The Atlantic Division will keep the East interesting despite the talent discrepancy compared to the West
After LeBron James went over to the Los Angeles Lakers, he turned the talent discrepancy between the East and the West into a joke. The majority of the top players in the league are playing out West, and there is not much left for the East.
Right now, the best thing the East as a whole has going for them in youth. There are a lot of strong young cores, but very few of these players are as established as the top players on all the top teams in the West right now.
This has people calling for an elimination of conference seeding, with straight 1-16 seeding. There are complications that will probably always get in the way, so the NBA has to hope that the East will be able to bring excitement despite not having the talent of the West.
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Fortunately, the Atlantic Division is shaping up in a way that could be as exciting as almost anything going on out West. In fact, it could end up being the most exciting race and competition in the NBA given the impossibility of beating the Warriors in the West.
In the East, at least you can be competing for a spot in the Finals, rather than a spot in the Conference Finals.
On top of that, the things going on in the Atlatic division right now might also be more exciting than any other division in the NBA. Everyone was expecting the Philadelphia 76ers to be the favotirtes to get Kawhi Leonard, but the Toronto Raptors came out of no where with a shocking trade.
Trying to figure out where Leonard’s mind will be this season is impossible, but it makes the Raptors a lot more intriguing, and everyone will be trying to see if Leonard is going to perform in a way that can help threaten the Boston Celtics.
Even if the 76ers didn’t get Leonard, they are still one of the most interesting teams. Their young talent gives them as much potential as anyone in the NBA. Them and the Celtics might be the best active rialry in the NBA, and everyone wants to see if the 76ers can do enough to keep up with the Celtics in the playoffs.
Then you have the Celtics, who should be the biggest threat to the Warriors, even if no one is an actual realistic threat.
The Atlantic division is going to be good enough to put pressure on the Celtics, bringing out their very best. The Raptors are clinging onto their last opportunity, because no one is expecting Leonard to come back, and that means blowing this team up, after having sent away key assets for one season of Leonard.
The 76ers are not on their last opportunity, but it is time for these prospects to really materialize, and show everyone that they will be able to reach their potential.
The Celtics also know how high their standard is, and they are going to make sure to use these strong teams in their division to get as strong as possible.
These teams will be battling all year long, and gives the East three teams that could end up being more interesting to watch than almost any team out West, even if the Celtics are still the only ones that really have the top end talent and depth like the top of the West.
The state of the East is not in a good place right now, and even the lower half of the playoff teams will be quite underwhelming. The Atlantic division, however, is giving the NBA three teams that everyone will want to pay attention to, with all kinds of bad blood and desperate situations.
Even if a lot of basketball out West will be played better, the East is not a completely pathetic display, and recent changes to the Atlantic division make it the most exciting in the NBA this season.