The Roar
The Roar


Bucks are beasts in the East but Celtics, Sixers and Cavs will give them a run for their money

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Roar Rookie
23rd March, 2023

The NBA regular season is now close to the end with just about 10 games left for every team. Most people aren’t talking about the Eastern Conference because of the tight race in the West but it’s a bigger battle than many people think.

There are four teams in the East who can go deep in the playoffs this year – the rest are going to struggle to compete with the top contenders when the whips are cracking.

Milwaukee Bucks

Key players: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, Brook Lopez
Key role players: Bobby Portis, Pat Connaughton, Jae Crowder, Grayson Allen, Joe Ingles

The Giannis-led bucks are once again on the contenders list, and it might be the best Bucks team we have seen.

They have been nothing but incredible, everything seems to be firing and everyone is getting healthy just in time for the playoffs. As usual, the team’s defensive side is amazing with the former Defensive Player of the Year Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez, who is leading the way for the award this year.

With Khris Middleton now starting to get back to himself after a tough year of injuries, the feeling is the playoffs are going through Milwaukee this year once again.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)


Boston Celtics

Key players: Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Robert Williams III, Al Horford
Key role players: Marcus Smart, Malcolm Brogdon, Derrick White, Grant Williams

Boston are on their way to finishing second in the East despite the late-season struggles of the team and Jayson Tatum. He is having his worst shooting slump of the season, just over 50% in three of his last 12 games.

It has been a recurring theme for him to go through a late slump. Jaylen Brown has been stepping up in games where Tatum has been quiet recently but isn’t getting the ball in the clutch.

Coach Joe Mazzulla has recently been getting a lot of negative comments from the fan base because of his late-game play, especially the rotations. The Celtics are fourth in both defensive and offensive rating but it’s the inconsistencies that make me believe they are not the main threat in the east.

Philadelphia 76ers

Key players: Joel Embiid, James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris
Key role players: PJ Tucker, De´Anthony Melton, Shake Milton


Is everything finally gonna work out for the 76ers? The team is looking really good to end the season and Joel Embiid is in the lead for the MVP award while leading the league in points.

James Harden is leading the league in assists and it feels like this team keeps on making new and better additions every season – PJ Tucker and De´Anthony Melton have been key recruits, particularly for their playoff push as some of the Sixers’ problems have been depth at key positions.

Harden and Embiid have reputations for struggling in the playoffs but maybe the new additions can take some of the load off the stars and make them a more serious threat.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Key players: Donovan Mitchell, Darius Garland, Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen
Key role players: Caris Levert, Isaac Okoro

The Cavs made one of the big splashes this off-season with the addition of Donovan Mitchell.


It has made this defensive-minded team a whole lot more of a threat and takes the big offensive load off Darius Garland.

Younger teams can be seen as pretenders with Mobley, Garland and Jarrett Allen not having any kind of real experience in the playoffs, but the main star Mitchell is known for his offensive explosion in the post-season although the Jazz never made it past the second round in three tries.

The forecast

The 76ers is looking very promising for the playoffs with the additions of more “playoff-ready” players. It might just be Philadelphia’s year after three decades waiting for a championship if Embiid and Harden can stay on the floor.

The Celtics have occasionally looked even more dangerous this year but will it be enough? The addition of Malcolm Brogdon was perfect for the team’s play, adding another good defensive guard that can put out great offensive displays when it’s needed. This team having one of the best benches in the league is very important as we saw last year with players like Grant Williams and Derrick White coming out with some incredible two-way displays. This team might also have the best defensive line-up possible in the playoffs with the Smart-Brogdon-Brown-Tatum-Williams combo. Their most important factor for the playoffs is just to be consistent.


The Bucks have been looking like the easy pick to come out of the East, with the whole team seeming to come together perfectly just at the right time. Middleton coming back healthy is so important for the team as that was the main reason they lost in the second round to the Celtics last year. If Middleton stays healthy, the Bucks will be hard to stop.

The young Cavaliers team can’t go all the way even though they have an incredible defensive side but a playoff push will be invaluable just for the experience.