The NBA playoffs are the most exciting part of the year for sports fans. Getting a taste of what’s next from your favorite teams is exciting and it gives you a reason to watch through the end of the regular season. The excitement in the Eastern Conference is huge right now, with the Cavs, Bulls, Pistons and Pacers all within an arm’s length of each other and the one with the best record coming out on top. With the East being so competitive, any underdog team that wins in the playoffs has a great chance of making it to the finals, where they will face off against the defending champions.
Let’s get into the Eastern Conference playoffs series right away. The first series that we’ll look at is the Pistons. Detroit has been one of the strongest teams in the league the last few years and is currently sitting at an impressive 17-2 record. They’ve also been one of the most impressive draws in the NBA lottery, taking big shots in hopes of landing a star player or two in order to build a powerhouse defense in the Eastern Conference. If the Pistons can’t get hot at the right time, they could be headed for a rocky ride towards the end of the next season.
The second team to face a rocky road to the playoffs is the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs were supposed to be a top three team in the Eastern Conference, but injuries to key players has left them as a team looking up at the Wolves, Bulls, and Pacers. Cleveland has looked lost without Kevin Love, leaving them to play the young kids on the biggest stage. The hope in Cleveland is that their young guns can bring about some change in the championship race this year. The playoffs will be a good test to see how much improvement can be made by the Cavs in the near future.
The Bucks are the final Eastern Conference team to make it to the NBA Finals. Milwaukee has built a solid foundation with the likes of Giannis Antetokounmpo, as for Justise Winslow, and Thabo Sefolosha comes off the bench to help get the Bucks a lick of basketball life. Milwaukee’s success so far this season is a good measuring stick for what the Bucks are capable of. This year’s results have shown that the Bucks are ready to make the jump from a mid-tier team to one of the top seeds in the NBA.
The Orlando Magic has been another team to fall victim to the unexpected. They were thought to be a team that could contend for the Southeast division title. Instead, they have been a team to watch for the rest of the year, as they struggle to find consistent play on both ends of the floor. The injuries to key players such as O’Neal and Prince have taken a toll on the Magic, as they are now a middle-of-the-road team that just doesn’t have enough punch to go beyond the Eastern Conference. The Magic will have to rebuild their front line, while finding a way to score enough points to win.
The Toronto Raptors has been a team on the rise the last two seasons, and they’re well positioned to challenge the Cavs for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Many experts agree that the return of Val Majewski as an All-Star caliber player will be enough to give the Raps a significant edge in the East. Toronto enters the playoffs as the only team with a true shot at the NBA title, but the question is will the Raps be able to sustain the fire that brought them to this point. There are too many holes to fill just yet. This team will have a great chance to prove that they belong in the conversation for the top team in the East once again.