After the way the Cleveland Cavaliers dismantled the Boston Celtics to win the season series 3-1, it’s starting to seem that Boston, although having the second best record in the East, do not matchup well against Cleveland. They don’t have size to clog the paint from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving constantly attacking the rim and don’t have enough offensive firepower outside of Isaiah Thomas.

Since I don’t see the Celtics being much of a challenge to the Cavaliers, the Washington Wizards and Toronto Raptors are the next best teams in the East that would put up more of a challenge. Why? Simply put, those two teams have terrific size and sufficient offensive firepower.

Making the case for Washington

The Wizards have played the Cavaliers very closely in the few regular season games this season and have a more complete starting five. With John Wall running the point to perfection and Bradley Beal scoring at a high level, the Wizards are in good shape. Surrounding those two, Otto Porter Jr. has had a career year, shooting the three-ball very efficiently. Markieff Morris has been rather consistent throughout the season and provides floor spacing and outside shooting. Marcin Gortat continues to be a proficient pick-and-roll player while also rebounding the ball really well.

At the deadline, the Wizards fixed their bench woes by adding Bojan Bogdanovic through trade and signing Brandon Jennings.

While Jennings has stabilized the second unit with his ability to ball handle, playmake and score, Bogdanovic has provided tremendous three-point shooting. The two have immensely bolstered Washington’s bench, which has made them a more potent playoff team.

Toronto’s case

The Toronto Raptors also made notable trade deadline deals.

They acquired Serge Ibaka and P.J. Tucker to improve on the defensive end. Toronto’s defense has been thriving since acquiring these two, as they have been the third best defensive team since the All-Star break. With Kyle Lowry back in the lineup and DeMar DeRozan being on a scoring tear, the Raptors seem ready to compete at a higher level.

The most important thing is that they brought in a lengthy, athletic shot-blocking big man to help Jonas Valanciunas in the frontcourt. Tucker has also brought toughness and perimeter defense, which is what the Raptors were seeking when they acquired him. They specifically brought him to defend the likes of LeBron James. With DeRozan and Lowry, the offense has never been an issue for Toronto. Now with Ibaka and Tucker, the Raptors are hoping that their defense won't be a problem either.

Realistically, the Wizards and Raptors are the only teams that can challenge the Cavaliers. No other team in the East is as tough as these two teams, not even the Boston Celtics, who proved that they just don’t have enough to compete against the Cavs.

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