The Boston Celtics currently hold the second-best record in the NBA's Eastern Conference at 41-24, and are just two games back of the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers, but does that make them the second-best team in the East? And does that make their All-Star point guard the second-best player in the Eastern Conference? NBA on TNT analyst Kenny Smith seems to think so.

We're used to hot takes from other members of the NBA on TNT panel, but not necessarily from Smith. Here's exactly what the analyst had to say:



Kenny Smith thinks the Celtics are the real deal.

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While it's easier to claim the Celtics are the second-best team in the East right now, holding the second-best record, the Toronto Raptors went to the Eastern Conference Finals last season and made a big move acquiring Serge Ibaka at the deadline. On top of that, the Washington Wizards are playing incredibly well as of late as well. But we'll give Smith the benefit of the doubt on calling them the second-best team in the East... at least until Kyle Lowry returns to the Raptors. But calling Thomas the second-best player in the East is a bit of a stretch. DeMar DeRozan, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, and Giannis Antetokounmpo will all surely have something to say about that.

Do you think Thomas is the second-best player in the East? And if not, who do you have penciled in directly underneath LeBron James?



(H/T @bleacherreport)