Brad Stevens may end up being this year’s NBA Coach of the Year for what he is doing with his Boston Celtics. This is a team that was playoff bound and that was about it to start the season. Entering the All-Star Break, Celtics would have the No. 3 seed if the NBA Playoffs started today.
What makes the Celtics especially dangerous in the playoffs besides hosting games at the TD Garden is that general manager Danny Ainge has so many assets to dangle in front of teams in a possible trade deadline deal. If Boston acquires a superstar in the next week, look out!
Not only does Toronto get to host its first NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, but its NBA franchise in the Toronto Raptors are one of the five best teams in the NBA and could conceivably win the Eastern Conference and play for an NBA Title.
The Raptors will win well over 50 games in the 2015-16 NBA season. While playoff success has evaded the franchise in the post Vince Carter days, anything less than an Eastern Conference Semifinals exit will result in jobs lost north of the US border. The Raptors are too good to not make some serious noise come playoff time.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have held on to the top spot in the East for the entire season, despite having to fire former head coach David Blatt for personal reasons. While the Cavs haven’t looked electrifying in recent weeks, they are still the team to beat in the East.
How new head coach Tyronn Lue integrates power forward Kevin Love better into the mix will go a long way in seeing if the Cleveland Cavaliers can win an NBA Championship. While the Golden State Warriors, the San Antonio Spurs, and maybe even the Oklahoma City Thunder are better than Cleveland at the All-Star Break, the Cavs are the best team in the Eastern Conference and should again play for an NBA Championship.