NBA Power Rankings: Eastern Conference Week 1 - Philadelphia 76ers top the charts as Miami Heat spring a surprise
The 2019-20 NBA season got underway last week and there has been no shortage of storylines during a thrilling first few days of action. While the season is still young, several teams have already impressed, and the Eastern Conference is gearing up to be more competitive than first expected. The Atlanta Hawks have started the season with two wins after finishing the 18-19 campaign with a 29-53 record, while the Cleveland Cavaliers and Charlotte Hornets have also recorded early wins.
Nevertheless, there remains a gulf in class between those in the East, contending for a low-seeded playoff spot and the teams that will be hopeful of reaching the NBA Finals. So, heading into Week 2 of the 2019-20 season, here are the five Eastern Conference teams in the best shape.
#5 Miami Heat - Current Record: 2-1
When Jimmy Butler was ruled out of Miami's first three games of the season, it appeared that the four-time All-Star would return to a team with a losing record. Nevertheless, Butler will make his debut for a Heat team that has defied expectations to begin the season with a 2-1 record.
Miami's big win over the Grizzlies on the opening night didn't make much noise around the league, although Saturday's overtime win against the Bucks came courtesy of a noteworthy 21-point second-half comeback. Erik Spoelstra's team fell to a first defeat of the season to the Timberwolves last night, although they head back to Miami with plenty of positives.
Among them are the performances of Kendrick Nunn, who is currently averaging 22.3 points and has set his eyes on becoming an All-Star. Meanwhile, Tyler Herro has struggled with his jump shot - but still looks like a future star at just 19. Ultimately, an excellent week for the Heat, and it will be interesting to see how good they will be with Butler.