Maturing Philadelphia 76ers can be beasts of the east
Houston and Golden State to dominate in the west
The NBA Eastern Conference has had an odd look to it from day one of the season and it still looks wide open going into the playoffs.
Cleveland, unbelievably inconsistent and praying that LeBron James can carry them to glory, are favourites despite going into the post-season seeded fourth with a modest 50-32 record.
Conference winners Toronto look more dependable than the injury-ravaged Celtics, but Philadelphia stand out as the value pick.
This young 76ers side were supposed to be growing up in 2017-18 - instead they’ve come of age. They head into a first-round showdown with Miami on a 16-0 streak, much of which has been achieved without star centre Joel Embiid, who is slated to return from his injury in Game Two.
They are only going to get better and have matured quickly enough to suggest they can win a championship.
Whoever wins in the East will probably lose to either Golden State or Houston, the two dominant franchises in the west.
The Rockets, led by James Harden, have been simply outstanding though they are acutely aware that Stephen Curry will be back from injury if and when the West’s powerhouses clash in the conference final.
Philadelphia to win Eastern Conference
1pt 11-2 Betfred, BoyleSports
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