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NBA EOY Checkin – EAST

As the year 2018 comes to a close, I thought I’d take a quick scan over all 30 NBA teams to this point in the season and rate how they have performed to date.

The comprehensive rating system here at will use the tried an tested “4E” formula** of:

  • Exceed: Where the team has exceeded my expectation to date
  • Expected: Team is about where I expected to this point
  • Eject: Below par, needing a big 2019 to get to where they should be or some players might be heading for the exit!
  • Erase: Forget it, 2019/20 can’t come quick enough!

With that explained, I’ll stop rambling and crack on with some ratings for the Eastern Conference….Enjoy!

Eastern Conference

Toronto (26-10)

Kawhi has hit the ground running and his arrival seems to have bought a new lease on life to big Serge Ibaka too. Pascal Siakam has been a revelation and Kyle Lowry continues to not miss a beat. Top of the East is above where I had expected from the Raps.

Milwaukee (23-10)

I was unsure about the addition of Brook Lopez, but wow it really has worked for them. Additional spacing to remove tall timber and allow Giannis and Middleton to go to work. Good depth, plus Eric Bledsoe looks to have returned to form.

Indiana (23-12)

About where I thought they would be, but the good signs are they have done it with Victor Oladipo missing some games and Myles Turner pretending to be invisible over the first month or so. Sabonis has stepped up and Thad Young continues to work hard and do the small things the team needs.

Philadelphia (22-13)
Below where I thought they would be to date. Probably 4 or 5 more losses than expected and I’m not sold on the Jimmy Buckets move. Plenty of time to turn it around and push for the #1 or #2 seed which I think they will need if they are to advance to the NBA Finals.

Boston (20-13)
Tough one, but I’m thinking they are a little below expectation here. Almost unanimous as a select to win the East, sitting 5th at the moment is a little low. The depth is there and with Kyrie, Horford, Hayward, Tatum, etc, etc, probably don’t need to finish top 2 like Philly to make a Finals run. They just need everyone healthy come April/May/June.

Detroit (16-16)
Around .500 is about right for this roster. As per the preseason, the starting 5 is imposing but the bench is weak. Exactly how things have panned out to date. Injury free, they should hold on to a 6-8 seeding from here.

Charlotte (16-17)
I’ll admit I expected nothing from Charlotte this season, so to sit 7th and hover around .500 is above expectations for me. Kemba Walker is carrying them, but the play of Jeremy Lamb has been surprising.

Miami (16-17)
Were expected to be in the mix for a 7/8 seed and that is where they find themselves right now. The good thing is with various injuries, they have uncovered some additional wing talent in McGruder & Jones Jr. Whiteside’s mental focus is a concern and may hold the key to whether they push up the ladder in 2019 or not.

Brooklyn (17-19)
There was always talent on this roster but I felt it was another year away from challenging for Playoffs. But here they are on the cusp – albeit in the weaker East. Losing LeVert was costly, but the play of Dinwiddie continues to cover his loss. Kurucs looks to be a really good find from the 2nd round.

Orlando (14-19)
Only a couple of weeks ago, they were exceeding but have now hit the wall and look to be sliding down the ladder with some rest days for stars to come. Aaron Gordon has played well, but Vucevic has once again surprised. He’s a sprained pinky finger away from being shutdown or traded though as things spiral towards the lottery in Orlando.

Washington (13-22)
What a joke. As soon as they added the Big Cancer in the offseason, you just knew this locker room was headed for trouble. As the losses mounted up suddenly Wall, Beal and Porter don’t get along – oh dear. Adding Ariza is a hail mary to see if anything can be salvaged. Should have been a lock for top-6 but instead this roster needs to be blown up I think.

Atlanta (9-24)
9 wins to date, as expected. John Collins looks good, so does Trae Young. Building blocks are in place to set the foundation of something good in years to come.

Chicago (9-26)
LaVine is shining, albeit a little ball hungry at times with some Bulls games I’ve watched. Carter Jr could turn into a beast inside and Markkanen continues to build on his rookie campaign as he returns from injury. Like the Hawks, the signs are there to be able to create something from here.

New York (9-26)
With no Porzingis until sometime in 2019 (if at all), it was always going to be a long season in Madison Square Garden. All the Knicks could hope for was to unveil some diamonds and with the play of Knox and Robinson, I think they have done that. Hardaway Jr. has been solid and Trier has surprised, but the PG spot is a mess with no clear solution yet.

Cleveland (8-27)
Look, this should probably be expected too, but I can’t help but rate it as Erase as there’s still too many older blokes on this roster. There’s no clear rebuild direction like some of the other junk teams holding up the East so I’m going with Erase for now.

Stay tuned for my view on the West shortly. Cheers and have a Happy New Year…

(** Note: tried and tested formula on debut!!)

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