The 2018-19 NBA season has arrived, and the basketball world already is heating up with hot takes.
Two scorchers came Tuesday morning courtesy of Nick Wright, who offered his opinion on the state of the Eastern Conference during the latest edition of “First Things First” on FOX Sports 1.
Ahead of the Opening Night tilt between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, Wright identified the two East powerhouses as the two best teams in the conference. While no one would bat an eye at this take, two others uncorked in Wright’s deliverance were questionable, to say the least.
“What you have is what I think is the best starting lineup in the East in Philadelphia against the deepest team in the East in Boston,” Wright said. “You also have the best coach in the East in Boston. This is most people’s pick for the Eastern Conference finals and most everyone has the Celtics winning that matchup. I’m a man on an island thinking Philly is gonna be the best team, but these are definitely the two best teams.”
Uh … what?
Identifying the 76ers’ starting five as the best in the East is a step above a head-scratcher. While a lineup of Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, Robert Covington, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid undoubtedly is strong, how could you put it ahead of a crew that consists of Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford?
Even more befuddling was Wright picking the Sixers to represent the East in this season’s NBA Finals. Boston quickly dispatched Philadelphia in the teams’ Eastern Conference semifinals series just five months ago, and that was without the services of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. Simmons and Embiid likely will make a big jump this campaign, but who’s to say Brown and Tatum won’t as well?
All things considered, we won’t be surprised if Wright is backtracking on both of these takes as the season progresses.