Poll: Eastern Conference’s No. 2 Seed

Barring a major second-half swoon, the Bucks won’t give up the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference this season. At 38-6, Milwaukee is on pace to win over 70 games and currently has an eight-game cushion over the next-best team in the conference.

While the race for the top seed in the East may already be over, a fascinating race is developing for the No. 2 spot. With six potential contenders in the conference, the importance of nabbing that second seed shouldn’t be understated. Not only would it set up a first-round matchup against a less dangerous opponents like the Magic or Nets, it would also mean avoiding the Bucks until the Eastern Conference Finals and holding home court advantage for two rounds.

As we enter the second half of the season, the Heat currently hold the second seed, but the margin is extremely tight. Here’s what the standings look like for the five teams vying for the No. 2 seed, entering today’s action:

  1. Miami Heat (29-13)
  2. Toronto Raptors (28-14)
  3. Boston Celtics (27-14)
  4. Indiana Pacers (28-15)
  5. Philadelphia 76ers (28-16)

All five teams are separated by just two games, so one hot or cold streak could have a significant impact on seeding. Just ask the Celtics, who could fall out of the top four tonight for the first time since October if their current losing streak extends to four games.

With a real incentive tied to claiming the No. 2 seed, the second-half race among these five teams should be fascinating. The Raptors finally have a healthy roster, and the Pacers will be getting star guard Victor Oladipo back next week. The Sixers have been shakier than expected all year long, but showed their upside on Christmas Day when they dismantled the Bucks. The Celtics and the Heat are in position to potentially upgrade their rosters at the trade deadline if they so choose.

Of course, we should also consider each team’s second-half schedule. According to Tankathon.com, the Heat, Sixers, and Raptors have three of the NBA’s easiest remaining slates, while the Pacers’ schedule ranks in the middle of the pack and the Celtics’ is the eighth-hardest.

What do you think? Which of these five teams do you like best to finish the season strong and claim the No. 2 seed in the East?

Vote in our poll, then head to the comment section below to share your thoughts!

Trade Rumors app users, click here to vote.

newest oldest

13 thoughts on “Poll: Eastern Conference’s No. 2 Seed

  1. dynamite drop in monty

    Lol every year the pacers get less and less respect. I knew they’d be in last in this poll even with their star player not even playing 1 minute this year. They’re not on TNT and espn every other night I guess tho

    • legends of boston sports

      I agree under rated but he’s not coming back as the player he was. Look at George and Hayward. Physically ready but not mentally took them both another year to be a shakedown of themselves

      • dynamite drop in monty

        I mean that’s a good point but is not Oladipo at even 75% not a better deadline acquisition than any of those other teams can theoretically boast?

    • Curtisrowe

      They get less respect every year because they never get anything done.

      • harden-westbrook-mvps

        Neither do the Sixers, but people still believe in The Process?

    • Pokeli

      Pacers are playing well and right in the cusp of being an Eastern conference contender. Oladipo will push them over the edge even if he comes back at 75%. Not even close to Milwaukee’s level but could easily see them fighting in the conference finals

  2. legends of boston sports

    Health obviously is key for any of those teams but Celtics have the coaching and balance to ward off everyone else. Won’t get them to the finals as I believe a few teams in the East will beat them in 7 games but 2nd place is theirs to lose

  3. x%sure

    Siakam is doing as okay as can be expected… had to say Raptors. Pacers 3rd. Heat will cool.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    Whoever makes a move by deadline. Will get that 2nd seed. And could come out the East. Celtics with a scoring big (remember Horford). If there was ever a time to move their picks. It’s now. Aldridge or Drummond gets them in Finals IMO.

  5. Curtisrowe

    Hard telling not knowing. All of these teams are a couple of games apart, some of them might make moves at the deadline, some of them have injuries now, some will have injuries. Not much point in guessing now.

  6. atlas bunts

    I thought there were some B-Ball savants on this vine, WRONG!
    Once Indy gets Vic back, they are a lock for 2 seed.
    They will have the best defensive backcourt in the league.
    And that moves Lamb to the bench, which solidifies an already solid bench.

Leave a Reply