The NBA Playoffs center around the Eastern Conference

Illustration by Steck Von

Nile McNair, Contributing Writer

The NBA Playoffs started this past weekend, and the Eastern Conference will be much more entertaining than the Western Conference.

For starters, the Eastern Conference is far less predictable than the Western Conference. In the
West, there are the two-time defending champions the Golden State Warriors, who are the overwhelming favorites to three-peat.

In comparison, the top four seeds in the Eastern Conference are all serious championship contenders. It’s unpredictable who out of the Boston Celtics, Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks will emerge as Eastern Conference champions.

The Raptors would face the 76ers, and the Bucks would face the Celtics if all four teams were to win their first round matchups. These are conference-final caliber matchups that fans would have the luxury of seeing in the second round.

For the first time in the last eight years, there will be a new king of the Eastern Conference. There’s added intrigue to see who will become the best team in a Eastern Conference, now that it’s no longer ruled by LeBron James.

The number of upcoming free agents playing in the Eastern Conference will make the bracket more entertaining, as they make the games are more meaningful. Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Tobias Harris and Kawhi Leonard are all superstar free agents playing in the Eastern Conference.

Every team that possesses one of these potential free agents knows anything less than a championship run could lead to a superstar leaving their franchise via free agency.

Adding to the entertainment is the influx of new teams this year. Three teams — the Orlando Magic, Detroit Pistons and Brooklyn Nets — didn’t make the playoffs the past three seasons, or more, are back in it.

With these three franchises in the playoffs, it brings back fan bases that were desperate for home playoff games. Beyond that, casual basketball fans get a chance to see young emerging teams that could be the future of the NBA.

The simple fact is the talent of teams in the Eastern Conference has finally caught up to that of teams in the Western Conference. In return, fans should now be rewarded in June with a better NBA Finals.

Last year, Golden State swept the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-0 in the NBA Finals. But this year, the Warriors should prepare for a seven-game series, no matter what comes out of the Eastern Conference.

Over the years, past super teams have caused the NBA to be predictable. Now that the Eastern Conference is the more entertaining of the two, it gives the NBA the parody it desires.

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