Two Eastern Conference Teams Are About to Get a Boost

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Two Eastern Conference Teams Are About to Get a Boost

Chicago Bulls

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, two of the East’s more formidable teams are about to regain some star players.

Both Khris Middleton and James Harden are nearing a return over this next week. Middleton has yet to make his season debut for Milwaukee after undergoing wrist surgery during the offseason. The Bucks have gotten off to a 14-5 start without their All-Star on the floor, but that only makes the potential return of Middleton that much more intimidating.

As for the Philadelphia 76ers, they have been without Harden since Nov. 2 due to a foot injury. They, too, have been able to stay afloat by winning four of their past five games, earning a 12-9 record in the East. Returning Harden to the floor alongside Embiid – who made his own return to the lineup after a four-game absence on Monday – could only push Philly further toward the Bucks and Celtics at top of the conference.

For the Chicago Bulls, this is a good reminder that teams could begin to separate themselves further from the pack over the next couple of weeks. Philly, in particular, currently sits in a jam-picked center of the conference where only 3.5 games separate seeds 3-11. This tightly-contested start to the year has actually felt like good news for a Bulls team trying to make up ground. But, as teams like the 76ers begin to find their groove, we could start to see a more established hierarchy finally come into frame.

More on the current state of the East below …

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.