New NBA power rankings: Is the East better than the West?
Could win the East and an NBA title
- Milwaukee Bucks
- Boston Celtics
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- New York Knicks
- Miami Heat
Could win the West and an NBA title
- Denver Nuggets
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Phoenix Suns
- Golden State Warriors
- LA Clippers
- LA Lakers
The East may be more top-heavy after the Lillard and Holiday trades. Oddsmakers agree, and now have the Bucks and Celtics as the most likely teams to make the NBA Finals next season.
But there is a big drop-off after that, as the 76ers are a bit of a mess with the Harden situation and the Cavs, Knicks and Heat haven’t really improved their rosters this season, and in the case of Miami, you could say they’ve gotten worse after losing two rotation players and missing out on Lillard.
There is less of a drop off in the West, as the Grizzlies, Suns, Warriors, Lakers, and to a lesser extent, Clippers, believe they can win it all and have an argument. The Nuggets did lose some key role players and the Grizzlies have the Ja Morant situation to deal with, but the Suns, Warriors and Lakers have all gotten better this offseason.
The East may be as good or better at the very top, but the West still seems like the better top-to-bottom conference. It’s definitely gotten closer, but unless some of the middling teams in the East make moves, the West still has more title contenders.
Edge: Western Conference