Eastern Conference Check-in: Antetokounmpo, The 76ers’ SI Cover, and The Playoffs Are Coming…

Can we talk about Giannis Antetokounmpo for a minute?

The Milwaukee Buck is playing what will most likely be the best season of his career. In fact, Antetokounmpo is a strong contender for MVP this season and if GM Jon Horst has a say, defensive player of the year as well.

Why is Horst rooting for one player in his entire team? Because the Bucks are currently #1 in the Eastern Conference right now and are having one of the best seasons in franchise history, and it’s all because of Antetokounmpo (who is averaging 29.5 points, 13.8 rebounds and 6.5 assists this season). Well, Antetokounmpo and new head coach Mike Budenholzer. Budenholzer is said to have been working closely with Antetokounmpo working to improve his jump shots. Jump shots were previously a weak spot for Antetokounmpo, a result of  Kidd’s poor coaching (Antetokounmpo was quoted as saying that Kidd would tell him not to shoot the ball one day, and to shoot “a little bit” the next). Now, three-point percentage is 37.5 percent! And of course, he’s a defensive genius who is able to defend every position. If you’re looking for something to watch this week, try catching the TNT’s “Finding Giannis.” The documentary reflects on how Antetokounmpomade made it to the NBA all the way from Greece.

Process This

The 76ers new starting line up—Tobias Harris, JJ Redick, Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler, and Ben Simmons—are on the cover of the February 25th edition of Sports Illustrated along with a message for everyone: “Process This: The Sixers Are Finally All In.” Their message is a result of the drastic changes GM Elton Brand has made to the team this season, most recently with the acquisition of Tobias Harris. Jimmy Butler was acquired back in November. Many believe that this new line-up is a major threat to the Eastern Conference. The team is currently at #5. Can they overtake the Bucks? Considering Tobias Harris’ start with the team (averaged 17.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game in his first four games with the team), sure. However, their defensive woes, woes that will take more than the rest of this season to really fix…I can see the 76ers moving up, but not to #1.

The Playoffs…They’re Getting Closer

Ok. So now that the All Star game has come and gone (thank goodness), the race to the playoffs is really going to start heating up.  With Cleveland out of the picture this year, the Eastern Conference playoffs are going to be a lot of fun. Clearly we’re going to see some decent competition between the Bucks and 76ers and of course the Raptors are going to be interesting to watch…as long as Kawhi Leonard stays healthy. Same goes for Boston…they’ll be interesting to watch as long as Kyrie stays healthy. So, with all of this said. As we get closer to a LeBron less Eastern Conference playoffs, we want to know – who are you excited to see make their way to the top this season?

Image Source: Getty

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