cl2117 wrote:I think there are 5 tiers to the East and we're in the 3rd tier.
Tier 1 (contenders):
Nets and Bucks are clearly ahead of the rest. Milwaukee got better and still have Giannis. Nets didn't get worse and have another run at being healthy.
Tier 2 (playoff locks):
Sixers should have an asterisk because if they move Ben Simmons then it depends on what comes back, but their current roster is still playoff lock even if they have an achilles heal of sorts. Hawks showed they are legit and Trae specifically emerged. Heat with Lowry/ Butler/Bam and the rest also seem like a lock.
Tier 2 (playoff/play in locks):
Maybe it's just bias because of the franchise's reputation, but I just don't believe fully in the Knicks. Feels unfair to keep them in this tier after last season and adding good pieces this offseason, but I'm just not sold. Think there is some regression there. Bulls were disappointing after the Vucevic deal, but adding Lonzo and Demar make them dangerous even if they have a ceiling.
C's fit into this tier. I've liked our offseason because there seems to be a clear direction both from a roster construction point of view and a cap/future perspective. That being said I don't know how much better we are than last year. Certainly a play-in tournament team, but not sure we're guaranteed of anything more than that.
Tier 3 (play in teams):
Hornets could vault up into the next tier, but I'm actually expecting some regression for them as well. Can't trust Gordo's health and they lost Graham. They're a fun team to watch, but still years away. Pacers are solid, but nothing special. Type of team that'll steal games from you when your focus slips, but not overly good.
Tier 4 (tanking/lottery):
Cavs are interesting, but I don't think they have any real cornerstones. Wizards with just Beal and pieces are lottery bound. Raps have gone rebuild after dealing Lowry. Magic/Pistons both still at the start of their own rebuilds.
With continued development from our young guys C's could jump up a tier or two easily. Same goes for a big in-season trade (aka Beal). If neither happen we'll still have our chance at a playoff run, but likely as a play-in team or on the road.
Nah. Decency bias.
Nets Bucks are the best and Philly probably third.
After that? Celts, Hawks, Miami 4,5,6.
Knicks and Bulls probably make 7 and 8. Issue is health. Celtics abs Miami had health issues last year. Allowed Hawks and Knicks to climb over.
I like Hawks though.
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