The Eastern Conference is much better than it was a year ago. There is more talent, younger guys have developed, and teams just seem to have clicked this past offseason. That said, there is an overwhelming misconception as to which teams are actually atop the conference. There are only three teams the Celtics truly have to keep their eye on.
Let's start with the obvious. The Toronto Raptors are the best team in the East (right now). The Celtics may finish better, they may make a deeper playoff push, but right now the Raptors are just playing better basketball. With a big offseason changing of the star power, they seem to have gelled relatively quickly. All things considered, Kawhi Leonard and this Raptors team appears to be the biggest antagonist in the hopeful story that the Celtics make it to the NBA Finals.
Next up, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. This is the team that scares me the most, to be honest. The Bucks have only lost one game (to the Celtics), and they have beaten the Raptors. Giannis is currently the front-runner to win the MVP Award at the end of this season, and I feel as if he is just getting started. We saw the game in which the Celtics beat the Bucks, it went down to the wire. As I have predicted so far this season, I believe we will see a Celtics-Bucks Eastern Conference Finals series.
The third and final team the Celtics have to keep an eye on is the Indiana Pacers. This team can ball. They are talented, but can also grind you out. We saw them comeback to beat the Celtics already this season. Victor Oladipo is incredibly underrated. Most think he's a really good player, but in reality he is a full-blown superstar. Myles Turner is also a force to be reckoned with. Like Oladipo, this Pacers team often gets overlooked. Let us not forget they took Cleveland to seven games last season.
So, those are the only teams Boston has to worry about. Think I am leaving out the Sixers? Well, think again.. Philly is a good team, probably above average, but they are not a true threat to the Celtics. Not yet. Joel Embiid even admitted the Celtics always kick their asses.