Like everyone once a post season and free agency season ends it’s always nice to take a look forward and see what the future holds.
With some of the major trades from the East Coast going West (Jimmy Butler and Paul George) there are a few spots left for newcomers in tbe Eastern Conference.
Here are my predictions from the 8th seed to the number 1 seed.
8) Charlotte Hornets
The Hornets were a playoff team two years ago however; they did fall to the 11 seed last season. In this offseason they were serious and went after a big time center and brought in veteran Dwight Howard to anchor the defense, they also signed former Sixers Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams to be a backup to Kemba Walker.
Charlotte also may have gotten the steal of the draft in Malik Monk from Kentucky. The Hornets will be much improved and should see themselves in the playoffs again.
7) Miami Heat
The Miami Heat finished the 2016-2017 campaign as one of the hottest teams in the league, in the first half they were one of the worst, all in all they finished 41-41 and tied for the last playoff spot.
It will be tough to tell which Miami teams shows up, if it’s the second half which had a 30-11 record they will be among the best in the league, if it’s the 11-30 team they will be high in the lottery. I think they’ll be in the middle and land in the 7th spot in the East.
The Heat did miss out on the Gordon Hayward sweepsteaks and ended up re-signing Dion Waiters to a 52 million dollar extension.
The team also added Kelly Olynyk from Boston.
6) Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers have a ton of talent, with Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz as number one picks, Joel Embiid and potentially the best center in the game, Dario Saric coming into his own and the free agent signing of JJ Redick this team could be a team to be recommend with.
Or everyone could end up injured again and the lottery process begins again. If everyone stays healthy this is a very young team, some would say much higher than the six seed. I’d like to put brakes on that, realistic expectations Philadelphia.
5) Toronto Raptors
The Toronto Raptors may start seeing the decline in years. Demar Derozan is still a very good player, they finished tied for the second seed and ended up in third last year however; they looked old against Milwaukee but did win 4-2, but then got sweeped by Cleveland.
The Raptors did lost Demarre Carroll in a salary dump trade and had to overpay to keep Kyle Lowry.
This team is too good to fall that far but the season after this could see the Raptors in re-build mode.
4) Washington Wizards
With John Wall and Bradley Beal this team should be really good, they have been consistent for years but can’t get past the hump. If they were to matchup with Toronto in the first round of the playoffs they would win easily, getting past that might be the problem.
3) Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks gave a veteran Toronto team all they could handle in the first round this past season and they show no signs of slowing down. If this first two teams weren’t really good I think you could easily move the Bucks higher up the ladder.
Along with Jabari Parker and this past seasons Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon this team is going to be good for a long time.
2) Boston Celtics
The Celtics shocked the world and were the number one seed in the East last season and they got the number three overall pick in the draft taking Jayson Tatum from Duke. The Celtics also added the best free agent to come East in Gordon Hayward.
Time will tell if the Celtics can keep up last years pace, they are a very good young team who still has good draft picks coming up.
1) Cleveland Cavaliers
They haven’t added anything as of yet however; they are far and away the best the East has to offer.
Time will be ticking on this team, the clock just won’t run out for the 2017-2018 campaign.
First Round Predictions
Cleveland over Charlotte 4-0
Boston over Miami 4-2
Milwaukee over Philadelphia 4-2
Washington over Toronto 4-1
Second Round Predictions
Cleveland over Washington 4-0
Milwaukee over Boston 4-3
Cleveland over Milwaukee 4-2