The beasts of the Eastern Conference
Column by Hunter O. Lyle — Sports Editor
The league has seen so much shuffling around of players and picks in the past year which should actually result in interesting basketball, compared to the previous half decade of Lebron versus the Warriors — thank you Toronto. With that being said, these are the teams to look out for in the Eastern Conference:
76ers: Philadelphia definitely suffered the most heart-breaking of endings to their season last year, which came from the first-ever game-seven winning buzzer beater shot in the second round. That, coupled with the fact that the team traded star shooting guard Jimmy Butler to Miami, would have left questions about the team’s near future had the team not just picked up some floor-spacing ability in center Al Horford, while also resigning forward Tobias Harris. This year’s 76ers team also features 6’9” point guard Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, who was an MVP candidate last year and who might have a good chance at taking the award home this year. The team seems to be looking to get last year’s bad taste out of their mouth, and if injuries do not plague their way, they may be in position to do so.
Bucks: The Bucks certainly made the most of this summer. While they inevitably lost the former 2017 Rookie of the Year shooting guard Malcolm Brogdon in free agency, the team was able to re-sign both small forward Khris Middleton and center Brook Lopez. The Bucks also chose to be ambitious this offseason, picking upveteran shooting guard Kyle Korver, who could provide some muchneeded floor spacing for the reigning MVP Giannas Antetokounmpo.
The Bucks had a great year and a similar playoff run, and while this year’s season is just three weeks away, the Bucks seem to want to pick up where they left off.
Celtics: Compared to the Bucks, the Celtics did not do much in the offseason. Their one blockbuster move came early: superstar point guard Kemba Walker chose to come to Boston in a signand-trade for Terry Rozier and some draft picks. The Celtics, who were widely considered to be one of the teams with the most young talent filling their roster last year, are apparently waiting and developing their homegrown talent — and who could blame them?
There is certainly more teams in the East that have reloaded over the summer, but these three teams seem to be the cream of the crop this early on.