Archive | 11:19 pm

The Western Conference Is A Tad Better Than Its Eastern Brethren

19 Feb

Just take the 8th seed from both conferences right now (Tuesday night at 10pm) and compare their records. The Philadelphia 76ers are 23-30 and on the verge of losing another to the Minnesota Freakin’ Timberwolves. The Sixers’ winning percentage is 43.4%. Now, the 8th seed of the West are the Denver Nuggets. They hold a 32-20 record and a 61.5% winning percentage. Uh, yeah. Only 5 teams in the West even have losing records. And one of those teams, the Sacremento Kings, actually has a winning record against the East.

So the East is pretty horrible, right? Or the West is just that damn good? Take your pick. But look at it another way. The 9th best team in the West is only 4.5 games off of the conference-best New Orleans Hornets. The 9th best team in the East is 19.5 games off pace from 1st place Boston. Hell, 3rd place Orlando is 10 games back! This divide is just sick. It’s cyclical, of course, but this cycle is just lasting longer and longer and longer. The conference divide has actually gotten greater during this season, and deals that send Jason Kidd to the Dallas Mavericks don’t do anything to stop that.

I oddly enjoy this great divide, if only because it gives a Sixers fan such as myself faint hope. Some may say it’s fake hope, but it’s hope nonetheless. Hope that this team is playoff bound and we will see meaningful basketball this season, even if we are simply fodder for the Boston Celtics. Then another side of me is disappointed at the thought of how much we would suck if we swapped places with a team like the Kings. This divide also likely frustrates fans in cities like Houston, Denver, and Golden State, who root for teams that aren’t any worse than the Orlando Magic, but the Magic will get to face a sub .500 team in the playoffs while these teams go against the Spurs and Hornets and Suns.

Sometimes the vast inequity between the two conferences is simply tough to swallow.  It creates the terrific Western Conference playoffs, but the maddeningly boring Eastern Conference bracket as well.  There is no great solution to this mess; indeed, we must simply sit back and enjoy the great basketball and suffer the bad.  This cycle WILL end.  It just has to end sometime, doesn’t it?