Kyle Irving (@KyleIrv_): One day after the Miami Heat spoiled the Toronto Raptors' perfect home record, they traveled to Boston looking to knock off another Eastern Cofenrence foe undefeated on their home floor.
The Celtics were able to fend off a 37-point effort from Jimmy Butler to advance to a perfect 8-0 at home, leaving them among the Heat (8-0) and Philadelphia 76ers (10-0) as the only remaining teams in the NBA that have yet to lose on their home court.
Philadelphia has one quick road game against the Washington Wizards, but then all three of the aforementioned teams go on homestands where they'll put their unblemished home records to the test.
Which of these teams do you see remaining perfect at home the longest?
Kane Pitman (@KanePitman): This has suddenly become a REALLY difficult question, because all three teams have tough matchups in their near future at home. The Sixers will get Toronto at home on Sunday night, Boston have Denver up next and Miami will get the return of LeBron to South Beach next weekend.
By virtue of the Miami-Lakers game being last on that list...give me Miami!
Irving: The Nuggets always play the Celtics well. With a couple of Boston's players sick and banged up, and the potential problem that Marcus Smart might not be able to return to the lineup for that tough matchup, that smells like a home loss at the TD Garden.
The 76ers put their perfect home record on the line against Cavaliers before hosting the Raptors on the back end of a back-to-back, but something tells me Philly is fed up with being owned by Toronto as of late. They let that game in Toronto slip away a few weeks back and that - along with their playoff series from last season - is still fresh in their memory. I think they actually win that game.
Pitman: Interesting. I will say, I fully expect Joel Embiid to score a point against the Raptors this time - does this qualify as a hot take?
Irving: Haha, you're going to have to cool that one off. "All-NBA centre will score at least one point" is a bit too spicy.
Pitman: Haha ok, ok, I'll chill.
It has been a remarkable start to the season for Boston and Miami when you combine preseason expectations with availability through early December. For Boston, their ability to withstand the loss of Gordon Hayward in particular has been impressive, and all those questioning the contract extension for Jaylen Brown have been silenced. While down in Florida, the Heat seem to have unlocked unselfish Jimmy Butler and All-Star Bam Adebayo.
It has certainly made for some interesting storylines at the top of the East.
Irving: Agreed, I'm not sure many pegged either of those two teams to get out to the starts that they have.
You may have some people up in arms with "All-Star Bam Adebayo", but I don't think anyone would argue "unselfish Jimmy Butler." Those two players have been special to start this season.
But with the Heat hosting teams toward the bottom of the standings in the East like the Wizards, Bulls and Hawks before that big matchup in LeBron James' return to South Beach, do you think they're at risk of looking ahead too far and dropping one game at home that they shouldn't?
Pitman: Possibly. But as it currently stands, the Bucks, Lakers, Raptors and Heat are 50-0 against below .500 teams. FIFTY and ZERO!! It's a wild stat to start 2019-20 and while it's certainly possible they could slip up, right now, good teams are just destroying the lower ranked teams and I'll back that to continue with some confidence.
Irving: That is absolutely insane. You're making me re-think that Miami might slip up against one of those bottom feeders but if they do, I'll take the Hawks behind some sort of ridiculous performance from Trae Young.
So you're holding tight on the Heat being the last unbeaten at home, I'm going with the 76ers.
Home records aside, are you still seeing the Bucks as the favourite to win the East? Or has a surprising start from teams like Miami, Boston and Toronto changed your opinion on that?
Pitman: I think the Bucks are still a notch above, BUT, it appears to be more wide open than many first imagined. Toronto are the team that have jumped out of nowhere to again appear a legitimate contender for the NBA Finals. What Pascal Siakam is doing with the keys to the Raptors offence has been remarkable, and speaking of surprise All-Stars, you would be hard pressed to leave Fred VanVleet of your ballot at this point.
It's certainly shaping up to be a very interesting playoffs out East once again!
The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.