We’ve all been hearing for years now that the west is far and above the better conference in the NBA. If you’re somebody who has this opinion, then you clearly have good basketball knowledge. The imbalance amongst conferences got so bad that this year’s All-Star game was not between the East and West for the first time ever. Instead, Steph Curry and LeBron selected amongst players in either conference. A popular rumor was that the playoffs would venture away from conferences and put the 16 best teams in the playoffs against each other in a 1 through 16 playoff seeding format. Even with all of these changes garnered to even out the powerhouse West and the baby East, the East has 4 teams that have 50 or more wins while the West has only 2 teams that can make that claim.
This is the first time since 1996-1997 where the East has more 50-win teams than the West
The Raptors, Celtics, Cavs, and 76ers all have 50 or more wins in the East. In the West, only the Rockets and Warriors can say that. This must mean the East isn’t that much of a joke anymore, right? Wrong. The East is just incredibly top heavy. After those 4 top teams, there isn’t a team anyone should take seriously. We won’t even know if we can take the Sixers seriously until they do something in the playoffs. With all of this being said though, the East is probably no longer a joke. The Celtics, Raptors, and Sixers are serious threats for the coming years and as long as LeBron is on the Cavs they’ll have solid title odds.
The West is still far and away better than the East
Looking at the playoff picture is the best way to make sense of the West’s superiority. The 9th seed in the West still has 46 wins. This past week has been an insane battle between western teams just to get into the playoffs. The 9th seed in the East is multiple games under 500. The West simply has sexier teams too, Thunder, Spurs, and Trail Blazers sound way better than Bucks, Pacers, and Wizards.
No matter what I’m picking the Rockets or Warriors to win the Finals
With the East being somewhat legit, I still have almost no doubt it will be Houston or Golden State holding up that Larry O’Brien trophy. Houston is the only team who will take down Golden State and there is a super slight chance an East team could take down the Rockets, MVP and all. My main takeaway is that the East is good enough to pose a future threat in the NBA.