For the last eight years, LeBron has guided his Eastern Conference team to the NBA Finals, winning the championship on three occasions. Now that he’s moved to the Los Angeles Lakers to add to his Hall of Fame resume, the Boston Celtics have emerged as the favorites to make it to the finals, per Forbes. But, there’s a sense of optimism among many teams in the east, particularly those in the Atlantic Division, that they can now have a shot at the championship, most likely taking on the eternally powerful Golden State Warriors to do so.
As a show of how optimistic all of the top eastern teams are, the Philadelphia 76ers traded for All-Star forward Jimmy Butler of the Minnesota Timberwolves, joining the likes of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to form their new big three. The trade cost the 76ers a 2022 second-round pick, Dario Saric, Jerryd Bayless, and Robert Covington while they also received Justin Patton, as reported by ESPN.
But, do the 76ers, adding another All-Star to their line-up, enhance their odds of coming out of the Eastern Conference as NBA finalists, or is there simply too much competition to contend with right now?
Toronto Raptors going all-out
After taking the Toronto Raptors to the peak of the Eastern Conference with a 59-23 record, Dwane Casey’s team inevitably fell to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the postseason. Following this, the Raptors opted for a change at head coach after Casey’s seven-seasons of building which culminated in this franchise-record season. Casey’s firing came just two days before he would be named the league’s coach of the year, according to the New York Times. So, with the job handed to Nick Nurse, people expected the team to drop off, somewhat, this season.
But, something that has seemingly helped the Raptors to take that extra step forward and look to capitalize on the James-less conference is the high-risk trade for Kawhi Leonard with the San Antonio Spurs, sending fan-favorite DeMar DeRozan the other way. It was the story of the summer, with many analyzing its long-term implications but, for this season at least, the Raptors have a player who has greatly benefitted from a change of scenery, per The Sportster. At the 15-game mark, Leonard averaged 24.2 points, 1.7 steals, 6.5 defensive rebounds, and 2.4 turnovers per game through 11 starts.
Boston star unfazed by Butler move
From the start of the season, the Boston Celtics have been the favorites from the Eastern Conference to go on to the NBA Finals. When healthy, they are one of, if not the deepest team in the NBA, making them the conference’s most formidable foe for the Warriors. With an 8-6 start, they’re off of the pace set by the Toronto Raptors, but in the NBA, as long as a team makes it to the playoffs, they can overcome their regular season record to come out on top.
Star point guard of the Boston Celtics, Kyrie Irving, was posed the question as to how the Jimmy Butler trade impacts the battle in the Atlantic Division. With the Philadelphia 76ers on 9-7 at the time, it could be seen that one new star player might take them past the Celtics. But, at this stage in the season, Irving simply responded: “Who cares, honestly? It’s still so early,” as reported by Celtics Wire.
Did the Butler trade influence the Atlantic Division?
The Boston Celtics boast a remarkably talented and deep team, and the Toronto Raptors are tearing away from the rest of the Atlantic Division, so it would be understandable for neither team to be overly fazed by the Philadelphia 76ers trading for another star player. As deliberated by the NBA Blogtable, experts see the deal as tightening the group, but not enough to push Philly into being true contenders just yet.
The Philadelphia 76ers were a dark horse to make it to the NBA Finals from the start of the season, lining up just ahead of or alongside the Milwaukee Bucks. As of November 15th, with the trade done and dusted, Betway has the 76ers at +400 to win the conference, with the Celtics at +187.50 and the Raptors at +150. While it was, without a doubt, a huge trade in the NBA, in the eyes of the experts, it’s still not enough to push the 76ers ahead of the Celtics or the Raptors as leading contenders for the Eastern Conference.
It may, however, set the wheels in motion for the 76ers to become a super-team next summer, potentially paving the way for them to lead the conference over the next couple of seasons. As explained by Fadeaway World, the Sixers could make a move for pending 2019 free agent Kyrie Irving, should they play their cards right.
If this were to happen, it would be difficult to see any other team coming close in their star power. Only time will tell if the Butler trade has been as influential as it has been suggested, and it may be that it takes until the next year or so before the full effects are seen.
What Does Cloud Gaming Tell Us About the Future of the Industry?
Cloud gaming is possibly the biggest trend to emerge from the industry in 2020. With Microsoft’s new xCloud (available through the Xbox Games Pass), Amazon’s latest project Luna, and Google’s own streaming project, Stadia, streaming looks ready to elevate the world of gaming to new heights in 2021.
As a result, there is a growing sense among the global video game community that we should anticipate significant changes to our gaming experiences in the near future, and that, from now own, all aspects of game development will need to work to keep pace with a new era for the industry.
So, what does the new wave of instant cloud streaming services for games suggest for 2021, and beyond? Read more below.
Variety Remains the Name of the Game
Though the digital and physical gaming libraries offered by the biggest names in the business have long offered an incredible portfolio of diverse and creative titles, never before have gamers been able to transition so easily (and instantaneously) between the games they love. This new move toward game streaming demonstrates just how important versatility and variation are to players, and how desperate developers are to capture – and cater – to this trend.
We can see this in all areas of the gaming industry. In the world of casino, for instance, the variety of sports-themed games is proof of just how hard developers are working to capture players’ interests, and to stand out among the growing list of competitors hoping for a slice of the market.
Digital libraries will need to corner every niche and genre to keep up with the demands of fans; the history of basketball games alone is testament to just how hard developers work to appeal to their market.
Mobile Gaming Will Continue to Dominate
It’s no surprise that mobile gaming is so popular. Our phones offer the most versatile platform for pursuing our gaming habits – wherever we are, whenever we have the time. Microsoft’s xCloud coincides with the release of their latest console, the Xbox Series X, in order to ensure that they are catering to the priorities of the gaming market: powerful gameplay that is versatile enough to transition seamlessly between the at-home set up, and the daily commute.
In response, tech giants are already releasing a new line-up of phones optimised for a strong gaming experience, and the long-awaited release of 5G will only improve this experience for all of us.
We May Well See the End of Disc-Based Games
Disc-based games have been going out of fashion for many years now as subscription services from PlayStation and Xbox, APP store downloads, and digital releases have been steadily gaining momentum.
Now, with the introduction of instant streaming services, we can anticipate a much more rapid shift away from hard copies. Much like the decline of the CD following the release of music streaming services like Spotify, Google Music, and Apple Music, it looks likely that the future of the gaming industry exists in the digital realm.
What this means for the pre-owned video game market is unclear, but what is clear is that we can anticipate a considerable move away from the physical gaming library as players find it easier than ever to browse and play anticipated titles without purchasing each one individually.
Over the next few months, we should all brace ourselves for some significant changes within the industry. As xCloud and Luna gain momentum – and rapidly grow their digital libraries to accommodate the new generation of consoles – there will be plenty to look forward to and get to grips with as we head into 2021, and beyond.
Best US Colleges for Students Obsessed with Basketball
College life is exciting and interesting, especially if you enjoy sports. Basketball fans have a unique chance to get a scholarship and a chance to represent the school.
Student life is filled with controversial feelings and different emotions. The success of the student depends merely on his approach to the new reality and surrounding atmosphere. Ambitious, motivated, and goal-oriented students can overcome the existing challenges, find the most reputable online academic writing help and balance their studies with sports activities. Thus, if you have always been passionate about basketball and wanted to immerse yourself in the sport, you need to consider entering one of the below-mentioned universities.
Striving to become a successful basketball player without compromising your academic achievements, one should work hard and do his best in both directions. As a rule, the university staff are very helpful and assistive when it comes to basketball players and their success. They realize both their passion for the game and desire to remain efficient in the class, so they frequently give a helping hand to the ones in need.
If you are the one, who is fully obsessed with college basketball, do not be embarrassed to ask people, “Who can write my essay for cheap?” as it is the only way for you to stay afloat with college studies. Opt for one of the most appreciated and reputable colleges that encourage students’ basketball-related passion.
University of Connecticut
There is no better place for students passionate about college basketball at the University of Connecticut. The unique spirit of motivation, inspiration, strength, and endurance are highly valued and encouraged here. No matter if you enjoy playing or watching the game, you will have an opportunity to participate. The University features numerous basketball teams that represent the school in both male and female leagues.
Located in North Carolina, Duke University is always filled up with basketball players and fans. The staff encourages its students to prosper in athletics without the damage to academic excellence. The phenomenal campus freedom here is beneficial for the majority of students, as it gives a sense of personal responsibility.
University of Kentucky
There is nothing better than feeling the spirit of acceptance and encouragement within the University. Students and professors are proud of their basketball team, as it is the best representation of the school. The University of Kentucky is one of the most advantageous places to study for those who are not only passionate about watching the game but also becoming its indispensable part.
Michigan State University
Is it strange for you to see athletes in basketball uniforms on the campus? Michigan State University students are used to it, as they can notice different players walking on the campus and getting ready for the game. In fact, basketball is an integral part of the campus life here, while the whole school cheers for their team. As a result, it creates a unique atmosphere of support and encouragement between students involved in the game and their fans.
University of Maryland
Throughout history, the University of Maryland has featured an excellent fan section. According to the comments of the students, basketball is a crucial part of their lives, so people get involved, creating a unique spirit, and encouraging players for new achievements. Believe it or not, but a considerable number of students search for professional help with assignments to have a chance to cheer for the school team.
Ohio State University
No matter what type of sport you consider, the Ohio State University team is likely to be the best. The University is ultimately proud of its amazing athletic teams that are the best representation of the school. Every new game brings joy not only to the players who win but also to fans and staff who watch.
Butler University in Indiana is one of the leading schools that encourage the athletic achievements of its students. The unique support of fans is precious and inspiring, so the men’s basketball team of Butler University is considered to be the most popular on campus. Irrespective of the game or the opponent, the student section is always full.
Winona State University
Winona State University is a perfect place for students who cannot imagine their lives without basketball. The college provides unlimited support to those who do their best to represent the school during the important championships and games. The players appreciate fantastic school spirit and fan support. Additionally, an opportunity to find a qualified homework helper for science among fellow students is also valued by basketball lovers.
University of Illinois
There is nothing more exciting than the school dedicated to your favorite sport. The University of Illinois is the best place for students passionate about basketball. The support of fans and fellow students is something unreal, especially during tense and complicated games.
University of Oklahoma
Despite the school is the last on the list, it is not the least in the chart. The University of Oklahoma is characterized by the best basketball team in the country. Supportive and dedicated fans will not only cheer for their athletes during important games but will also give a helping hand with college studies. No matter if you need to find quality speedypaper reviews or order a custom paper, just ask for help and get recommendations right away.
Can The Toronto Raptors Do The Impossible And Win Back-To-Back Championships?
Last season was mesmeric for the Toronto Raptors, as they were finally able to get their hands on a prize that they never believed in their wildest dreams that they would. A Kawhi Leonard-inspired Raptors clinched their first NBA Championship win success over the Golden State Warriors, and there was already a sense that it was never going to get better than this.
However, the almost inconceivable back-to-back dream could be on the Raptors’ agenda this season, and teams should underestimate them at their peril. The Milwaukee Bucks have been getting all the attention, with Giannis Antetokounmpo being the standout star, but there is an argument to be made that the best team in the Eastern Conference is actually the Toronto Raptors.
Defensively Sound Unit
Defense is the name of the game when it comes to winning championships, and there are very few better than the Raptors. The team bases itself on the core defensive principles. The players’ determination to win another championship can be seen in the effort they put in when protecting their basket. The stats also point to the Raptors defense being an asset, as they have allowed the fewest opposition points per game, and rank as the third-best team in terms of steals.
Fred VanVleet has been a revelation this season, and he has made an average of 1.9 steals per game. The averages of the players when it comes to blocks per game are further evidence of their team defensive unit, with Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka, OG Anunoby, and Marc Gasol averaging over 0.5 blocks per game.
The Toronto Raptors arguably have the best coach in the NBA, with Nick Nurse revolutionizing not only the Raptors as a team but also the way that Canada sees basketball. Nurse very rarely gets his tactics wrong, especially when the pressure is really on. The series against the Golden State Warriors in last year’s final is evidence of that.
Many coaches may have panicked with the departure of Leonard, but Nurse has reinstalled trust in the remainder of the team that won the championship, and they have delivered in their spades in this season. Siakam, VanVleet, and Kyle Lowry are all averaging over 17 points per game. It is also important to remember that the Raptors have a record of 52-19 to this point, which is better than the record that they had last season.
When it comes to winning the NBA Championship, experience is one of the most crucial factors according to the experts at USsportsbonus.com. That is one of the biggest factors why the best sides that have been able to build a dynasty have remained dominant. The Raptors have that experience, and that will mean that their confidence going into the post-season will be sky-high. The run to finals last season also wasn’t easy for the Raptors, as they had to overcome Jimmy Butler’s Philadelphia 76ers and Antetokounmpo’sBucks.
The playoffs are completely unlike the regular season, and Toronto’s experience last season will leave them in a great position to repeat that feat. It also plays to their advantage that they have been overlooked throughout the majority of the season, with some experts even predicting that the Boston Celtics are really the team to watch from the east despite having a worse record. Teams underestimated the Raptors last season and paid the price, and that will certainly be the case again next season if they fail to respect the reigning NBA champions.
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