Meaningful NBA action will finally resume Thursday night when the seeding games for the 2019-20 season restart begin in the Orlando bubble.
We've had a few months to analyze all 22 teams and the players taking part, and there's been no shortage of bold predictions.
The Boston Celtics have been a popular pick to make a deep run in the 2020 Eastern Conference. A few former players have even picked the C's to reach the 2020 NBA Finals.
The best team in the East, at least from a win/loss perspective, is the Milwaukee Bucks. They own the league's top record, they are an elite defensive team and they have arguably the sport's best player in reigning MVP winner Giannis Antetokounmpo. One of the criticisms of Milwaukee is it doesn't have a top-tier second star next to Antetokounmpo. Khris Middleton was an All-Star this season and in 2018-19, but he's still not viewed as a true No. 2 on a championship-caliber team. It's hard to forget his disappointing performance in last season's Eastern Conference Finals when he averaged just 13.7 points in a six-game series loss to the Toronto Raptors. Middleton, in fairness, is very close to finishing with an impressive 50-40-90 season in 2019-20.
Many people would argue Antetokounmpo and Middleton are the best duo in the East entering the season restart. Colin Cowherd is not one of those people, however. He ranked the league's top duos in the bubble during his "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" show Tuesday on FOX Sports 1, and his list will certainly be appreciated by Celtics fans.
Cowherd put Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and point guard Kemba Walker as the third-best duo in the bubble. The only duos ahead of the C's stars were Kawhi Leonard and Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers at No. 2, and LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers in the top spot.
Check out his explanation in the video below:
Tatum and Walker being ranked as a better duo than Antetokounmpo and Middleton sounds bold and, quite frankly, it is bold. However, if you remember just how well Tatum was playing before the season was paused, it seems a little less bold. The C's forward averaged 30 points per game in February and made his first All-Star appearance. His defense also is fantastic, giving him an impressive two-way skill set. Tatum was a top six or seven player in the league for the last month and a half before the season was halted, and if he's able to return to that level -- or even close to it -- during the restart, the Celtics will be a very difficult out in the postseason.
These two uber-talented duos won't have to wait long to play against each other. The Celtics and Bucks will square off Friday night in both teams' first seeding game of the restart, and you can watch the matchup on NBC Sports Boston.
Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Bucks, which begins Friday at 5:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 6:30 p.m. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.
Celtics fans will appreciate this ranking of best duos in NBA bubble originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston