Contenders and Pretenders in the Eastern Conference: Are the Miami Heat for real?

With their recent surge in the standings, the Miami Heat look like they are still contenders.

Miami Heat v New Orleans Pelicans
Miami Heat v New Orleans Pelicans / Sean Gardner/GettyImages
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Contender: Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics have been considered favorites by the media year after year. However, they haven’t been able to get the job done. Some of that is courtesy to the Miami Heat, who have knocked them out of the playoffs twice in the last four years.

Heading into this season though, Brad Stevens retooled the roster and it has worked out in the best possible way. They acquired All-Star caliber starting players Jrue Holiday and Kristaps Porzingis to what was already considered a stacked and deep lineup. Both Holiday and Porzingis have made serious impacts and elevated the status of this Celtics team.

Regardless of their recent postseason failures, Boston is absolutely a contender in this league, especially in the East. With all the playoff experience the Celtics possess, they could be poised for a breakthrough at some point. Could this be the year?