For the first time since the 2013-14 season, basketball fans will be treated to an NBA Finals that doesn’t pit the Golden State Warriors up against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
While the Warriors have a strong chance of reaching the Finals yet again, the LeBron James-less Cavaliers have been dreadful this season, opening up the door for a new king of the Eastern Conference. And given the nature of the top-heavy East, conference supremacy seems to be completely up for grabs.
The NBA-leading Milwaukee Bucks have been a force to be reckoned with throughout the campaign, while the new-look Toronto Raptors have looked pretty darn impressive with Kawhi Leonard leading the charge. But if you ask Colin Cowherd, it will be the Boston Celtics representing the East in June.
It’s not much of a surprise that “The Herd” host has the Celtics getting through the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round. Boston has owned Philly in recent seasons, and the Sixers, much like the C’s, have struggled with consistency this season.
But predicting the Celtics will roll past the Bucks and Raptors is quite a take by Cowherd. As it stands, Boston would not have the luxury of home-court advantage in either series, and the club has struggled on the road in the postseason throughout the Brad Stevens era. Not to mention, Milwaukee pushed Boston all the way to a Game 7 in the teams’ first-round matchup last season.
That said, the Celtics have looked like a new team through the first two games of their current West Coast road trip. And if the C’s can continue to string wins together over the course of their remaining regular-season schedule, they could be a tough out come playoff time with momentum on their side.
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Thumbnail photo via Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports