Balance of power has shifted in the NBA

And it’s about time, too. For the last few years I have lamented the fact that the Western Conference of the NBA was far better than the Eastern Conference, making it much more difficult for Western Conference teams to make and advance in the playoffs. So imagine my surprise that all of a sudden, the Eastern Conference is burgeoning with winning teams while the number of winning teams in the Western Conference has dwindled. It comes as a surprise.

As of this morning, there are six teams in the WC with winning records. The EC has ten such teams. Granted, the best team in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors, are in the WC. They are 23-0. But top to bottom, the EC simply has better teams this year. The Memphis Grizzlies, with a record of 13-10, are in 6th place in the WC. If they were in the EC, they’d be 9th and on the outside looking in, as only the top 8 teams in each conference make the playoffs. In the EC, there are two teams with winning records that would not make the playoffs. In the WC, there are two teams without winning records that would make the playoffs.

I’m not sure what caused the sudden shift in power, but it’s a relief. There wasn’t a large migration of talent from the WC to the EC during the off-season. My only guess is that the talent in the WC is aging — like the Memphis Grizzlies — while the newer talent is emerging in the EC. Fine. Let the EC have it difficult for a while and give the teams in the WC a break. We sure can use it.


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