Tristan Thompson believes the Cavs are still the team to beat in the East

Despite the departure of LeBron James this summer, it seems as though the players at the Cleveland Cavaliers are still very optimistic about the team’s chances in the Eastern Conference.

Many people believe the East has opened up for the likes of the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics to control after LeBron left the Cavs for the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason.

However, this is not the thought process of Tristan Thompson, as he believes his Cavs are still the team to beat in the Eastern Conference.

He said, via ESPN: “We’re still four-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 already know that story. So until someone takes us down, there’s not much they can really say.”

The Cavs have been the Eastern Conference’s representative in the NBA Finals for the past four years, in large part thanks to the incredible play of LeBron.

Despite his departure, Thompson believes Cleveland is still the team to beat in the East. Unsurprisingly, his rivals in the conference don’t agree with him.

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons of the 76ers commented on an Instagram post which featured Thompson’s comments with the following:

Embiid and Simmons weren’t the only ones to oppose Thompson, as Marcus Morris of the Celtics also tweeted out his disagreements with the Cavs star’s statement.

He said: “๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ @RealTristan13 Cut it out. Get that vacation ready early this year fam! Ain’t shit going through the Cavs this year! #facts”

Both the Sixers and the Celtics are expected to be near the top of the East following LeBron’s departure, and you could make a case for either one of them to win the conference.

The Toronto Raptors will be in the mix as well following their addition of Kawhi Leonard from the San Antonio Spurs via trade this past summer.

Expectations for the Cavs though aren’t really that high this season despite what some might consider big ambitions by Thompson.

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