15. Three (maybe four) Celtics will make All-Defensive Teams
Pick three of these four players, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Al Horford, Marcus Smart
16. The Indiana Pacers finish with a better record than the Toronto Raptors
I’m really enjoying the idea of this Pacers roster collaborating behind the second best player in the conference, Paul George. I think they just have really good, adult basketball players that know how to win games. They’re built for the regular season as they have talent across the board that can win games in many different styles.
I believe the Raptors are who we think the Raptors are, a good basketball team that is a piece or two away from taking a serious trip to the NBA Finals. But to be fair, that’s also true for the Pacers and Celtics if you don’t take Cleveland out of the picture.
17. My official Eastern Conference playoff picture:
1. Cleveland Cavaliers
2. Boston Celtics
3. Indiana Pacers
4. Toronto Raptors
5. Detroit Pistons
6. Atlanta Hawks
7. Chicago Bulls
8. Washington Wizards
18. Charlotte Hornets, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Brooklyn Nets all miss playoffs
19. The Milwaukee Bucks will finish as one of the 6 worst teams in the NBA.
After finishing last in three point shooting during the 2015-16 season, the Bucks have lost Khris Middleton — their best shooter — for most likely the entire season. How they make up that shooting is beyond me, and likely beyond Jason Kidd.
The Bucks have the ability to put together unique lineups due to their size and length, but can’t take advantage of it if they’re incapable of spacing the floor. The injury comes with terrible timing as Jabari Parker is primed for a huge breakout season.