Detroit Pistons: Eastern Conference backcourt rankings
#8: Chicago Bulls
Depth helps the Bulls a lot. Zach LaVine and Lonzo Ball pair really nicely together. Ball is a solid defender and one of the best facilitators in the league when he’s healthy, and LaVine is able to score 40 seemingly at will. On top of that, Alex Caruso and Ayo Dosunmu can start whenever they’re needed. The odds of this group staying healthy is low, but when you have two legitimate starters (one superstar) and two solid bench pieces, the eighth spot might be a little low.
#7: New York Knicks
You can place the Knicks wherever you want on this list, so long as it’s not in the top five. I love that Immanuel Quickley, Derrick Rose, and Quentin Grimes will get to share minutes. Two solid young players and a beloved NBA veteran and former MVP? What’s not to like? At least they’re fun.
After a big fall-off this season after their playoff run the year before, the Knicks signed “star” Jalen Brunson. I think Brunson is incredibly overrated, but if you disagree you can move the Knicks up on your list. Brunson had an amazing series against the Utah Jazz. But during the regular season he benefited a lot from all the attention defenses gave Luka Doncic. In New York, he won’t have that advantage and I suspect he’ll return to Earth.
#6: Charlotte Hornets
LaMelo Ball is the real deal. He is going to be a superstar. I know he had a lot of naysayers, myself included, but oh man has he proved us wrong. He is a nightly triple double threat and is already one of the best facilitators in the league. He can score from anywhere, despite worries about his jump shot, and he’s a solid defender.
Plus, he makes a highlight pretty much every night.
Terry Rozier showed a lot of promise in Boston, and in Charlotte he is quietly living up to the hype. All the cameras have been on Ball the last two seasons, but Rozier is averaging 20 points on 38 percent shooting from deep. The Hornets have a legitimately good player and a young superstar, so expect them to only move up.