A Look At The Eastern Conference: Check out if your team made the list
The playoffs are almost upon us and this year is looking like the year that finally a team not featuring Lebron may emerge the winner of the Eastern Conference. In my eyes, I don’t see any other team outside of the top 4 seeds gaining that Eastern conference trophy so, lets’s take a look at each team and get a good look at their chances.
1. The Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cavs have been in sort of a slump as of late. Although adding JR Smith back to the lineup and acquiring Deron Williams and Kyle Korver, they’ve been losing a considerable amount of games including a major match up against the Celtics and one against The Rockets where harden dropped a triple-double. There are extreme variables to consider though when looking at The Cavaliers woes. Kevin Love is still not back in action so that leaves only 2/3 of the “Big Three” to pick up the slack. Love gets a lot of hate online but his presence does make a difference, especially when it comes to stretching the floor. They also recently acquired Andrew Bogut only to lose him within 58 seconds of his debut (that’s an achievement in of itself). Any time you assess The Cavs though, you have to take into account the “Lebron playoff factor”. Not sure what it is but something changes in that man once playoffs come around. He is not a fan of losing. One thing this current Cavs team extremely lacks though is depth. Yeah, you know that thing Lebron has been getting made of fun of all year for? Well, it’s true. The Cavaliers lack an efficient bench. (Who would’ve thought Matthew Dellavedova could make such a difference?) It doesn’t help that Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye were around to see how the dinosaurs died out, albeit I’ll give them credit where it’s due, Jefferon can still spring and lock players up and Frye can light it up from 3 on occasion. Even when analyzing all this though, there’s still one game that I can’t get off my mind right now, and that is their OT match up against The Wizards who are now only 2.5 games behind The Cavs in the battle for 1st seed, but there is one team that is even closer…
2. The Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics are currently 2 games behind The Cavs in the hunt for 1st seed, in fact as I mentioned earlier, they got a huge win over the 1st seed team not too long ago. Recently adding Avery Bradley back to the line up has given the young team a huge boost. Isiah Thomas is the most efficient player in the league when it comes to the 4th quarter and that’s a valuable trait to have when facing The Cleveland Cavaliers who have a knack for finishing games strong. The Celtics have made mistakes as of late though, including but not limited to, losing to the Suns off a buzzer beater (thanks to a lazy in bound play by IT). A factor that bugs me with The Celtics though is Isiah Thomas’s lack of defense. I know it’s got to be hard playing defense on giants when you’re barely over 4 feet…okay he’s 5’9, but still The Hobbit slays dragons like c’mon. All jokes aside, I’m taking Kyrie every time in a 1 on 1 with IT, but that doesn’t make me think any less of The Celtics chances to upset The Cavaliers in the long run. For every amount of defensive skill IT lacks, Avery Bradley, Marcus Smart and Jae Crowder will sure make up for….hopefully. I’m also taking The Celtics bench over The Cavaliers bench any day.
3. The Washington Wizards
Although The Celtics currently hold 2nd seed, I’d take The Wizards over them to knock off The Cavs come playoff time. John Wall is the #1 Point Guard in the Eastern Conference in my eyes (queue the Kyrie band wagon). I’m also a big fan of Kelly Oubre who adds versatility to The Wizards and has been hot as of late. Speaking of hot, how about that Otto Porter? (I’m talking about his basketball skills you close minded pigs!) Arguably the most efficient player on The Wizards roster, he has truly blossomed into one of the top Small Forwards in the league and he has been lighting it up from 3. It also seems like Bradley Beal finally feels like earning that huge contract he has and Marcin Gortat is an efficient option for the center position. I’m also taking The Wizards bench over the Cavaliers bench, BUT even with all this, there’s one other team that I think can go all the way…
4. The Toronto Raptors
That’s right, I truly believe The Raptors are the ones to defeat The Cavaliers. (Where’s your patriotism you Bieber loving traitor!?) Don’t forget that they were the only team to give The Cavs a loss (actually 2 of them) in the Eastern Conference playoffs last year. Since the All Star break, The Raptors have notched wins over both The Wizards and The Celtics, and they didn’t even have Kyle Lowry! Deebo is currently averaging 27.2 PPG (GOAT). Serge Ibaka and PJ Tucker have been amazing additions to the team (I truly believe The Raptors won the trade deadline). Norman Powell has finally become a factor, Valancunias continues to do Valancunias things, and Cory Joseph is one of the best back ups in the league. Out of all the teams I’ve mentioned above, it’s hard to argue that The Raptors don’t have the most depth on their roster and once Lowry returns it will be even better. One thing that always worries me about betting the whole house on The Raps though, is Lowry’s playoff stats. The dude will be an all star all year, one of the best point guards in The East, if not the entire league, yet once playoffs come around the man looks less like Kyle Lowry and more like Andre Drummond trying to hit free throws (38.5% for his career…yikes). If Kyle gets it together this year though, and Demar remains…well Demar, then there’s no doubt in my mind that The Raptors can be the team to FINALLY keep Lebron out of the finals.