This years NBA playoffs give us a chance to witness what Basketball will be like when LeBron James decides to call it a career. Even the regular season didn’t have the usual feel to it with the way LeBron and the Lakers were struggling. Either way this season has allowed us to get a feel for the stars and tams that could be ready to fully stand out once Lebron calls it a career.
The eastern conference was especially different this year, with this being the first year Lebron James wasn’t competing in it. The Cavs struggled their way to a 14th place finish in the eastern conference, not that anyone expected them to continue on like they have. However, if you look at the top four teams in the East this year young talent plays a vital role. The Bucks, Raptors, 76ers, and Celtics all have young electrifying talent.
Whether or not the team has multiple young talented players like the Celtics with Jaylon Brown and Jayson Tatum and Kyrie Irving, or one young dominating player like Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee. All this young talent is finally getting a chance to show themselves in a conference where everything besides LeBron James doings were an afterthought. Even the Pacers who lost Victor Oladipo were supposed to just fall down the order, but they were able to keep there head afloat to get into the playoffs. Whoever wins the East this year will earn it by conquering a fairly even Eastern conference.
Even though LeBron James occupied space in the west this season, the western conference has always been a different beast. Rightfully earning the nickname, the “Wild West” you never know what you’re going to get but you can expect it to be exciting. The Lakers struggled to get the balance of an experienced leader and youthful energy just right, and to try and keep up with teams like the Clippers, Spurs, and Thunder isn’t an easy task. We don’t know what will happen this offseason, but rest assured now that James has seen what it takes just to get the 8th seed in the west, you can believe next year there will be a different mind set in Los Angeles.
We as fans should relish this years NBA playoffs because regardless of how much longer Lebron plays basketball I can’t believe he will miss more playoff trips without making another change to his career. As we get an unadulterated look at NBA talent without LeBron James lets enjoy it and look forward to the next era in Basketball.