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NBA Eastern Conference Power Rankings

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  1. Toronto Raptors

Toronto is at #1 is because of the power of Kawhi Leonard. If Kawhi Leonard is back to his normal form, which is expected, Toronto will easily be the number one seed. The Raptors were the number seed last year with Demar Derozan, and this year they brought in  a better defender. Leonard is a top 3 player when he is healthy and can change the landscape for the Eastern Conference.

  1. Boston Celtics

Boston has been a perennial playoff team and this year do not expect anything different. The Celtics are looking better than ever with a healthy Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving. The Celtics are capable of winning without their best stars, so with their stars they are looking better than ever.

  1. Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers are at #3 for two reasons, Joel Embiid and Benjamin Simmons. This combination has worked out very well for the team. The 76ers were smart and brought in known shooters J.J Redick, Robert Covington, and Dario Saric to surround this group. Everyone talks about the weakness in Ben Simmons game is his jump shot, but his jump shot really isn’t needed because of this group of shooters.

  1. Washington Wizards

Washington is very high on the list because of the addition of Dwight Howard. Howard may be out of his prime, but still knows how to get the job done. Howard has never had point guard like John Wall and that could the difference maker in Dwight Howard changing. Washington usually makes the playoffs and loses in the second round, there probably will not be a change there. The only change that could happen is a breakout season for a special player. That player is Otto Porter Jr. Porter, he is a great shooter and defender, the only thing that is needed to be added to his game is driving to the basket. The Wizards could be an underdog to watch out for, if Porter Jr improves this attribute.

5.Indiana Pacers

The breakout season from Victor Oladipo last season changed the landscape of the Indiana franchise and the NBA. Oladipo had sensational year and it was one for the record books. Indiana added Tyreke Evans to the team to help out Indiana’s bench. Evans also had a breakout season in Memphis showing that he can be an elite guard. The only breakout season that Indiana is waiting on now is from Myles Turner. Turner is a good post player and great defender, though he needs to improve on the boards and behind the three. Turner can be a top 5 center if he adds these things to his game, and if he has a breakout season, then Indiana will be a strong contender for the East.

  1. Milwaukee Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks have a MVP candidate for the 2019 season on their team in Giannis Antetokounmpo. Antetokounmpo has the talent, but doesn’t have the right players surrounding him. Khris Middleton, a great defender and three point shooter, helps stretch the floor, but Antetokounmpo needs more. The Bucks this year also added Donte Divincenzo which helps them with shooting off the bench. They would definitely be higher if the Bucks added a well rounded player such as Kevin Love, but in an Eastern Conference without Lebron James, the Bucks still can shock the world and have a deep playoff run.

  1. Miami Heat

Miami has been a playoff team in recent years, and it is expected that they continue this trend. If the rumors of a trade for Jimmy Butler come to fruition, the Heat will become a very dangerous team. For now, however,  this is where they stand.

  1. New York Knicks

The Knicks are the underdog team in the East this year. The Knicks were in the playoff hunt until their star player, Kristaps Porzingis, went down with a knee injury and was out for the season. The Knicks have great young pieces, such as Tim Hardaway Jr, Kevin Knox, Trey Burke, and Frank Ntilikina. Enes Kanter has the potential for a breakout season, and the Knicks have the potential of making the playoffs if Porzingis comes back quick and healthy. The potential for rookie Kevin Knox is very high and Knox will likely start right away at small forward. Knox showed a lot of promise in the Summer League this year and is looking to be part of the future for the Knicks.

 

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