Eastern Conference Contenders


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Article written by Dylan Devine (7/7/20)

In this article I will be discussing who I believe the top three championship contenders are in the Eastern Conference going into the 2020 playoffs. Let it be known that I am writing this article before the NBA restart has begun. So this is solely based on the regular season we saw before COVID-19 hit.

1. Milwaukee Bucks

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Before the NBA season was put on pause, the Bucks were dominating. They had a record of 53-12 and Giannis Antetokounmpo was front runner for the MVP award. Antetokounmpo was averaging 29.6 PPG, 13.7 RPG, and 5.8 APG. Small Forward Kris Middleton was putting up solid numbers as well averaging 21.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, and 4.1 APG. Milwaukee was extremely efficient on both sides of the court. They have a good mixture of young guys and veterans who are all hungry for a championship. Definitely bet on the Bucks to make it to the ECF with a very high chance of making it to the finals.


2. Boston Celtics

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I’ve been waiting a long time to talk about Boston. Boston exceeded everyone’s expectations in the first half of the season and Jayson Tatum proved that he is a future league MVP and is currently in my opinion a top ten player in the league without a doubt. He was averaging 23.6 PPG, 7.1 RPG, and 2.9 APG. I still stand by my statement that Kyrie held back the Celtics from a championship and held back the players around him. Jaylen Brown in his fourth season has proven himself as one of the best two way players in the league and was up for the Most Improved Player award. Everyone clowned the Celtics for giving him that big money contract, but he has proven that he is worth every penny. Check out my article I wrote about JB and that contract back in October here : https://thesportscoops.com/jaylen-brown/ .  Gordon Hayward struggled last season after coming back from his horrific leg injury the prior season, but this year began to show signs of the pre-injury Hayward. He was just shy of averaging 20 PPG, averaging 17.3. Next we have Kemba Walker who is yet again another All-Star PG in Boston. He is the third player on the Celtics averaging 20+ points per game with 21.2 along with 4.9 assists. Then there’s Marcus Smart. A real dog. A top five defensive player in the league. He is a key part of the Celtics team on both sides of the ball and is a big reason they did so well in the first half of the season. The one thing Boston lack’s is a star big man, but they have four solid big men in Daniel Theis who showed some potential, Enes Kanter, Robert Williams, and of course Tacko Fall. Boston is a real contender for the NBA championship and will give Milwaukee a run for there money in the ECF.


3. Philadelphia 76ers

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Boston and Milwaukee are really my top contenders for the chip, but I’m gonna add Philly as a potential team. We can’t deny that Simmons and Embiid are a top five duo in the league, but Philly has their problems. They were very underwhelming in the first half of the seasons and had their struggles. Tobias Harris, Simmons, and Embiid played  good and put up good numbers, but it was Al Horford and Josh Richardson who were really struggling. They also lack a solid bench and are a terrible team on the road. With the NBA season resuming in a bubble and no one being a home team, I really think they’re gonna struggle as they got most of their wins at home. I could be completely wrong and they could make it to the ECF but I don’t see them making it past Boston or Milwaukee.

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