"Warriors and Cavs," everyone said.
Warriors and Cavs. Since meeting in the Finals back in 2015, the Warriors and Cavaliers have been perennial favorites to make the NBA Finals for the last three years.
And, to be honest, everyone was right. There was no reason to think, at least for a while, that the Warriors or Cavs wouldn't be playing for the Larry O'Brien trophy in July.
Weirdly enough, though, life has a way of proving everyone wrong. Or, in this case, half-wrong.
As far as the East goes, there's a new superpower atop the standings that even Stephen Curry is willing to recognize. When asked about the Celtics' after their win over the Warriors (per Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle).
With an NBA best 14-2 record, and riding a 14 game win streak, it's hard to ignore just how dominant the Celtics have been this season. Even with Gordon Hayward down, their play on both ends of the floor has looked elite. And when factoring that into the Cavs abysmal start, it's not hard to proclaim Boston as the East's new beast... even if LeBron James has a thing or two to say about it.
The only doubts now come in the form of consistency. Can this team hang on to this amazing play throughout the whole year, or will they slow down and show their vulnerability? Even if they beat the Cavs in the offseason, do they have any hope against the Warriors in a seven-game series?
All we can do now is cross our fingers and hope we get to see all of those questions answered in April.