The Milwaukee Bucks and the Boston Celtics just made massive moves to elevate their rosters and their title chances. With Damian Lillard joining Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jrue Holiday replacing Marcus Smart’s two-way presence, the Eastern Conference just added a load of talent.
Their new teams have taken a significant lead on the rest of the conference and that side of the bracket could wind up being a two-horse race come the postseason.
As of right now, Milwaukee’s championship experience with a large chunk of their title core still intact has to give them the edge over Boston when factoring in the fact that they added the better player between Dame and Holiday.
Lillard is also the better fit for his new team, as the Bucks offense has suffered through various slogs throughout their core’s postseason history. His offensive creation, gravity, and extra long-range shooting should significantly open up the floor for the Greek Freak and Khris Middleton to attack the lane.
Dame Time in Milwaukee easily puts them atop the Eastern Conference power rankings, even with the Cs adding Jrue Holiday. As of now, the East should be rated as follows:
1. Milwaukee Bucks
2. Boston Celtics
3. Philadelphia 76ers
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Miami Heat
6. New York Knicks
7. Atlanta Hawks
8. Chicago Bulls
9. Brooklyn Nets
10. Toronto Raptors
11. Indiana Pacers
12. Orlando Magic
13. Detroit Pistons
14. Charlotte Hornets
15. Washington Wizards
|5||Los Angeles Lakers||51-31||21.5|
|6||Golden State Warriors||49-33||18.9|
|12||Los Angeles Clippers||45-37||19.9|
|13||New Orleans Pelicans||44-38||20.3|
|14||Oklahoma City Thunder||44-38||18.0|
|15||New York Knicks||44-38||18.1|
|27||San Antonio Spurs||27-55||15.3|
|30||Portland Trail Blazers||22-60||13.1|
The Sixers and the Heat are easily the two teams that have had the most disappointing offseasons in the East, as they’ve failed to add impactful talent while watching two of their peers rise to a separate tier. The Cleveland Cavaliers would be in the same boat, except their internal development from young players like Darius Garland and Evan Mobley alone should have them improved more than the Heat and the Sixers.
The Toronto Raptors actually took two step backs, losing Fred VanVleet and Head Coach Nick Nurse. Their biggest additions this past summer were Dennis Schroder and rookie Gradey Dick. They figure to be on the tail end of the Play-In Tournament race.
The fun part is that the East could have only two teams who aren’t trying to win games next season. The Magic, Pacers, and Pistons all made moves to add veteran talent and could all consider themselves in reach of a Play-In slot. These are of course subject to change but should be pretty reflective of the early season.
Ranking NBA Teams In The Eastern Conference By Tiers https://t.co/sz9uroViRM
— NBACentral (@TheDunkCentral) October 4, 2023
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| Title: Power Ranking the NBA Eastern Conference
| Author: Andy Quach
| Date: October 4th, 2023