When the 2022 NBA season came to a close, the Miami Heat had the best record in the Eastern Conference at 53-29. Three other teams trailed Miami with identical records of 51-31. Those clubs were the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers. When the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference playoffs came to an end, it was the Boston Celtics who moved on to the NBA Finals.
Boston had a solid run through the Eastern Conference postseason. The team swept the Brooklyn Nets in the first round. They dispatched the 2021 NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks in seven games in the second round. Boston then downed the No. 1 seeded Miami Heat in another seven-game series in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics put up a valiant effort in the NBA Finals, but the team fell to the more experienced Golden State Warriors in six games.
Despite a tumultuous off-season, the Boston Celtics are the favorite to win the NBA’s Eastern Conference in 2023.
Before we look at the Celtics and the other teams who will contend for the 2023 NBA Eastern Conference Championship, check out our guide to betting on the 2023 NBA Finals and our tips for betting on the NBA.
2023 NBA Eastern Conference Championship picks
|To Win 2023 NBA Eastern Conference|
|New York Knicks||+6000||+8000||+7500||+6600||+4700|
The Boston Celtics could have gone one of two ways in the opening days of the 2022-23 NBA season. They could have folded or looked to prove a point. Boston opted for the latter option. The club began the 2023 NBA campaign with wins over the 76ers, Heat and Magic to go 3-0.
The team will be without free-agent acquisition Danilo Gallinari for the season because of an injury. Boston will also be without head coach Ime Udoka for the year following his suspension by the team. Udoka was suspended for having an improper workplace relationship with a subordinate. Further, the club will miss star Robert Williams III to start the season because of knee surgery.
Boston’s leaders, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have not faltered in the early going of the season. Tatum and Brown are putting up big minutes and big points to show the rest of the team what they want to achieve this season. If Boston can stay healthy, focused and motivated they look like they could go back-to-back as Eastern Conference champs.
As long as the Milwaukee Bucks have Giannis Antetokounmpo on the roster, the team will be in the running to claim the NBA Eastern Conference Championship, which they did in 2021. Antetokounmpo, who is just 27 and a two-time NBA MVP, is arguably the best player in the game today. As he goes, so go the Bucks and the Bucks have opened the 2023 NBA season with two wins and no losses.
Antetokounmpo led the team in scoring in both early 2023 season wins, scoring 21 points in the team’s opener, a 90-88 win over the 76ers and following that with 44 points in the Bucks’ 125-105 win over the Houston Rockets. He also led the team in rebounds in both games with 13 and 12.
The Brooklyn Nets were among the favorites to win the NBA Eastern Conference in 2022. They did not. The Celtics then swept the Nets in the opening round of the NBA playoffs. Despite the disappointing season last year, oddsmakers are once again considering the team an Eastern Conference contender. I don’t buy it.
The Brooklyn Nets are a talented squad, but I don’t think they will gel. A team that features Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Nic Claxton and Ben Simmons should be able to beat almost every other team in the NBA with ease, but they do not do that.
The Nets opened the 2022 NBA season with a 130-108 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans and a 109-105 win over the Toronto Raptors.
The Nets should make the playoffs, but they will need to show me a lot before I consider them a legit threat to win the Eastern Conference in 2023.
I had some doubts about the Boston Celtics heading into the 2022-23 NBA season, but the team has put those doubts to rest by entering the season with something to prove and a bit of swagger. Of course, it’s incredibly early, but the best bet at this point in the 2023 NBA season is for the Boston Celtics to win the Eastern Conference.
Pick: Boston Celtics to win the NBA Eastern Conference for the 2023 season.
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