It's not too early to look at the NBA standings now that it's Thanksgiving week and the 2022-23 season is more than a month old. The preseason favorites in the Eastern Conference are where they were projected to be, though a couple of surprising teams enter the holiday in line to host Game 1 of a first-round playoff series.

The Boston Celtics (13-4) are the East's current No. 1 seed and sit atop the overall 2022 NBA standings with 20% of the regular season complete. The Milwaukee Bucks (12-4) only trail the defending conference champions by a half-game as the No. 2 seed. The No. 3 seed Cleveland Cavaliers (11-6) and No. 4 seed Indiana Pacers (10-6) are in the playoff picture after missing last year's postseason.

The Celtics have climbed to the top of the standings with the league's most potent offense, scoring 118.2 points per 100 possessions. Jayson Tatum is an early MVP candidate, averaging 30.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game. Jaylen Brown is averaging career-highs of 25.3 points on 48.7% shooting.

For the Bucks, defense leads the way. Milwaukee's 105.3 defensive rating is No. 1 among all teams. Keeping opponents off the scoreboard has allowed the Bucks to survive the absence of Khris Middleton, who has yet to play because of a wrist injury. Giannis Antetokounmpo continues to look like the best player in basketball with averages of 30.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game.

Boston and Milwaukee entered Opening Night with the best odds to win the 2023 NBA Finals.

The Cavaliers were still viewed as long-shot contenders when they traded for Donovan Mitchell in the summer. The early return on the deal has been better than Cleveland could've expected. Mitchell is averaging career-highs of 29.8 points and 6.0 assists while making nearly half of his field-goal attempts. The Cavs are the only East team that has a top-six offense and defense.

The Pacers weren't even supposed to compete for a playoff berth, let alone a top-four seed. Tyrese Haliburton and rookie Bennedict Mathurin have made up a dynamic backcourt. The guards are averaging a combined 39.7 points per game. Haliburton leads the league with 10.7 assists per game. Myles Turner and Buddy Hield had been viewed as trade candidates, but both players are scoring more than 17.0 points per game as key contributors to the league's No. 7 offense.

The Washington Wizards (10-7) and Atlanta Hawks (10-7) are holding onto the East's fifth and sixth playoff berths. The Philadelphia 76ers (9-8) and Toronto Raptors (9-8) are the first two play-in teams. If the play-in tournament started on Thanksgiving, the New York Knicks (9-9) would host the rival Brooklyn Nets (8-10) in an elimination game.

The Chicago Bulls (7-10) and Miami Heat (7-11) are out of the early playoff picture after making the playoffs a season ago.

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics gestures during the fourth quarter in Game Seven of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden on May 15, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. Adam Glanzman/Getty Images