When it comes to the NBA Eastern and Western Conferences, most would say that the Western Conference has been the deeper conference over the past fifteen years. The West has won an overall 11 titles compared to the Eastern Conference’s 6 since the year 2000.
This year, though, the Eastern Conference could be just as deep as the Western Conference, and here are a few reasons why:
- The Cleveland Cavaliers
The Cleveland Cavaliers are a team coming off the best Finals comeback in NBA History. A historical season for Cleveland, LeBron and company want to keep making history and become repeat champions. Their presence is making every other team around them better. The Chicago Bulls are a team that has become an option at contending. More teams around the conference are attempting to build a bench to compliment their superstars, something the Cavaliers did to win.
- Offseason Moves
The free agency moves in the East were sneaky. When it comes to the Chicago Bulls, there is no doubt they have improved their backcourt with the additions of Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo. Jimmy Butler is healthy, and with Rondo and Wade, he can compliment with them offensively, while becoming a sneaky good defensive rotation. The New York Knicks made offseason moves by adding Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Courtney Lee. A healthy Rose and Carmelo could spell disaster for the rest of the East.
The Celtics didn’t regress, but only improved with the addition of Al Horford. A scary addition.
Two more teams that were aggressive in the offseason are the Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks. Paul George finally has a legitimate point guard with Jeff Teague, and the Atlanta Hawks created space for Dennis Schroder in trading Teague. It was a win-win for both side, but the Hawks just hope Schroder and new addition Dwight Howard are able to get along.
The playoff race will be tight
The playoff race will be fun to watch in the Eastern Conference. After the Cavaliers, it is really up for grabs. Teams like the Wizards and Hornets were quiet in the offseason, but are looking to improve on their seasons from last year. It will be tight from 4-8 in the seeding with teams like New York, Boston, Toronto, Indiana, Atlanta, Chicago all having the ability to be in the top 3.
The Western Conference has gotten young
The Western Conference is very top heavy. After the Warriors and Spurs, it is ultimately a toss up for the rest of the seeds. The conference has gotten young with two teams that are looking to make their first playoff pushes with the Timberwolves and Jazz. A lot of analyst around the league think they have a shot at good seeding this upcoming season. The Western Conference has a lot of teams with great players who are still just rebuilding or have no direction. Sorry Pelicans and Kings. The East does as well, but the East is rebuilding sooner than people expected.