Halfway through the season, the Eastern Conference has proved they can compete at the same level as the Western Conference. In the past two decades, teams in the ast have won the Larry O’Brien trophy seven times.
Here is a summary of the 1-3 seeds in the Eastern Conference:
Milwaukee Bucks (46-8)
One name stands out when talking about the Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo. The 6’11” forward has dominated the NBA with jaw-dropping dunks and stellar defense. Averaging 30 points, 13.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assists puts the Greek Freak above everyone else for MVP. The Bucks don’t have a .852 win percentage just from the contributions of one player. Starting with Kyle Korver at 38, the Bucks have the third oldest roster in the NBA. Four of the five starters are over 28 years old. At midpoint of the 2019-20 season, the Bucks have a steady lead at the top of the East and will continue to keep making history.
Toronto Raptors (40-15)
With the departure of Kawhi Leonard in the off-season, many believed the Raptors infamous season was a one-time success story. Losing a player of Leonard’s caliber is always detrimental, however the Raptors find themselves in second place in the conference. How have they done it? The 13 year veteran Kyle Lowry has continued to be a leader with the presence of Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol. Toronto has also been a well equipped destination for player development. Players such as Pascal Siakam have a huge contribution to their success. Siakam has averaged 23.5 points and 7.5 rebounds this season. Even without a superstar, the Raptors have found a way to keep winning.
Boston Celtics (38-16)
If you enjoy watching team basketball, tune into a Celtics game. All the players are having fun on the court. This is a great example of “There’s no I in team”. On any given night Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, or Gordon Hayward could lead the way. This all starts with the exit of Kyrie Irving and the introduction of Walker in the off-season. Kemba has spread a significant amount of positivity within the organization. There were discussions and rumors about the Celtics near the trade deadline, however Danny Ainge decided to stay put with the current roster. Many have not bought into the Daniel Theis/Enes Kanter duo. However, Theis and Kanter are ranked among the top centers in the league regarding defensive rating. Theis has a defensive rating of 103.4, and Kanter has a rating of 102.6. The Celtics are the real deal and make a case for a top contender in the league.
Original Photo Credit: 98.5 The Sports Hub
Edited by: Joshua Witherbee
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