The Eastern Conference has very been as top-heavy has it is now. Philadelphia 76ers added Tobias Harris. The Toronto Raptors added Marc Gasol. The Milwaukee Bucks acquired Nikola Mirotic. Ironically, LeBron James agrees with that statement. All top four teams in the East made phenomenal upgrades at the trade deadline to make their case for the NBA Finals. James believes the teams got aggressive because he isn’t in Cleveland anymore.
According to The Athletic‘s Joe Vardon, LeBron says the Sixers, Raptors, Bucks, and Celtics have a good reason to feel that way: “They ain’t gotta go through me.”
“I was excited seeing all the moves they made in the East,” the three-time champion said. “Those matchups in the second round, in the Eastern Conference finals, that shit is gonna be crazy. It’s gonna be fun to watch.”
— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) February 8, 2019
LeBron does have a valid point.
From 2011 to 2018, he went to eight straight NBA Finals. Eight straight of dominating the East, but last season wasn’t the standard cakewalk to the finals. James had to play two game seven in route to the NBA Finals.
The four-time MVP is now playing in the Western Conference for the first time in his career. And unless something catastrophic goes wrong in Golden State, LeBron almost assuredly won’t be playing in June this year (especially with Anthony Davis staying in New Orleans.)
If the Warriors, who are the clear front-runners in the West, do make the Finals, it will be the first time in their dynastic run that they square off against somebody other than LeBron.