Beal: Wizards, not Cavs, are best team in the East
The Washington Wizards are the best team in the Eastern Conference, according to guard Bradley Beal.
The Wizards had a relatively quiet offseason compared to their fellow Eastern Conference contenders.
They matched a max offer sheet on forward Otto Porter Jr. and signed All-Star John Wall to a lucrative four-year extension, adding Mike Scott and backcourt depth along the way.
Coming off a game seven loss to the Boston Celtics in the play-offs and a respectableÂ 49-win season, Washington have plenty of optimism for the 2017-18 campaign and do not want to be left out of the conversation of Eastern Conference champions.
"I feel like we're the best team in the East, I really do," Beal said,Â via ESPN. "That's how we feel coming into the season."
Beal's comments come nearly a month after Wall said he was the "best two-way point guard player in the league".
The young duo along with Porter and center Marcin Gortat may not be the biggest names in the league but Beal still believes they are a better matchup for the Cavs than the Celtics are.Â
"We love the matchup against them and why not?" he said. "I said it andÂ J.R. SmithÂ didn't like itÂ too much, some of their other guys didn't like it too much. But I felt that way.
"It's not disrespect with them, I'm not saying we'd have won the series, but I feel like our competition level and matchups would've been better. I'd have loved to see it, but at the end of the day you tip your hat to them. They've been in the Finals for the last three years."
BealÂ has yet to play a LeBron James-led roster in the play-offs and hopes to finally get a chance backup his words later in the season.Â
"I feel like we're the team to beat," Beal said. "But we've got to prove it."