Just to clarify this list is in no particular order because I don’t have a backbone and also can’t predict the future, but these are the teams I believe will be at the top of the heap in the east come April.
- Boston Celtics
Before anyone stones me to death for being a homer, as I said up top these teams are not in order. But having said that…the Celtics are the best NBA team. And if you want to argue with me you’re arguing with history and stats. First of all the most recent dominant team, the Golden State Warriors became dominant by growing their core together. Draymond Green, Steph Curry, and Klay Thompson. All three players were drafted by the team that has won four of the last eight championships. And what are the Celtics doing? They are growing with the top three players on the team which they drafted, plus bringing in the necessary pieces to build a good team around them. Like a 50/40/90 club shooter and ball distributor in Malcolm Brogdon, and a career 38% big man three-point shooter in Gallinari. So yea, pretty good team.
- Milwaukee Bucks
I honestly don’t care who else is on this team. They have Giannis Antetokounmpo. He is a champion, a 2x MVP, a DPOY, and he genuinely can’t be stopped by anyone in the NBA. The Celtics had to throw absolutely everything at this man, and they barely beat the Bucks in the playoffs last year when they were down Khris Middleton. (Also Giannis still averaged about 34 points and almost 15 rebounds during that series, which is alright I guess). This is a team that won the NBA finals two years ago and hasn’t really lost any players. The only thing keeping them against playing the Warriors this year was a Khris Middleton injury. So I have no doubts this team will be back at the top.
- Toronto Raptors
Alright, this one might be crazy but hear me out. I think that Scottie Barnes is an elite talent, but I mean, that isn’t a hot take he was ROTY last year. However, not only is he an elite talent but he is an elite talent that is perfect for this team. The Raptors love defense. Scottie Barnes is a long, solid defender. In his rookie season, he already had over a steal and almost a block per game. Also, the team around him is amazing. Fred Vanvleet is very underrated both as a scorer, and a defender. Pascal Siakam is not just a tornado, he scored 22 points per game and grabbed 8 rebounds per game last season, leading the team in both. And in the off-season, they got Otto Porter Jr, a key piece of the Golden State Warriors finals run this year. This is an already solid team on the rise.
- Miami Heat
Meh, it was either them or the 76ers here, and I guess Jimmy has more edge than Joel. (it definitely wasn’t going to be the dumpster fire that is the Nets). But I mean the Heat have a great culture, and a great defense (last season they were second in the East in opponent’s points allowed per game). To be honest I’m not really much higher on the Heat than the 76ers so my argument is not quite as strong for the Heat here but I think Jimmy Buckets is too good a scorer and defender to not give his team the nod. Plus Victor Oladipo will be even more removed from his injury, and hopefully, Bam and Tyler Herro don’t ghost the franchise this year.