The Big Boys With A Shot
Milwaukee Bucks – They have that championship swagger which makes them dangerous. The Bucks don’t seem worried about home court in the playoffs. They are more worried about being healthy.
Brooklyn Nets – The Nets made a statement against the Bulls. They need a beefier big and a Kyrie Irving that plays full time to win it all. They have the most offensive talent in the division.
Miami Heat – Don’t underestimate them they can play with anybody. They seem to find players that fit in with their culture, Injuries don’t seem to faze them as it’s a next man up philosophy.
Chicago Bulls – I hesitate putting Chicago in this group but will because they have the best record in the division. The Bulls need to go through the rigors of the playoffs once before they become a full fledged contender. They need to tighten up their defense and Caruso coming back will help them defensively.
Philadelphia 76ers – They can only go as far as Embiid takes them. Philadelphia needs to resolve the Simmons situation one way or another because with him they are a contender and with the right trade they can become a contender.
Play In Candidates
Toronto Raptors – They are dangerous and hitting their stride. A team nobody wants to play in the playoffs. Van Fleet is deserving of All Star recognition and they have a lot of good pieces to go with him.
Cleveland Cavaliers – If their backcourt wasn’t beat up by injuries the Cavs would be better than a play in team but unfortunately it is. Darius Garland and Evan Mobley are future stars. Jarrett Allen is an All Star.
Charlotte Hornets – Charlotte is an entertaining team with a ceiling that is probably fifth or sixth place. Of their forty remaining games they have twenty-four home games left and this gives them a chance to avoid the play in game by coming in fifth or sixth..
Washington Wizards – Washington started great but are struggling. They seem to be the classic middle of the road team. Kyle Kuzma‘s clutch play makes you wonder if he could be the missing ingredient.
Boston Celtics – It seems you don’t know what you get from game to game with them. They are dangerous because of Tatum and Brown.
New York Knicks – The Knicks are similar to Boston in that you don’t know what you get from night to night. RJ Barrett is coming on and in time could be a star. Last year Randle was a star but this year he seems more worried about the fans.
Atlanta Hawks – Atlanta is a team with problems. If they would defend like last year they would be dangerous but their lack of D is killing them. If Atlanta wasn’t coming off a great season I’d be counting them out already. A frustrating team to watch because of their talent.
Indiana Pacers – A team with these players shouldn’t be this bad. They have had their share of injuries but so has most of the league so that isn’t an excuse.
Orlando Magic – The Magic have young talent but this will take time while those players develop.
Detroit Pistons – The Pistons are starting to find pieces, Cunningham and Bey. They still have a ways to go, because the process is just beginning.
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