What will the order of the Eastern Conference look like in the 2022-23 NBA season?

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By almost any account, the Boston Celtics are at the top of the list of contenders for the 2023 NBA championship, but how will the rest of the league’s Eastern Conference standings sort out after all of the moves its teams have made to make their respective ball clubs better?

Who are the 1) contenders and 2) pretenders? Who are the 3) playoff ruffians who might make some noise but fall short of the conference finals? What teams are 4) play in tournament hopefuls at best, and which are 5) bricking their season for a shot at prized NBA draft prospects like Victor Wembanyama or Scoot Henderson?

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On the most recent episode of the CLNS Media “Celtics Lab” podcast, the East was broken down into the five tiers referenced in the above questions; let’s take a look at what they came up with by the end of the pod.

5 – Bricking for Vic: Indiana Pacers


Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

5 – Bricking for Vic: Washington Wizards


Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

5 – Bricking for Vic: Charlotte Hornets


Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

4 – Play in at best: Chicago Bulls


Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

4 – Play in at best: New York Knicks


Jan 8, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics center Enes Freedom (13) gives guard Jaylen Brown (7) a hug during the second half against the New York Knicks at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

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4 – Play in at best: Detroit Pistons


Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

4 – Play in at best: Orlando Magic


Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3 – Playoff ruffian: Toronto Raptors


Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

3 – Playoff ruffian: Miami Heat


Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

2 – Pretenders: Cleveland Cavaliers


David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

2 – Pretenders: Atlanta Hawks


David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

2 – Pretenders: Brooklyn Nets


(Elsa/Getty Images)

1 – Contenders: Philadelphia 76ers


(Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

1 – Contenders: Milwaukee Bucks


(Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

1 – Contenders: Boston Celtics


(Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Listen to the “Celtics Lab” podcast on:

Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3zBKQY6

Spotify: https://spoti.fi/3GfUPFi

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire

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