The NBA season is upon us. We’ve already given you our thoughts on the Western Conference and now we turn our attention to the other side with our NBA Eastern Conference preview for the 2021 season. We’ll be talking through every division and highlighting the ones to watch in respect of both teams and players.
NBA Eastern Conference 2021 preview
The Central Division
When we say Central, you say Bucks. Central… We have to kick off our NBA Eastern Conference preview for 2021 with the team that won the Championship last season, the Milwaukee Bucks. They will be there or there about again this time round too. Khris Middleton is top player. Jrue Holiday is another man that oozes class and then you’ve got the main man, Giannis Antetokounmpo. If those three can get on the court together for the majority of the season then the league better watch out.
We don’t see the other teams touching the Bucks but there’s still much to be excited about. There is a huge hype around a certain Cade Cunningham in the Detroit Pistons and it will be interesting to see how he handles the demand of being the star man with such little experience. The Chicago Bulls have had an intriguing offseason with Lonzo Ball the pick of their new faces. If the new boys all click then they could serve up some real entertainment. Entertaining basketball will be the order of the year for the Pacers too; they won’t do anything of note but Malcolm Brogdon – when fit – is absolute top drawer. The Cavs? What about them.
The Atlantic Division
Let’s switch things up in the Atlantic Division and do our writing off first. The Toronto Raptors have lost Kyle Lowry to Miami Heat, which is a hammer blow to them whilst the Knicks won’t achieve anything of note either. We’re a tad torn on the Boston Celtics. They’ve been really smart since the end of last season with their better players being pinned down to new deals and Dennis Schroeder is a sound addition to the roster. Is that enough? Probably not but it’s a great base to build on over the next year or two.
Now onto the big guns. The Brooklyn Nets are the obvious team which jumps out with the likes of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden. Not only are they the likely winner of the Atlantic Division but you won’t find many writing them out of a tilt at the Championship. The trio we just named could easily light up the NBA stage week in, week out. It’s natural people will talk about those three in this division but make sure you take your Brooklyn blinkers off because Joel Embiid on the Philadelphia 76ers is one of the best around. If he is on his game, nobody will fancy facing the 76ers. Can he carry them by himself all season long? Probably not.
The Southeast Division
Last but not least in our 2021 NBA Eastern Conference preview, we head to the Southeast. We can put Orlando Magic in the bin now so apologies to any Magic fans but you’re doing nothing this year. We’re tempted to make the same judgement of the Charlotte Hornets too but they do have one player that gives them a glimmer of hope; that’s LaMelo Ball. If he doesn’t live up to expectations though it will be a very long season for them. An in between team is Washington. They’ve got a decent enough roster but no star quality. The only true world class talent they had on the roster has gone to LA; that’s Russell Westbrook to the Lakers for those a little less familiar!
That leaves just two teams left to look at in our NBA Eastern Conference preview; Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks. We’ve briefly touched on the Heat already so let’s continue that; their addition of Lowry from the Raptors could be a stroke of genius. They could, however, get caught short against teams that attack with real pace and intent. Miami simply don’t have the players with the physical attributes to combat that. Then you have the Hawks, who we quite fancy. De’Andre Hunter being fit is bigger than you can imagine for them as it gives Trae Young, their star man, another quality player to work with. How far can they go? We’ll find out soon enough.
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