Minus the Milwaukee Bucks, the Eastern Conference is “open” as far as the 2-8 seeds are concerned, heading to the All-Star Game Weekend.
Credible contenders are making moves to improve their chances, especially in the playoffs. Namely, the Heat added Andre Iguodala to the team’s equation.
At the same time, they acquired Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill from the Memphis Grizzlies, who will enter the free agency in the end of the season giving the much-needed cap flexibility to the Heat.
The Heat are going all-in, being very active in the trade deadline. With Iguodala’s acquisition, they are bringing the mentality of three championships and five consecutive Finals appearances to the team, while they add depth and defense to their roster.
Iguodala, 36, averaged 5.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists as Golden State’s sixth man last regular season. Those averages increased to 9.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists during the playoffs, when Iguodala started the majority of the games.
Miami will try to up their chances and make a bet on winning the East through the trade and the buyout market in hope of playing in the NBA Finals for the first time since 2014.
At the same time, the 76ers are trying to change the tides of an ongoing mediocre season. Philadelphia was a clear-cut favorite at the start of the season, but they have a 31-20 record at the moment, being sixth in the Eastern Conference.
The Sixers added a much-needed scoring presence off the bench, trading for Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III of the Golden State Warriors.
Robinson, a sixth-year player out of Michigan, is averaging 12.9 points in 31.6 minutes this season, shooting 48.1% from the field and 40% from the 3-point range.
Burks, a ninth-year veteran out of Colorado, is averaging 16.1 points in 29 minutes, shooting 40.6% from the field and 37.5% from the 3-point range.
Philadelphia will gamble on the duo of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons and their ability to carry the team through the playoffs, but until then, they need scoring leaders in their bench unit.
Like the https://conquestador.com/ jackpot, the prize of winning the East, for the first time in 19 years, is incredibly high for the Sixers, while the Heat become relevant in the Conference after 6 years.
In order to get to the Finals, they need the right mix of talent and luck, especially against teams like the Milwaukee Bucks, the Boston Celtics and the other top teams of the Eastern Conference.
Stats from NBA.com