The trade deadline has passed so today we’re going to take a look at the updated Eastern Conference championship odds. The trade deadline wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be, but we still did see some moves and some teams improve their fortunes.
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The Boston Celtics +850 actually have better odds than the Raptors despite the fact that they stood pat at the deadline. They had opportunities to acquire Paul George or Jimmy Butler, but decided to stick with what they had. A lot of people have been doubting that move, but conveniently forget that this is the second seed in the East that has one of the best records in the league over the past couple of months. They are just 3.5 games back of the Cavs and Isaiah Thomas is putting up some MVP type numbers. This is a good team that will make some noise, but it doesn’t feel like they are quite there yet.
The Washington Wizards +1325 are the only other team that it’s possible to envision winning this conference. The starting five of John Wall, Bradley Beal, Marcin Gortat, Markieff Morris and Otto Porter has been one of the very best units in the league this year, but the problem has been the bench. They made one move to shore up the bench at the deadline as they added Bojan Bogdanovich. Another shooter always helps and this team should make some noise in the playoffs. Round two should be lit this year.
Of course, the Cavaliers at -270 are always the story. They didn’t do anything at the deadline, but you know they will be all over the buyout market. There are already rumors linking Deron Williams to the team which would fill the hole at back-up playmaker that LeBron James has been clamoring about all season. Kyrie Irving is still here, Tristan Thompson is still here and Kevin Love should be back for the playoffs. If they can get him back and JR Smith back, it’s hard to see anyone stopping this team. Lebron-Kyrie pick and rolls with some combination of Kyle Korver, J.R. Smith and Kevin Love spotting up for three are the stuff of nightmares.
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