Only one team will lead the NBA East Conference in 2020.
Now that all of the major free agents have settled, we can now take a stab at who we think the NBA East Conference favorites will be. It is no surprise that there are only a few teams that will contend for the top spot. Being a Celtics fan, I would love to say they are the number one team in the East. Where Did The Celtics Go Wrong Last Season?
However, they will not be perceived as being the early favorites. As of right now, the Milwaukee Bucks should still be the favorite. With Kawhi Leonard leaving the Raptors, they are now out of the running. This left the Bucks, Celtics, and 76ers left to choose from.
The Philadelphia 76ers are now the team to beat in the East pic.twitter.com/W44BFzxRYq
— Charton Brand (@SnowmanEmbiid) July 6, 2019
The 76ers with the addition of Al Horford are a decent team, but they lost Jimmy Butler and JJ Redick. The team will have to depend on Simmons to step up and develop a jump shot and other players to shoot the ball better. Their big men situation is what all teams dream of. Horford and Embiid will force teams to stay outside the paint and take tough shots.
“You’ve got to give the crowd what they want, and what they wanted was more touches for Tacko,” Scott Morrison says with a smile of yesterday’s game. “So we had to get him some more touches.”
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) July 7, 2019
The Celtics are a tricky team to judge.
The latest Couch Guy Sports Podcast delves deep into this, listen today! They got rid of the cancer (Kyrie Irving) and plugged in Kemba Walker. Like I said before, the loss of Al Horford really hurts the Celtics and leaves them without a consistent talented big man. The C’s drafted Tacko Fall and signed Enes Kanter, but will that be enough? Most likely not. However, the Celtics should be a close favorite to lead the East. Kemba seems like he is ready to be a leader, Tatum is fresh off his first All-Star season, and Gordon Hayward should now be fully healthy. Add that with Jaylen Brown coming off the bench, and this team should have a lot of success. BUT we said all of this last year and the team did not meet expectations. Let’s see if this was a Kyrie Irving issue or something deeper.
The Milwaukee Bucks have to be the NBA East favorite and I’ll give you one reason.
This past playoff, we saw the team with the best player win. Now that Kawhi Leonard is gone, Anteukumpo is the best player in the East. Giannis will most likely only improve his game over the Summer, but Malcolm Brogdon was a big loss. Last seasons team is still intact except for Brogdon. If the bench players perform like they did last year and Giannis continues to get better, then watch out.
Since we can remember, the team with the best player in the East has typically reached the Finals. First, it was LeBron then Kawhi, now it may be Giannis. The East will be led by the Bucks with the Celtics finishing in second. The 76ers will finish 4th behind dark horse Indiana Pacers. I’m not predicting the Bucks will win the NBA East and make their way to the NBA Finals, but they will have the best record when next years regular season ends bearing Giannis’s health.
Connor Strayer (@CouchGuyBigC19)