Photo: AP Photo/Winslow Townson
In this article, I will be predicting the Eastern Conference for the upcoming NBA season.
1. The team I have winning the east is the Boston Celtics. Yes, this is very controversial, but Isaiah Thomas might be out longer than expected. The Celtics can win early, and gain a lead over the Cavaliers.
The Celtics have talent. They added two all-stars in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. With Crowder getting traded it opens up valuable minutes for Jaylen Brown and the third overall pick Jayson Tatum, who looked fantastic in the Summer League.
This team can win the east and can also go far into the playoffs. We will have to wait and see how they do.
Danny Ainge calls Kyrie Irving “special” and explains his vision of the blockbuster trade that acquired the All-Star point guard. pic.twitter.com/xlwsKvBgNl
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) September 5, 2017
2. The team coming behind the Celtics is the Cleveland Cavaliers as they have the best player in the NBA, LeBron James. I have them at number 2 as Isaiah Thomas might be out longer than expected and that will likely hurt the Cavaliers.
They have Tristan Thompson, who is a good rebounder, but he is very inconsistent and the Cavaliers have awful defense. The only real defender is James although Crowder can hold his own, but he will most likely be coming off the bench. As for the backcourt, Smith and Rose can do great offensive things but lack in defense.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 8, 2017
3. At number three I have the Bucks, a young team with the most improved player and the rookie of the year. The Greek Freak will have an even better year than last year as the Bucks have given him the keys to the franchise.
Malcolm Brogdon, a 2nd round pick had an amazing year and shocked everyone with his amazing season and I think he will continue to improve. Jabari Parker is coming off an injury and might not come back at his best, but I think it will take him time to get back at his normal form. Middleton is also a solid shooting guard.
Their bench isn’t the greatest but isn’t the worst either.
4. At number four I have the Wizards as they have the best point guard in the east in John Wall. Wall has everything a team wants in a point guard. He has the passing, defense, leadership,and can perform in the clutch.
Bradley Beal is still young and is improving each season. He is playing with Wall which gives the Wizards a solid starting 5. Otto Porter is young and he has to prove he deserved that max contract that the Wizards matched so they could keep him in Washington.
5. At five I have the Toronto Raptors as they have kept the same core and still have Derozan and Kyle Lowry. They have always been in the top spots of the east and this year should be no different.
Jonas Valanciunas is entering a contract year. He will most likely reject his player option in the search for more money, and he has to prove he is worth a big contract.
6. At number 6 I have the Miami Heat as they started with a record of 11-33 last season, and ended the season at 41-41 and were fighting for the 8th seed.
They brought back about everyone, and Dion Waiters is showing signs of finally hitting his potential. James Johnson had a breakout year, and the Heat rewarded him with a big contract. Goran Dragic is one of the top point guards in the east.
7. At number 7 I have the Charlotte Hornets as they have Kemba Walker, a top 10 point guard in the NBA and he improves every season. They drafted a steal in Malik Monk as he managed to fall to them, and he had great numbers in college. He could be able to be amazing in his rookie year, and he has the potential to be in the running for Rookie of the Year.
The Hornets added Dwight Howard who has struggled these past few seasons, but having Jordan there could motivate Howard and bring him back to his form from a few years ago.
8. Number eight is a real toss-up of teams as anyone can sneak in, but I have the Detroit Pistons because they added Avery Bradley. He is an elite defender and can help the Pistons sneak in the playoffs. Andre Drummond is an elite center, and can post up and defend the paint. They drafted Luke Kennard who was very good at Duke, and is a very good shooter.
As for the other teams, most of them aren’t very good and are looking to tank for a top pick and are rebuilding. The 76ers didn’t make the list as they are not proven and none of their rookies have played a full season. But time will tell if the 76ers can make the playoffs or have to wait another year.