The East: Up for Grabs

We all know that the the Warriors will almost definitely represent the West in the NBA Finals in June (and probably win.) But who will oppose the mighty Warriors? I rank my top 5 competitors for the East crown.

5. Boston Celtics: Boston is certainly a team on the rise. Led by All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas, the Celts have a record of 38-26, tied for third in the East. Thomas has had a good season, averaging 21.4 points and 6.6 assists a game. Thomas, who was traded to Boston from Phoenix last year, was a vital part in their unlikely run to the playoffs. He is getting help from power forward Jared Sullinger and centers Kelly Olynyk and Tyler Zeller. Plus, their head coach is Brad Stevens, who took Butler University-that’s not a typo-to the NCAA title game. Now the test is whether they can beat Miami or Chicago in the first round. CELTICS TO WATCH:

Image result for marcus smart

Marcus Smart


Image result for isaiah thomas celtics

Isaiah Thomas


Image result for jared sullinger

Jared Sullinger

Image result for kelly olynyk

Kelly Olynyk

4. Atlanta Hawks: At 35-28, the Hawks probably shouldn’t be on this list. But in an East that only has 2 teams above .600, anything can happen. Atlanta is led by power forward Paul Millsap, who received his 3rd straight All-Star nod, forward-center Al Horford, and point guard Jeff Teague. The bench is led by reserve point guard Dennis Schroder and guard-forward Kent Baezmore. Atlanta has had an up-and-down year, aside from two lengthy win streaks. But with the reigning Coach of the Year in Mike Budenholzer, anything can happen. Expect Atlanta to be the 4 or 5 seed. . HAWKS TO WATCH:

Image result for jeff teague

Jeff Teague

Image result for paul millsap hawks

Paul Millsap





Image result for al horford

Al Horford



Image result for kent bazemore 2016

Kent Baezmore


3. Miami Heat: Miami made the Finals 4 years in a row. Then LeBron left, and Miami missed the playoffs. This year, led by All-Stars Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh and point guard Goran Dragic, has surged in 2015-16. At 37-26, Miami is just a few wins away from matching last year’s total of 37-45. Coach Erik Spoelstra, who is in his 8th year as head coach, has led the team to the playoffs in all but one of seven years. Another rising star to watch is center Hassan Whiteside. The bench is lead by shooting guard Gerald Green and vet A’mare Stoudamire. Miami might not have LeBron anymore, but they have lots of talent. Expect them to win the Southeast.


Image result for dwyane wade

Dwyane Wade



Image result for chris bosh

Chris Bosh

Image result for goran dragic heat

Goran Dragic


Image result for hassan whiteside

Hassan Whiteside

2. Toronto Raptors: Toronto has emerged as a powerhouse in the East. Although their lead in the Atlantic Division has been slimmer than we thought, the Raptors have been playing fantastic. Led by the dynamic backcourt duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan, Toronto has jumped out to a 41-20 record, good for second in the East. Other significant players on Toronto’s roster are swingman Terrance Ross, small forward DeMarre Carroll, and center Jonas Valanciunas.. In franchise history, Toronto has won only one playoff series. In the last two years, Toronto was a good team, but they only won the Atlantic due to the fact that the rest of the division was bad. Now, I expect them to reach the Conference Finals.



Image result for kyle lowry

Kyle Lowry

Image result for demar derozan 2016

DeMar DeRozan

DeMarre Carroll

Image result for jonas valanciunas

Jonas Valanciunas

Image result for terrence ross

Terrence Ross


1. Cleveland Cavaliers: Despite the firing of head coach David Blatt, who got them to last year’s finals, Cleveland is my pick to represent the East in June. Coached by former player Tyronn Lue, the Cavs boast plenty experience on the hardwood. Led by superstar LeBron James, Cleveland has jumped out to a conference-leading 44-18 mark.  Aside from James, other major talent Cleveland possesses is point guard Kyrie Irving and power forward Kevin Love. The bench is led by swingmen J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert, who receive additional help from point guard Matthew Dellavadova. Cleveland may not make many big headlines, but they play well when the time comes.


Image result for lebron james

LeBron James

Image result for kyrie irving

Kyrie Irving

Image result for kevin love

Kevin Love

Image result for jr smith

J.R. Smith




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s