(Photo: Sam Forencich/NBAE/Getty Images)
Many following the NBA, whether they’ve followed basketball over the years or are relatively new fans of pro-basketball might already figure the Western Conference is stronger, or tougher compared to the Eastern conference.
However, whether someone’s a fan of pro-basketball or not, they probably wouldn’t expect a division in either conference to have all of it’s teams with a record of .500 or better, yet that’s currently the case with the Southwest.
But don’t be convinced of what you may hear about the Eastern Conference being terrible without
knowing a few things beforehand.
The Toronto Raptors (17-6, .739) remains atop the East & the Atlantic despite losing 4 of it’s last
Southeast Division’s (Washington) Wizards (16-6, .727, playing more like the Bullets) & the Atlanta Hawks (16-6, .696) are the closest to upswings NOT in the West, keeping the Eastern conference more
competitive than usual.
The Central division is most balanced in the East, led by the Bulls (14-8, .636), Cavs (13-9, .591) & Bucks (12-12, .500) the Knicks, along with 4 other teams in the East, are struggling, and haven’t been able to win 30% of their games, and in their specific 2 circumstance, 30% of the season is complete.
Perhaps they’ll perform better with Phil Jackson leading their front office & former NBAPA President, 5-time NBA Champion w/ the Lakers, Derek Fisher as their Head coach.
The Pacers are on the brink of joining the Celtics & Magic amongst the 4 teams struggling to win 30%
of it’s games thus far, while the Heat (.478) & Nets (.455) are pushing for a .500-mark, and hopefully for
themselves & their respective fan bases, beyond.
Similarly, in the west, The Sacramento Kings (.458) has company with OKC Thunder (.435) & the Denver Nuggets (.435), while the Phoenix Suns (12-12, currently 8th) & Utah Jazz (11-11, 9th) are both .500.
Much of the Western conference is surging, but none greater than the Golden State Warriors (20-2, .909), winning 15-straight games.
The L.A. Clippers (16-7, .696) have lost two straight games, by remain 2nd in the Pacific behind the Warriors, slipping behind the Clippers are the Suns (losing 4 in a row) & Kings (losing 3 in a row), as the Lakers notch 2 wins in a row for only the 3rd time this season.
The Lakers (8-16, .333) are on their 1st 3-game winning streak of the season, which has been a season riddled with moments of despair, greatness & lots of hope amidst many changes*.
New Head Coach 3-time Laker Champ Byron Scott; 1st-round lottery pick Julius Randle season-ending injury in his 1st regular season game; Kobe Bryant returning from 2 consecutive season-ending injuries — both of which were deemed potentially career-ending injuries; various struggles of consistency with
nearly the entire roster while finding balance for a winning formula.
Minnesota ( T’Wolves 5-17, .227) has also struggled with finding balance due to injuries as well and find themselves at the bottom of the Northwest Division**, behind the Utah Jazz (6-17, .261) whom have lost 9 of their last 10.
And, surprising to many, as mentioned at the beginning of this roundball rundown, the Southwest Division is boasts the best records of the N.B.A. Memphis (19-4, .826), Houston (18-5, .783), San Antonio (16-7, .696) and Dallas (17-8, .680) have won an average of 75% of their last
10-games (30 of 40).
The Grizzlies & the Rockets have both played more than half of their games against Western Conference opponents.
The Western Conference’s version of the Atlantic Division is the Northwest, led by the Portland Trailblazers (18-6, .750). The Blazers have also played half of their games against Western Conference opponents, but almost 30% of their wins (5 of 18) were tallied against teams in their division, but they’ve won 7 of their last 10 games nonetheless and currently have the 4th best record in the West.
And, yes, the 4th best record in the West (75%) would best in the East (.739).
Noting that & Concluding with a bit of irony:
The worst team in the East (76’ers, 2-21, .087) avoided the worst losing streak in league history by
notching their 1st victory this season while visiting Minnesota (5-17, .227), the West’s worst-record team.
Another 20 or so games will be played prior to the 2015 NBA All-Star Game, taking place at Madison Square Garden and balloting is now open.
All Star Weekend festivities will also be taking place in Brooklyn prior to the marquee event.