and Brooklyn probably your favorites in this conference. The remaining 7 teams (Knicks, Heat, Bobcats, Pacers, Hornets, Bulls and Magic) are basically in it for the long ride and ready to battle for a 40-42 record and the pleasure of getting swept in the first round of the playoffs.

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