Where does Paolo Banchero rank in the Eastern Conference?

The second-year superstar has developed quickly. Paolo Banchero now ranks high among some of the best players in the Eastern Conference.

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Orlando Magic v Washington Wizards / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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Where does Paolo Banchero rank in the Eastern Conference?

The Elite of the Elite

. . . Giannis Antetokounmpo. 1. player. Giannis Best East Player 03.11.24. . Giannis Antetokounmpo. 89

Giannis Antetokounmpo is often considered the best player in the NBA. Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets may have taken that title away from him. But how much of that is Antetokounmpo understanding how to pace himself through the league? His eyes are always on winning a title.

This season, Antetokounmpo is averaging 30.8 points per game, 11.2 rebounds per game and 6.5 assists per game. Everyone know Antetokounmpo will be ready to perform in the postseason. That is all that matters to him.

The Bucks are back in the postseason chase even though they have struggled to integrate Damian Lillard and a new coach in Doc Rivers. But the Bucks are still an elite team and Antetokounmpo's daily brilliance is a big reason why.

. Embiid East Best Player 03.11.24. 93. Joel Embiid. . 2. . Joel Embiid. player.

Joel Embiid has started on-court workouts and is back in the weight room 100 percent, according to Katie George of ESPN. There is still hope Embiid can recover from his torn meniscus before the end of the season. That would dramatically change the postseason picture.

Philadelphia is currently sixth and have been dropping like a rock, going 7-11 since Embiid left the lineup. That probably is Embiid's best argument for MVP if he were still eligible for the award.

Embiid was the favorite to repeat as MVP before his injury. He was averaging 35.3 points per game 11.3 rebounds per game and 5.7 assists per game. He is one of the best players in the conference and is a first-ballot Hall of Famer once he retires.

Embiid has a lot of work to do before that, of course. He wants to win a title. And the Sixers are contenders so long as Embiid is healthy and able to play.

. . Jayson Tatum. 18. . Tatum Best East Player 03.11.24. 3. player. . Jayson Tatum

Jayson Tatum is averaging 26.9 points per game, 8.5 rebounds per game and 4.9 assists per game. He is the leader of the team with the best record in the NBA. And running away with it too.

The Boston Celtics seem like a juggernaut. They are running roughshod through the league -- they lost consecutive games for the first time this season after Thursday's loss to the Denver Nuggets.

And they have done it too with Tatum sacrificing his numbers. He is no longer all about his scoring and there is a lot of trust and belief between him and his teammates. That is a big reason for Boston's success this season. Everyone is bought in.

And everyone is focused on winning a championship. Boston has a lot of battle scars from its playoff history, including last year's seven-game loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.