Author Topic: Why is West continually better than the East?  (Read 939 times)

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Re: Why is West continually better than the East?
« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2019, 06:14:59 PM »

Online CelticSooner

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Generally more attractive places to play in terms of the locations of the franchises.


Also, we have this setup where a team in the East makes the playoffs with <40 wins, while a team in the West misses the playoffs despite winning 45+ games.


Spin that out over a couple decades and it's not hard to see how these disparities are created.


Year after year, if you look at the best players who change teams, it seems like far more often than not the majority of those players go East to West or West to West as opposed to going East.


The East also seems to have a higher number of hapless, horribly run franchises.  Bulls, Knicks, Wizards.  You could put the Magic in there as well.  The Hornets have failed to really do anything of note, either, and they've made bad draft choices and signed player to some questionable contracts.


Whereas out West you have the Lakers and Suns.  The Kings these days seem to have righted their ship.  The T-Wolves are still a questionable franchise.  The Clips have been a solid franchise for a while. 


It's a lot of things.  It would help a lot if they got rid of the Conference split for the sake of the playoffs and awarded draft slots by record, save for the lottery.


It would also help if they made it harder for teams to have more than a couple All-Star caliber players, even via trade or the draft, for more than a season or two at a time.

I had forgotten about the Kings lol I think this team kinda fell into their laps. They’ll get some credit for drafting the last few years I guess.

Re: Why is West continually better than the East?
« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2019, 07:07:31 PM »

Offline petbrick

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Years & years of Eastern Conference teams botching drafts, making poor trades, or just plain disasterous FA signings is most likely the main culprit.

Agree with the sentiment that the state income tax concern is overblown.

I agree with this.

Really, its only been for the last 20 years that the Western Conference has been better.  14 of the last 20 titles (1999-2018) were won by the West.  And a big reason for that are a few top 30 all-time talents who were drafted in the West and stayed in the West for very long prosperous careers -- Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Dirk Nowitzki.  Those players accounted for 11 championships in the last 20 years and many years of being a backbone of strong teams.  Steph Curry will also be looked upon as a home-grown all-time NBA talent accounting for the a big part of the final 3 of those 14 titles.  Those four players that were home grown account for a huge part of 20 years of West dominance.

If you look at the 15 years before that, the Eastern Conference won 10 of those 15 titles.  Could have been more had MJ not retired.  The East had all-time great franchise players in Michael Jordan, Isaiah Thomas, and Larry Bird drafted in conference and staying there for long careers which accounted for all 10 of those titles and many strong teams atop the conference.

If you look at the 10 years to come, I think the balance is likely to even out if some home grown talent stays where it is.  I see Embiid + Simmons staying in Philly.  Giannis I don't know what he'll do but if he stays then that's big.  AD drafted in the West is huge, but could he move?  Denver's core looking strong in the West.  Doncic + Porzingis a future force in the west too.  Some lesser teams like Atlanta and Phoenix appearing to have potentially bright futures.  A lot of balance between the conference overall.  I think where AD lands could be the difference maker.

This is a good post.

If you take a look at the teams at the bottom of the West you'll see one team that was so seriously mishandled it could have been a disaster in Sacramento and that's about it, insofar as poorly run franchises are concerned (shout out to New Orleans).


If you take a look at the bottom 8 in the East you'll see the one-and-a-half teams that have been consistent threats to win the NBA championship over the last seven years in Miami and Cleveland, one team that was essentially the blueprint for "good not great" for the last decade or so in Atlanta, one team that was a catastrophic knee explosion away from being a contender exactly once in the last 25 years in Chicago, and four teams that have won a grand total of, give or take, a small handful of playoff games since George W. Bush was president. And that's not including the 76ers, who were so openly trying to lose basketball games that the NBA not only felt moved to force the team to fire the GM but also had to readjust the lottery rules to keep other teams from emulating them quite so vigorously.


Re: Why is West continually better than the East?
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2019, 07:08:40 PM »

Offline PhoSita

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"only the last twenty years"

Uh yeah. Exactly?
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Re: Why is West continually better than the East?
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2019, 07:14:29 PM »

Offline petbrick

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"only the last twenty years"

Uh yeah. Exactly?

Generally speaking, the superstars (the cornerstone of a great team) have tended to be in the West because the teams have been better at drafting them. You have to go all the way back to 2001 to find an NBA MVP in the Eastern Conference not named LeBron James or Derrick Rose (although Shaq, who won the year before, was obviously drafted by Orlando). That'll be 18 years ago this summer.

Obviously there are some excellent teams from the East that appeared during that span, but overall the power balance has been decidedly Western facing because the league's top-tier talent, writ large, has been drafted (and developed) there.

Re: Why is West continually better than the East?
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2019, 07:56:38 PM »

Offline nickagneta

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Just a theory and if others want to try to prove or disprove, go ahead, but I think a lot of it might be that most of the top 20 players or so play out West and have for a while. So you see the dynasties: San Antonio, LAL and GSW but a lot of top talent were on teams that had one top player that made the team really good but not a contender like

Dame in Portland
Westbrook in OKC
KG in Minny
Griffen in LA
Harden in Houston
Paul in New Orleans
Hayward in Utah
Dirk in Dallas
Gasol in Memphis

My theory is besides having the dynasties, they had more teams led by superstars so the 3-10 teams out west were just better because they had the better top level star to lead the team.

Re: Why is West continually better than the East?
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2019, 08:02:58 PM »

Offline action781

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"only the last twenty years"

Uh yeah. Exactly?

I expected this kind of response as I was typing it.  Notice that I argued the East was better for fifteen years before that.  And I think the future 10 years will be more balanced.

My point is that the NBA tends to swing for stretches based on where superstar talent of that generation is drafted and if they decide to stay.  If its one conference more than the other, then balance will swing that way.  Western Conference dominance is not a historic thing and it's not something that is destined to continue forever.

Re: Why is West continually better than the East?
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2019, 08:03:14 PM »

Offline Donoghus

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Just a theory and if others want to try to prove or disprove, go ahead, but I think a lot of it might be that most of the top 20 players or so play out West and have for a while. So you see the dynasties: San Antonio, LAL and GSW but a lot of top talent were on teams that had one top player that made the team really good but not a contender like

Dame in Portland
Westbrook in OKC
KG in Minny
Griffen in LA
Harden in Houston
Paul in New Orleans
Hayward in Utah
Dirk in Dallas
Gasol in Memphis

My theory is besides having the dynasties, they had more teams led by superstars so the 3-10 teams out west were just better because they had the better top level star to lead the team.

And you can point to a handful of dumb personal moves involving a handful of those guys & Eastern Conference teams.

Nets trading the pick that became Lillard for Gerald Wallace.

Hawks drafting Marvin Williams over Chris Paul.

Bucks trading the rights to Dirk for Robert Traylor.

Hawks immediately trading Gasol for Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

Just to name a few.   Totally different landscape.


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Re: Why is West continually better than the East?
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2019, 08:05:02 PM »

Offline action781

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Just a theory and if others want to try to prove or disprove, go ahead, but I think a lot of it might be that most of the top 20 players or so play out West and have for a while. So you see the dynasties: San Antonio, LAL and GSW but a lot of top talent were on teams that had one top player that made the team really good but not a contender like

Dame in Portland
Westbrook in OKC
KG in Minny
Griffen in LA
Harden in Houston
Paul in New Orleans
Hayward in Utah
Dirk in Dallas
Gasol in Memphis

My theory is besides having the dynasties, they had more teams led by superstars so the 3-10 teams out west were just better because they had the better top level star to lead the team.

And you can point to a handful of dumb personal moves involving a handful of those guys & Eastern Conference teams.

Nets trading the pick that became Lillard for Gerald Wallace.

Hawks drafting Marvin Williams over Chris Paul.

Bucks trading the rights to Dirk for Robert Traylor.

Hawks immediately trading Gasol for Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

Just to name a few.   Totally different landscape.

Indiana trading Kawhi Leonard for George Hill.

Re: Why is West continually better than the East?
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2019, 09:27:56 PM »

Offline Moranis

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Just a theory and if others want to try to prove or disprove, go ahead, but I think a lot of it might be that most of the top 20 players or so play out West and have for a while. So you see the dynasties: San Antonio, LAL and GSW but a lot of top talent were on teams that had one top player that made the team really good but not a contender like

Dame in Portland
Westbrook in OKC
KG in Minny
Griffen in LA
Harden in Houston
Paul in New Orleans
Hayward in Utah
Dirk in Dallas
Gasol in Memphis

My theory is besides having the dynasties, they had more teams led by superstars so the 3-10 teams out west were just better because they had the better top level star to lead the team.
I don't know. 

George or Oladipo in Indiana
Wall AND Beal in Washington
Wade in Miami (pre and post James)
DeRozan AND Lowry in Toronto
Horford AND Milsap in Atlanta
Walker in Charlotte
Anthony AND Porzingis in New York
Rose or Butler in Chicago
IT4 in Boston
Drummond in Detroit

I mean it isn't that hard to do the same thing in the Eastern Conference.

The reality is, the western teams really have just done better at drafting.  I posted the draft spots of the last several All NBA Teams and they predominately reside in the West, but the gap has steadily been closing, which I expect to continue as the vast majority of the top end young players are currently on Eastern Conference squads.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2019, 09:35:38 PM by Moranis »

Re: Why is West continually better than the East?
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2019, 10:00:26 PM »

Offline nickagneta

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Just a theory and if others want to try to prove or disprove, go ahead, but I think a lot of it might be that most of the top 20 players or so play out West and have for a while. So you see the dynasties: San Antonio, LAL and GSW but a lot of top talent were on teams that had one top player that made the team really good but not a contender like

Dame in Portland
Westbrook in OKC
KG in Minny
Griffen in LA
Harden in Houston
Paul in New Orleans
Hayward in Utah
Dirk in Dallas
Gasol in Memphis

My theory is besides having the dynasties, they had more teams led by superstars so the 3-10 teams out west were just better because they had the better top level star to lead the team.
I don't know. 

George or Oladipo in Indiana
Wall AND Beal in Washington
Wade in Miami (pre and post James)
DeRozan AND Lowry in Toronto
Horford AND Milsap in Atlanta
Walker in Charlotte
Anthony AND Porzingis in New York
Rose or Butler in Chicago
IT4 in Boston
Drummond in Detroit

I mean it isn't that hard to do the same thing in the Eastern Conference.

The reality is, the western teams really have just done better at drafting.  I posted the draft spots of the last several All NBA Teams and they predominately reside in the West, but the gap has steadily been closing, which I expect to continue as the vast majority of the top end young players are currently on Eastern Conference squads.
Well if you believe those players are better than the ones I mentioned, I don't know what to say. Again, it's just a theory but I also have to call into question just how good Charlotte, Washington, Detroit and Miami were at being very good 5-8 seeds. Did any even win 50 games? I don't think so.


Re: Why is West continually better than the East?
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2019, 10:37:54 PM »

Offline Moranis

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Just a theory and if others want to try to prove or disprove, go ahead, but I think a lot of it might be that most of the top 20 players or so play out West and have for a while. So you see the dynasties: San Antonio, LAL and GSW but a lot of top talent were on teams that had one top player that made the team really good but not a contender like

Dame in Portland
Westbrook in OKC
KG in Minny
Griffen in LA
Harden in Houston
Paul in New Orleans
Hayward in Utah
Dirk in Dallas
Gasol in Memphis

My theory is besides having the dynasties, they had more teams led by superstars so the 3-10 teams out west were just better because they had the better top level star to lead the team.
I don't know. 

George or Oladipo in Indiana
Wall AND Beal in Washington
Wade in Miami (pre and post James)
DeRozan AND Lowry in Toronto
Horford AND Milsap in Atlanta
Walker in Charlotte
Anthony AND Porzingis in New York
Rose or Butler in Chicago
IT4 in Boston
Drummond in Detroit

I mean it isn't that hard to do the same thing in the Eastern Conference.

The reality is, the western teams really have just done better at drafting.  I posted the draft spots of the last several All NBA Teams and they predominately reside in the West, but the gap has steadily been closing, which I expect to continue as the vast majority of the top end young players are currently on Eastern Conference squads.
Well if you believe those players are better than the ones I mentioned, I don't know what to say. Again, it's just a theory but I also have to call into question just how good Charlotte, Washington, Detroit and Miami were at being very good 5-8 seeds. Did any even win 50 games? I don't think so.
I'm confused when did OKC win 50 games (I mean sure with Durant they did).  Portland won 50 twice, but with Aldridge as well as Lillard (in other words they haven't won 50 in years).  The Clippers weren't a 50 win team until they had both Griffin and Paul (so you can't count Griffin in LA and Paul in New Orleans).  New Orleans did hit 50 once with Paul (along with West, Chandler, and Peja).  Utah also hit 50 once but was only over .500 one other time with Hayward (43-39).  And if you include KG in Minnesota, then Wade in Miami (post-title pre-James), Bosh in Toronto, Iverson in Philadelphia, Howard in Orlando, etc. are on that list.  That is one of the problems with your list, there is no rational relation to time-period.  It is also strange to include Griffin in LA, when he was there for like half a season without Paul (who you included in New Orleans, which was basically a decade ago at this point).  Westbrook had only 1 season without another top 10ish player on the roster.  Drawing the line at 50 wins is also strange since there is almost no practical difference between the Wizards winning 49 and a playoff series led by an All NBA 3rd teamer (Wall) vs. Utah winning 51 and a playoff series and led by an All NBA 2nd Teamer (of course that was Gobert and not Hayward).  Or the 48 win 2nd round Heat.  Then you have Dirk, who hasn't been on a team winning a playoff series since they won the title in 2011 (which pretty much correlates to the last time Dirk was a top tier player - Dirk was 2nd Team All NBA that year, 3rd Team the next year, and hasn't been close since).  Why not include Kobe on that list, or are the Lakers excluded because they were a true contender?  Ah but see if you do that, then Dirk shouldn't be on there since Dallas hasn't been any good since they were an actual contender.  Of course you included Harden and his absolutely true contender Rockets in there, so again I'm confused as to why certain players were chosen and others were not.

And for the record Paul George has been on 4 All NBA Teams.  That would be the same as Griffin, but more than Lillard, more than Gasol, and more than Hayward who has never been on an All NBA Team (making him basically Kemba Walker, but with Rudy Gobert).  Rose was a MVP of the league.  Butler has been on 2 All NBA Teams, but 4 All Defense Teams.  Even Drummond cracked an All NBA 3rd Team once.  So yeah, taking the MVP's you mentioned out of it (which as indicated above seems a bit strange), yeah I'd take those guys from the East vs. those guys from the West.

Re: Why is West continually better than the East?
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2019, 07:56:31 AM »

Offline Triplenickle

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I guess yall don't remember it was the exact opposite with the east being much tougher on defense, and the west with their run and gun non defense used to get smoked all the time and probably just got better draft picks over the years.

Re: Why is West continually better than the East?
« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2019, 12:30:05 PM »

Offline Moranis

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I guess yall don't remember it was the exact opposite with the east being much tougher on defense, and the west with their run and gun non defense used to get smoked all the time and probably just got better draft picks over the years.
The East won the 60's, 70's, and 90's, they tied in the 80's, but the West has the other decades including the last 2 (and it hasn't been close recently with the East winning just 6 of the 20 titles since the Bulls last title). 

 

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