NBA Eastern Conference Power Rankings: Boston And Philly Start On Top

Oct 17, 2018, 6:59 PM | Updated: Oct 18, 2018, 2:07 am
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 14: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives to the basket while guard...
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 14: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives to the basket while guarded by Marcus Morris #13 of the Boston Celtics in the second quarter of game at TD Garden on October 16, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
  1. Boston Celtics


    If the Celtics can get through opening night relatively healthy, they’ll be one step ahead of where they were last season. Gordon Hayward is back and going to be on a slight minutes restriction, but as they proved when he and Kyrie Irving were out with injuries, the rest of the roster is more than capable of picking up the slack should anything happen.

  2. Philadelphia 76ers

    Is this the year that The Process is completed? A lot will depend on Markelle Fultz’s development as a shooter and playmaker. Luckily he has a strong support cast with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons as star players.

  3. Toronto Raptors

    Last season, the Raptors were top dogs in the East but were bounced once again in the playoffs by LeBron’s Cavaliers. LeBron is gone, but Toronto is a different team with Kawhi Leonard and new head coach Nick Nurse. How far can these changes take the Raptors? Time will tell.

  4. Milwaukee Bucks

    Giannis Antetokounmpo is being lauded as a sexy pick for MVP. There’s no doubt that he’s a great player but does he’ll need support from his team to make a run in the East. Jabari Parker is no-longer a running mate, but Chris Middleton is also poised to breakout as a star too.

  5. Indiana Pacers

    Victor Oladipo was the runaway Most Improved Player last season. He also surprised the basketball world by leading the Pacers into the playoffs last season. He’ll have to pick up where he left off to do it again in the 2018-19 season. The team also committed to Myles Turner as a cornerstone of the franchise with a big contract extension.

  6. Washington Wizards

    The Wizards will have another shot at a deep playoff run with the backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal in their prime. If they can’t pull it together and show some bite right off the bat, it’s possible that one or both of them could be in different cities by the end of the season.

  7. Miami Heat

    As of opening night, the Heat are still in a holding pattern reportedly as the leading candidate to provide a solution to the Jimmy Butler dilemma in Minnesota. In the wide-open Eastern Conference, they still have a decent roster with Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic. If Whiteside can get back to his former, pre-big contract extension days, they’ll be playoff contenders.

  8. Detroit Pistons

    If nothing else, this should be one of the top rebounding teams in the East behind Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. New head coach Dwane Casey has a lot to prove after being canned and winning Coach of the Year in the same offseason. A lot will depend on whether this team’s bench play can materialize.

  9. Cleveland Cavaliers

    It’s the post-LeBron Era, Part 2 in Cleveland. This time around there don’t seem to be too many hard feelings towards the King. Kevin Love is still on the roster and will be in a top-starring role for the first time since his days in Minnesota. First round draft pick Colin Sexton is top-notch competitor and will keep this team move competitive than they were the first time they lost James.

  10. New York Knicks

    Star center Kristaps Porzingis is going to be out with a torn ACL until Christmas at the least. It’ll be interesting to see how they do until he gets back. Rumors are circulating that the Knicks will be playing with next season in mind, when they can possibly land a major free agent.

  11. Charlotte Hornets

    New head coach Steve Clifford managed to convince Michael Jordan and the rest of the Hornets brass that his health concerns were not a concern. The Hornets missed the playoffs last season, and will need to either make a move to help All-Star Kemba Walker get back to the postseason or play for a rebuild. Right now, they’re stuck in the middle.

  12. Chicago Bulls

    With the addition of hometown hero Jabari Parker, the Bulls now possess one of the best young rosters in the NBA. Unfortunately for Chicago, the key word may be young. They’re a talented bunch, but lack the experience necessary to become a playoff contender, unless they can prove otherwise.

  13. Brooklyn Nets

    With the possibility of drafting their own first rounder for the first time in years, look for the Nets to play poorly out the gate and all the way through the season. They finally have a future on the table, so look for them to play for it this season.

  14. Orlando Magic

    Like the Bulls, this is a young and talented team. They are however, extremely young and their best player, Aaron Gordon, doesn’t have the same upside as the Bulls’ Jabari Parker. The young big men like Gordon and first round draft pick Mo Bamba will get plenty of runs, but the perimeter play will leave a lot to be desired for.

  15. Atlanta Hawks

    Trae Young will have more opportunity and thus more burden than any other rookie in the league. Luckily for him, he’ll have relatively no pressure to win. This team will be gunning for one of the top picks in next year’s draft.


Utah Jazz forward Ochai Agbaji...
Chandler Holt

Jazz Guard Ochai Agbaji Speaks On Path To Utah, Rookie Experience

In a recent interview, Jazz rookie Ochai Agbaji talked about being traded to the Jazz and how his rookie season has gone so far.
1 day ago
Deron Williams #8 of the Utah Jazz dunks over Ron Artest #37 of the Los Angeles Lakers during Game ...
Chandler Holt

Deron Williams, Jason Terry Named Coaches For Rising Stars Challenge

Current Jazz coach Jason Terry and former Jazz player Deron Williams have been selected to coach in the Rising Stars Challenge in Utah.
1 day ago
Ben Anderson

Jordan Clarkson Excited For NBA World To Experience Utah

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson said he was excited for the world to experience Salt Lake City over All-Star Weekend.
1 day ago
Chandler Holt

Jazz Rookie Walker Kessler Named To Rising Stars Challenge

Jazz fans will have a familiar face to root for during the Rising Stars game at All-Star Weekend, standout rookie bigman Walker Kessler.
1 day ago
Chandler Holt

Malik Beasley Hits Impossible Fading Three To Beat Shot Clock

In the fourth quarter against Dallas, Malik Beasley hit a tough fading jumpshot to beat the shot clock and give the Jazz a 20-point lead.
4 days ago
Brian Preece

Rookie Walker Kessler Having Monster Performance Against Dallas Mavericks

Walker Kessler has been everything Will Hardy could ask for and more in his rookie season, making an impact on both ends for the Utah Jazz.
4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
NBA Eastern Conference Power Rankings: Boston And Philly Start On Top