Heading into the 2018-2019 NBA season, the Eastern Conference is more wide open then it's ever been now that LeBron James is in the Western Conference with Los Angeles. Well, if you bring that up with Cleveland Cavaliers big man Tristan Thompson, according to him you still have to go through them:
Tristan Thompson: “We’re still 4-time Eastern Conference champions, so until you take us down from that, teams ain’t got much to say. Boston, Philly, they ain’t got much to say. Boston had homecourt Game 7 and lost. Philly, you guys almost got swept. Toronto - we know that story” pic.twitter.com/gnGqd4mGeM— Ben Axelrod (@BenAxelrod) September 27, 2018
Yes, you're the four-time Eastern Conference champs, Tristan. However, there's a guy named LeBron James (who is the best player in the sport) who isn't on your roster anymore. So yeah, you're not the team to beat in the East this year.
Tristan Thompson seems to think LeBron still plays for Cavs https://t.co/AawUYQYQeq— Larry Brown Sports (@larrybrownsport) September 27, 2018
It could be a case of Thompson not wanting to realize that the guy who has carried this average team on his back to the NBA Finals year after year isn't coming back to save you.
Whether he wants to believe it or not, the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are the clear favorites, with the Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers just behind them in the pecking order. Cleveland might squeak into the playoffs, but it's going to take a lot for them not to be at the bottom of the league.