The NBA is heavily split in the talent department with a vast majority of the superstar level talent in the Western Conference as opposed to the East. The Dallas Mavericks play in the West, but a look at the East would still be intriguing.
The NBA has so much talent right now, a lot of it coming in pairs. The LA Lakers have LeBron James and Anthony Davis. The LA Clippers have Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. The Houston Rockets have James Harden and Russell Westbrook. The Dallas Mavericks have Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis.
The biggest problem with all of these names and star pairings is that they’re all on one side of the NBA playoff bracket. It is no secret that the West has been significantly stronger than the East for years, but this year might possibly have the biggest disparity ever between the two conferences. Especially if you consider that Kevin Durant will be out the entire season.
Despite the disparity between the two conferences, the Eastern Conference actually has a pretty good group of teams that could very easily end the season in a close grouping near the top of the standings. The conference really separates into groups that range from the favorites to the bottom feeders with plenty of confusion in between.
The East is coming off their first Finals win over a Western Conference favored team since 2016. However, this was the first Eastern Conference champion that did not have LeBron James since 2008 when the Boston Celtics created their own version of the big three with Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
The Raptors are likely not going to be the favorites this year after losing their best player and possibly the best two-way player in the league, so who else will step up to take down the West, which now includes East saviors, LeBron and Kawhi Leonard?
Let’s look at my projected standings.