NBA Power Rankings: Top 5 Eastern Conference teams before NBA opening night 2019-20
Entering the 2019-20 NBA season, the Eastern Conference trails the Western Conference in terms of quality, although there will still be plenty of competition to make the playoffs. Just three wins separated the sixth seeded Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat in tenth place last season and much of the East has made additions during a busy offseason.
Nevertheless, there is still a significant gap between the teams at the top of the Conference and those that will spend the next seven months fighting it out for one of the final playoff spots. So, ahead of the 2019-20 NBA season, here we will take a look at the five teams best equipped to dominate the East.
#5 Brooklyn Nets
The Brooklyn Nets enjoyed the strongest offseason out of all the teams in the Eastern Conference after beating out the New York Knicks to sign the All-Star duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. However, KD is set to miss the entire 19-20 season through injury and there are question marks as to how Irving will respond to the Nets' roster following his well-documented issues in Boston.
On the court, Irving is a huge improvement over the departed D'Angelo Russell, although the Nets frontcourt lost Jared Dudley, DeMarre Carroll and Ed Davis. Wilson Chandler will also miss 25 games through suspension, while DeAndre Jordan's decline in recent years has been well documented.
Nevertheless, Caris LeVert could develop into a second star until Durant returns while Jarrett Allen should be able to build on his promising 18-19 campaign. Ultimately, the Nets will be competitive over the next seven months, although they don't appear ready to challenge for a title.