The Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to be the class of the NBA’s Eastern Conference during the upcoming season.
But don’t tell that to Bradley Beal.
The Washington Wizards star guard told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst that he doesn’t think the Cavs and C’s have a leg up on the Wizards. In fact, it’s the other way around.
“I feel like we’re the best team in the East, I really do,” Beal said. “That’s how we feel coming into the season.”
Washington returns the core of the team that was beaten by the Celtics in seven games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Boston was soundly defeated by the Cavs in the Eastern Conference finals, and the Wizards, despite losing to the Celtics, believe they would have given Cleveland a better run.
“We love the matchup against them, and why not?” Beal said. “I said it and JR (Smith) didn’t like it too much, some of their other guys didn’t like it too much. But I felt that way. It’s not disrespect with them, I’m not saying we’d have won the series, but I feel like our competition level and matchups would’ve been better. I’d have loved to see it, but at the end of the day you tip your hat to them. They’ve been in the Finals for the last three years.”
There’s nothing wrong with confidence, but the Wizards need to prove they can beat the Celtics and Cavaliers before they are taken seriously as a contender in the East, and Beal knows that.
“I feel like we’re the team to beat,” Beal said. “But we’ve got to prove it.”
Thumbnail photo via Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports Images
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