After predicting the Western Conference playoff seeding yesterday, here are my Eastern Conference predictions for the playoffs. The Eastern Conference was a lot easier to predict for a few reasons, which you’ll see throughout the article. While the Western Conference has a lot of contenders who could come out of the conference to compete for the championship, I feel like the Eastern Conference might be easier to predict who will represent in the NBA Finals. Of course the Cavaliers are always going to be a favorite if LeBron James is on the team. Toronto has to be a favorite this year, along with the 76ers, who have been on fire recently. I can’t really see any other teams coming out of the Eastern Conference. If the Celtics had Kyrie Irving, they’d be a favorite for sure, but unfortunately he’s done for the season. Let’s take a look at the Eastern Conference playoff situation.
1 – Toronto Raptors (57-22)
2 – Boston Celtics (54-25)
3 – Philadelphia 76ers (49-30)
4 – Cleveland Cavaliers (49-31)
5 – Indiana Pacers (47-33)
6 – Miami Heat (43-37)
7 – Milwaukee Bucks (43-37)
8 – Washington Wizards (42-38)
What We Know
We know every team that will be in the playoffs. The teams listed above will all be competing to make it to the NBA Finals to win a championship. We know the Toronto Raptors have locked up the number one seed, with the Celtics as the two seed. Another thing we know is the Cavaliers and 76ers won’t get a seed any lower than fifth, along with the Pacers, who currently sit fifth in the conference.
What Has Yet to Be Decided
There’s a good race between the 76ers and Cavaliers for the number three spot. The 76ers currently have a half game lead after recently beating the Cavs. With the 76ers riding a 13 game win streak, I can’t pick them to lose any of their remaining games. I also have the Cavs winning their two remaining games, but because I have the 76ers winning out, they get the three seed and the Cavs stay at four. With the 76ers and Cavs staying at their current spots, that means the Pacers stay at their current spot at fifth.
Things get a lot more interesting when we get to the six through eight seeds. The Heat and Bucks have the same record currently, with the Wizards one game behind. Miami has the toughest schedule of the three teams, having to play the Thunder and Raptors. I have them losing both of their games, moving them down to the seven seed. I have both the Bucks and Wizards getting one more win and one more loss. Milwaukee moves into the six seed spot, and the Wizards remain in the eight spot.
Final Playoff Seeding Predictions
There isn’t a whole lot of movement in the Eastern Conference. I have only the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat switching places. The Eastern Conference was a lot easier to predict because of all the teams already being in. Here are my final seeding predictions for the Eastern Conference.
1 – Toronto Raptors (60-22)
2 – Boston Celtics (56-26)
3 – Philadelphia 76ers (52-30)
4 – Cleveland Cavaliers (51-31)
5 – Indiana Pacers (49-33)
6 – Milwaukee Bucks (44-38)
7 – Miami Heat (43-39)
8 – Washington Wizards (43-39)