The new look Toronto Raptors are dangerous
Don't sleep on Toronto.
Fans of the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, and Philadelphia 76ers were probably throwing a party on Sunday Night when they found out that Lebron James was heading to the Los Angeles Lakers. His team's have been to the NBA Finals for the past eight years. Four of them were with the Miami Heat and four of them were with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The last time a Lebron James team was not in the NBA Finals was the 2009-2010 Boston Celtics. The last time an eastern conference team won the NBA Finals that didn't have Lebron James was the 2007-2008 Boston Celtics. With Lebron James not in the east anymore, which teams have a chance to represent the east in the NBA Finals next season?
The first team that comes to mind is the Boston Celtics. They were one win away from making it to the NBA Finals last season without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Young players like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have blossomed faster than expected. They also have a very good defense. Al Horford is a very good center. Brad Stevens is one of the best coaches in the NBA. They are likely to represent the east in the NBA Finals next season.
The second team that comes to mind is the Toronto Raptors. They had a very good bench last season. Toronto had the top recorded in the eastern conference. The Raptors have been eliminated by the Cleveland Cavaliers three years in a row. Dwane Casey was fired and Nick Gross is now the new head coach for the Toronto Raptors. They maybe will finally get over the hump in the east now that Lebron James is out west.
The third team that comes to mind is the Philadelphia 76ers. They have two of the top 20 players in the NBA in Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. They also like the way Markelle Fultz has been rehabing. He is off limits in trade talks for Kawhi Leonard. They also have very good role players like J.J Reddick, Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Zhaire Smith, and Wilson Chandler. Philadelphia is very good defensively. The 76ers are well coached by Brett Brown and he is currently serving as their general manager.
The fourth team that comes to mind is the Milwaukee Bucks. They have one of the best players in the world in Giannis Antetokounmpo. He can score, he can defend, and Antetokounmpo is an excellent play maker. He has role players like Malcolm Brogdon and Khris Middleton. Ersan Ilyasova and Donte DiVincenzo are also very good role players. They need to shoot better from the field in order to beat teams. If they can do that, the Milwaukee Bucks can be a dangerous team to beat. They are very good defensively and they also have Thon Maker as a rim protector. Mike Budenholzer is the new head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. He has coached with the Atlanta Hawks since the 2013-2014 season. Budenholzer has playoff experience as a head coach. He has made the playoffs four-out-of-five seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, including a 60-win campaign in 2014-2015.
The two best teams in the east heading into next season is the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Celtics should represent the east in the NBA Finals and they will lose to the Golden State Warriors.