Top 5 NBA Players in the Eastern Conference
As a lifelong Boston Celtics fan, you constantly look at the superstars on other Eastern Conference teams and it really makes you jealous. For example, back in 2013, the Celtics passed on Giannis Antetokounmpo and decided to take Kelly Olynk. The only time I could say I was grateful was back in the 2017 playoffs against the Washington Wizards. It was game 7 in Boston and Kelly dropped 27, with 12 coming in the 4th. That’s enough of Kelly Olynk. Now we will take a look at the five best players in the Eastern Conference, when healthy.
Coming in at first is the one and only Giannis Antetokoumpo. Giannis is a top 3 defensive player in the league and from what it looks like on his way to his second MVP title. He has done all this while being only 25. He has led the Milwuakke Bucks to the Easten Conference Finals and could potentially lead them to a finals this year. He’s averaging just under 30 points a game, grabbing 13 rebounds a game and assisting nearly 6 times a game. Those are incredible numbers coming from a 6’11 power forward. Giannis is also making a very great case for DPOY as he averages one steal and block per contest. Although Giannis hasn’t been able to develop a jump shot yet, it doesn’t seem to stop him. He’s at the top of two-way players in the league and I think that jumpshot will eventually come.
At two we’ve got Kevin Durant. I would say Durant is the most talented basketball player to ever play in the NBA. At 7 feet, there isn’t a thing KD cannot do on the court. Although he isn’t the strongest 7 footer, he is still able to guard centers and his offense is second to none. No single player in the NBA can guard KD when he is 100%. KD has a scoring title, two finals championships along with the two finals and an MVP. The resume is already stacked and with the recent addition by the Nets of acquiring both KD and Kyrie, he could add to those.
Coming in at three, we’ve got the best center in the NBA, Joel Embiid. When Joel isn’t starting beef over Instagram or Twitter, he is one of the most dominant players in the league. Joel can shoot from all over the court and is such a presence down low. As a Celtics, Embiid is a player that I am truly scared of. Simmons and Harris do not scare me, it is just Embiid. What scares me the most is his ability to create a shot that you would think a center would be unable to do. The only thing that is really holding Embiid back from being a top 5 player in the NBA is his durability. It seems that Embiid is always on the injury report, but if he can stay healthy, good luck to the rest of the NBA.
As much as this hurts to say, yes, Kyrie Irving is the fourth best player in the Eastern Conference. Even though he is the biggest bitch on the court and as a leader, he is just so much fun to watch and just so talented. When healthy, Kyrie is just too electric when he has the ball in his hands, pause. In the two years he spent on the Celtics, he was so much fun to watch and the highlights are unreal. With the Nets now, yes they struggled, but they are missing their best player. Once these two get together on the court and build chemistry, the East will be theirs. Kyrie only has a finals championship on his resume but to be fair, he should have a finals MVP as well. I felt that Kyrie was more deserving of the award than Lebron was.
Number five was probably the hardest of them all. There are guys such as Jayson Tatum, Kemba Walker, Bradley Beal and the list goes on and on. But my number five best player in the Eastern Conference is Jimmy Butler. Not only is Jimmy Butler a great defensive player, his offense is up there too. I feel that his offense is oftentimes overlooked by how good of a defender he really is. Many believe that Jimmy Butler is a toxic teammate but really he just wants the best for the rest of his teammates. He led a Miami Heat team to the four seed while averaging 20 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds. He is the heart and soul of the Miami Heat and will be the reason why they will be successful in the long term.