The eastern conference of the NBA is very difficult to predict because of all the different trades that went on during the summer. It was mainly a one-horse race for the past two or three years but I believe that there is some serious competition this year. Here are my predictions for the standings of the eastern conference.
- The Brooklyn Nets
With almost the whole of the eastern conference improving from last year, i seriously think that the edition of Jeremy Lin and Luis Scola is just not enough of an improvement from last year. The Nets just don’t have the talent to compete in the next level.
- The Orlando Magic
With their best player in Victor Oladipo being traded for Serge Ibaka, the Magic might seriously struggle this year. I do believe that they have decent young players like the high flying Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton, however, the core of the team is just not strong enough, they don’t have a superstar to take them to the level of the playoffs.
- The Philadelphia 76’ers
The 76’ers had to undergo the worst four years any team in the NBA has ever seen. This was for a plan to get high draft picks so that they can rebuild. This process was worth it at the end because the 76ers now have a great group of players. I really like the spanish Ricardo Rodriguez, the powerhouse Joel Embid and Jahlil Okafor. And with great passers with high IQ’S like Dario Saric and ben Simmons, it seems like a great blend of players in one team. The only reason why they are so low down the table is because three of the five players listed above have never played in the NBA. I think the 6ers need a season or two just to gain experience and to learn how to play together.
- The Washington Wizards
The washington wizards have the same problem as the Nets. they haven’t improved enough from last season whilst mostl the other teams did. And while i think that John Wall and Bradley Beal are world class players, they are just not enough to send the wizards to a playoff spot.
- The Charlotte Hornets
The Charlotte Hornets will definitely struggle without Jeremy lin. But it won’t be all that bad as they still have their best player in kemba walker and they picked up a decent center in Roy hibbert.
- The Miami Heat
I believe that this year will be the beginning of a huge downfall for the heat. The heat don’t have any superstars anymore and there’s really no positive for them except for hassan whiteside. Dion Waiters is incredibly inconsistent and will definitely not continue the legacy that Dwyane wade has left. I would like to wish Chris Bosh a speedy recovery and i hope we see him play ball sooner.
- The Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks have always been a favourite of mine. They have great athletes with great length and their coach Jason Kidd has a great offensive and defensive philosophy. Despite the talent they have, the loss of Michael Carter Williams will really hurt them i believe that they needed to strengthen more in the off season to give them a better chance to get in the playoffs.
- The Detroit Pistons
The Detroit pistons have a great core of players who have great talents. I think Tobias harris is one of the most underrated players in the NBA and Andre Drummond will do what Andre Drummond does best. The problem with the Pistons is that they don’t have a great offensive player that can average 25 or more points per game. Until they get that player, they will just be a team that has great potential but just needs that little extra to compete in the playoffs.
- The Chicago Bulls
It was a very weird off season for the bulls. They added a very unbalanced blend of players that are very hard to make into a consistent team. Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade need the ball in their hands to thrive and the people need to learn how to run an efficient offence. I think that the bulls coach Fred Hoiberg can make them at least contend for a playoff spot with his space and pace type of play.
- The Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks will struggle because two of their best players in Jeff Teague and Al Horford left for the Pacers and the Celtics respectively. they still have very good players though. Paul Millsap is in his prime, I’m a big fan of Kyle Korver’s playstyle, and Dwight Howard is still a great defensive player. They should still get a solid record however i could see them struggling during the playoffs
- The New York Knicks
The knicks had a solid offseason as they managed to get former MVP Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, and an underrated center in Joakim Noah. the expectations in the garden are very high as they finally have a great group of players with a very good coach in Jeff Hornacek. With Porzingis developing into the great player we all want him to be and Melo having other stars around him to take the load off of him to do what he does best, i think the knicks could potentially have a decent season.
- The Boston Celtics
The celtics have picked up an exceptional center in Al horford in the offseason and he will definitely add to the offence of the celtics. The celtics are a very good defencive team and they are full of hard workers. The hard work that the players offer and the intelligence of their coach brad stevens could lead the celtics to have a great year in store.
- The Toronto Raptors
The duo of Kyle Lowry and Demar DeRozan made last year a very good year for the Toronto Raptors. The team played very well together and i believe that they will do the same this year. The only reason why i did not predict them to finish in second is because they haven’t improved during the offseason.
- The Indiana Pacers
The indiana pacers will do very well this season because they improved very well this offseason. The edition of Jeff Teague just makes them a very solid team with little weaknesses. Al jefferson is a good role player to have and Myles Turner is one of my favourite players at the 5 spot because of his mastery of the fundamentals and his intelligence. Paul George will undoubtedly have a good season if he stays injury free and i just see all the pieces coming together this year for the pacers.
- The Cleveland Cavaliers
Everyone expects the cavs to build on their great season last year and they did by adding some decent squad players. I really like Mike Dunleavy and I love the intensity that Birdman gives to the squad every day eve if he has subpar talent. The king will surely lead his team to greatness this year
By: Mohamed Orban