We’ve been away for awhile which, based on the small amount of engagement on the Week 12 thread left on the homepage for weeks, isn’t all that big of a deal. Since that post went up, the three biggest changes in the Eastern Conference were as follows: The Boston Celtics have started to open up a chunk of space between themselves in the one seed and everyone else in the conference, the Philadelphia 76ers have kept winning, and the Brooklyn Nets have cooled off a bit.
As such, we’re seeing a segmentation of the East into the top squad (Boston), the contenders (us, Philly, Brooklyn, and Cleveland), and the play-in-ers (Miami, Knicks, Atlanta, Indiana, Chicago, Washington, and Toronto). Out of those groupings, the Cavaliers can lay claim to owning the largest sustained jump in tier, but I also wouldn’t call this breakdown shocking based on preseason expectations. If these tiers hold, the biggest question for the Milwaukee Bucks will be determining whether seeding or rest are the more important component to a deep playoff run. I tend to think to know which way the organization would lean, but there’s enough talent available that they should have a feasible shot at the two seed even if Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday rack up a chunk of DNPs in the second half of the season.
Clippers-Lakers is a battle of the theory of two teams tonight, while Nuggets-Pelicans offers up a top shelf Western Conference duel. Nets-Sixers on Wednesday jumps out, as does Mavericks-Suns on Thursday. Over the weekend we’ve got Nuggets-Sixers on Saturday which should be a fun big man battle between Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid.
Follow along with those games and any others in the coming week in the comments below!