The eastern conference battle this season has been at its most competitive and talented since a while ago. To the general public that’s a good thing, for Boston fans maybe not so much.
The Boston Celtics sit in the middle of the pack with a 10-8 record. They’ve lost 5 of their last 6 games. One of those games being to the Lakers in which they lost by only 1 point. Nonetheless, their losing streak is just a result of the conference becoming better. But if Brad Stevens and the rest don’t pick it up soon, they might see their season go by fast.
Eastern Conference Teams That Are Factors
With the new addition of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant, and now James Harden Brooklyn is damn good. Also, can’t forget the Miami Heat in which Boston lost to in the eastern finals last year. Celtics have a few more tough teams to face. The Philadelphia 76ers have become a more well-rounded squad. Joel Embiid is back healthy and Doc Rivers is the coach now. And although the Pacers may have lost Victor Oladipo, don’t count them out just yet.
Teams such as Washington, Miami, and Charlotte are a winning streak away from being in playoff contention. And although the odds of that happen may be unlikely, don’t rule it out just yet. Right now every team is very close to wins within their record. Teams such as Atlanta are in the mix despite lacking depth, size, and experience. With this new set of limited to no fans in the stands, the dynamic has changed. Even Cleveland has been making noise despite trade rumors and other off-court news.
Injuries Are More Crucial Than Before
Injuries have also played a major factor in this eastern conference battle. With games being played so frequently, injuries that last weeks to months are huge. Kemba Walker missed the first month of the season and is now just getting back to his normal groove. But perhaps the Celtics don’t have that time to spare. The division is close, fewer than 82 games will be played, and the offseason was cut short.
However, with the talent, Boston possesses they still are and should be one of the top teams in the easter conference. But just how tight the conference is appearing to be, each night will be deemed crucial. No more games to give away to other teams. And games to ‘elite’ teams mean that much more. Stars like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will need to step up as they most certainly can.
If Boston is able to pull together a few wins their right back in the top seed. Which can be a good or bad thing depending on how one sees it. One injury, loss, positive COVID testing can change the trajectory of a whole season. But that’s what makes sports so impactful: the unexpected.