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View Full Version : The gap between the East and West has finally closed



NYSpirit1
04-16-2012, 11:37 PM
If you look at the standings, they are the most comparable they have been in years. They're virtually identical, even a two game difference between the 9th seeded Milwaukee and 9th seeded Suns. I think you can even argue that the East is the stronger conference with the Heat, Bulls, Celtics and Knicks looking really strong as of late.

You have to point towards all the stars migrating East in the past five years. You had Garnett, Deron, Melo, Amare and Boozer suck the air out of the Timberwolves, Nuggets, Jazz and Suns to leave them at .500 when all those teams were perennial 50+ game winners at one point. Paul also leaving the Hornets didn't help, because they too are now in the bottom of the league.

smood999
04-16-2012, 11:40 PM
agreed...except after mil the east is horrible

PacersForLife
04-16-2012, 11:40 PM
If you look at the standings, they are the most comparable they have been in years. They're virtually identical, even a two game difference between the 9th seeded Milwaukee and 9th seeded Suns. I think you can even argue that the East is the stronger conference with the Heat, Bulls, Celtics, Pacers, and Knicks looking really strong as of late.

Fixed.

ManRam
04-16-2012, 11:45 PM
Yeah. I think about this from time to time. I think the gap is gone. Not sure it's switched hands completely, but it's infinitesimally small.

The West does have a little more depth, and the East has the two worst teams...but I they're pretty identical thesedays.

tredigs
04-16-2012, 11:53 PM
I'd bet on the West winning the championship once again and still having the better overall playoff teams, but the East probably does have more of the more potent individual players. It's not as significant as it was in prior years, though - and we can certainly find counter examples all over.

But yeah, give me the West over East in the Finals again.

Teeboy1487
04-16-2012, 11:55 PM
The East is top heavy, but the West still have better teams 5-10. I only see a small gap closed imo, but nothing really definitive.

topdog
04-16-2012, 11:55 PM
I'd have to disagree. I think this shortened season has made things appear a bit off kilter especially with the impact of injuries and a more conference-heavy schedule.

Many of the top teams in the East are on the decline as well while a good number of the also-ran West teams are going to be serious players next year - Utah, Minny, Portland perhaps.

eibbor
04-17-2012, 12:08 AM
Fixed.

Thank you

bholly
04-17-2012, 12:27 AM
Absolutely disagree, and the data supports me. The fact that both #9s (or both of any spot) have similar records isn't evidence of the gap closing, because the gaps in the records are self-limiting because of the schedules, and are affected by the conference.

Example:
Say Team W is in the West, while Team E is in the East, and assume, for the sake of argument, that the West is better. If both teams are truly equal, Team W will generally have a worse record than Team E, because it's equal to Team E but playing a tougher schedule (because it's playing mostly West teams which, by assumption, are tougher).
By the same effect, if Team W has the same record but against a tougher schedule than Team E, you'd expect that to mean that Team W is actually better, and would have a better record against an equal schedule.

The result is that if the West is better, both #9s having the same record suggests the West #9 is better than the East #9. If the conferences are equal, both #9s having the same record suggests they're equal. If the East is better, both #9s having the same record suggests the East is better.
The only conclusion you can draw from comparing records of equally-placed teams, is the conclusion you assume to start with.

Here's the figure I think is most important when comparing the conferences - the only one I can thing of that isn't affected by our biases and assumptions:
In inter-conference games this season, the East have won 109, the West have won 148.
The East are 0.424 against the West.
The West is still better.

LakersIn5
04-17-2012, 12:36 AM
east teams have a much easier schedule than teams in the west. for example the lakers faced the mavs, nuggets 4 times, spurs, thunder, clipps, grizzlies 3 times but face the bobcats, wizards, nets, pistons only once.

tredigs
04-17-2012, 12:38 AM
Absolutely disagree, and the data supports me. The fact that both #9s (or both of any spot) have similar records isn't evidence of the gap closing, because the gaps in the records are self-limiting because of the schedules, and are affected by the conference.

Example:
Say Team W is in the West, while Team E is in the East, and assume, for the sake of argument, that the West is better. If both teams are truly equal, Team W will generally have a worse record than Team E, because it's equal to Team E but playing a tougher schedule (because it's playing mostly West teams which, by assumption, are tougher).
By the same effect, if Team W has the same record but against a tougher schedule than Team E, you'd expect that to mean that Team W is actually better, and would have a better record against an equal schedule.

The result is that if the West is better, both #9s having the same record suggests the West #9 is better than the East #9. If the conferences are equal, both #9s having the same record suggests they're equal. If the East is better, both #9s having the same record suggests the East is better.
The only conclusion you can draw from comparing records of equally-placed teams, is the conclusion you assume to start with.

Here's the figure I think is most important when comparing the conferences - the only one I can thing of that isn't affected by our biases and assumptions:
In inter-conference games this season, the East have won 109, the West have won 148.
The East are 0.424 against the West.
The West is still better.

That was the stat I was looking for. Couple that with the fact that the West won last season and 10 of the last 13 seasons (post MJ/Pip) and you have yourself an open and shut case.

The West is absolutely dominant over the East. That will not change until they A) Start winning Finals and B) at least remain competitive in the regular season. 148-109 is a pretty shocking contrast - and it does indeed end this thread.

SouthSideRookie
04-17-2012, 12:51 AM
Absolutely disagree, and the data supports me. The fact that both #9s (or both of any spot) have similar records isn't evidence of the gap closing, because the gaps in the records are self-limiting because of the schedules, and are affected by the conference.

Example:
Say Team W is in the West, while Team E is in the East, and assume, for the sake of argument, that the West is better. If both teams are truly equal, Team W will generally have a worse record than Team E, because it's equal to Team E but playing a tougher schedule (because it's playing mostly West teams which, by assumption, are tougher).
By the same effect, if Team W has the same record but against a tougher schedule than Team E, you'd expect that to mean that Team W is actually better, and would have a better record against an equal schedule.

The result is that if the West is better, both #9s having the same record suggests the West #9 is better than the East #9. If the conferences are equal, both #9s having the same record suggests they're equal. If the East is better, both #9s having the same record suggests the East is better.
The only conclusion you can draw from comparing records of equally-placed teams, is the conclusion you assume to start with.

Here's the figure I think is most important when comparing the conferences - the only one I can thing of that isn't affected by our biases and assumptions:
In inter-conference games this season, the East have won 109, the West have won 148.
The East are 0.424 against the West.
The West is still better.

Very good post.


east teams have a much easier schedule than teams in the west. for example the lakers faced the mavs, nuggets 4 times, spurs, thunder, clipps, grizzlies 3 times but face the bobcats, wizards, nets, pistons only once.

One of the eastern teams that's being mentioned as a "strong" team has been teetering on the edge of the lottery all season long even with with this schedule. Life in the west is no fun.

D1JM
04-17-2012, 12:54 AM
are you trying to be the new Jordanbulls?

bholly
04-17-2012, 01:03 AM
For the fun of it, here's the East's combined record vs the West the last 9 seasons (I used 9 because that's the number of seasons since the realignment, and ESPN's vs division standings page falls apart before that, and I was adding with a calculator and couldn't be bothered doing more):

2011-12: 109-148 (0.424)
2010-11: 189-261 (0.420)
2009-10: 204-246 (0.453)
2008-09: 231-219 (0.513)
2007-08: 192-258 (0.427)
2006-07: 193-257 (0.429)
2005-06: 198-252 (0.440)
2004-05: 194-256 (0.431)
2003-04: 154-266 (0.367)

The East are doing almost as bad against the West as they've done in a long time.

I do agree with what topdog said about this season throwing the stats off a little, though. The schedule means teams aren't playing each team from the opposing conference the same amount of times, so the schedules might align to favour one conference a little, who knows.

AceMan
04-17-2012, 01:11 AM
The East is better at the top, the West is better overall. Not too hard of a concept to grasp.

tredigs
04-17-2012, 01:25 AM
The East is better at the top, the West is better overall. Not too hard of a concept to grasp.

In what way is the East better at the top? I have never understood that argument. "Comparable"? Maybe, OK. But they've yet to prove it in the post season to anywhere near the degree of the Western teams over the past decade+.

I'll check the reasoning tomorrow.

ManningToTyree
04-17-2012, 01:29 AM
The gap is nowhere near where it used to be. I still think the West is slightly better, but they won't dominate the East over the next few years.

Supa
04-17-2012, 01:58 AM
Here's the figure I think is most important when comparing the conferences - the only one I can thing of that isn't affected by our biases and assumptions:
In inter-conference games this season, the East have won 109, the West have won 148.
The East are 0.424 against the West.
The West is still better.

Finally, someone smart enough to figure out by looking at head-to-head results.

If you want to compare East to West, you compare the games East playing West. Is it really that hard to figure it out?

---

Patman
04-17-2012, 02:00 AM
Uhm that's just not true. First of all the 10th spot in the west has the better record then Milwaukee at the moment. Oh and then there is the point that there are way less interconference Games in this season, which benefits the East teams record. There isn't a single East team with a Positive SOS (Strength of Schedule) on the other hand there isn't a single West team with a negative SOS.

The east gotten some big name players but overall the conference still isn't as good as the West.

bholly
04-17-2012, 02:08 AM
Uhm that's just not true. First of all the 10th spot in the west has the better record then Milwaukee at the moment. Oh and then there is the point that there are way less interconference Games in this season, which benefits the East teams record. There isn't a single East team with a Positive SOS (Strength of Schedule) on the other hand there isn't a single West team with a negative SOS.

The east gotten some big name players but overall the conference still isn't as good as the West.

By positive and negative you mean >.500 and <.500?
I hadn't realized. Miami are actually up there (.516 on Hollinger's rankings page, .509 on ESPN's RPI page, no idea why they're different), but apart from that it's absolutely true - no other East team has a tougher SOS than any West team - and it totally supports the point.

Patman
04-17-2012, 02:15 AM
By positive and negative you mean >.500 and <.500?
I hadn't realized. Miami are actually up there (.516 on Hollinger's rankings page, .509 on ESPN's RPI page, no idea why they're different), but apart from that it's absolutely true - no other East team has a tougher SOS than any West team - and it totally supports the point.

I referenced Basketball-reference.com They show SOS as deviation from the Average, 0.00 is average everything positive had a harder SOS then average anything negative and the SOS is below average.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2012.html

Hawkeye15
04-17-2012, 02:22 AM
hahaha, no, the west is still the better conference, easily.

Crackadalic
04-17-2012, 02:29 AM
The west was the varsity A team playing against the junior varsity east team. Now its Varsity A vs Varsity B. West is still way better overall but the gap has gotten smaller

bholly
04-17-2012, 02:40 AM
I referenced Basketball-reference.com They show SOS as deviation from the Average, 0.00 is average everything positive had a harder SOS then average anything negative and the SOS is below average.

http://www.basketball-reference.com/leagues/NBA_2012.html

Ah, makes sense. Uses a totally different method, which explains the difference in Miami's ranking. Nice.

gbrl
04-17-2012, 03:04 AM
only 4 teams in the east have a .500 or better record vs the west while the west has 10 vs the east

shep33
04-17-2012, 03:35 AM
No.

The West is still superior. Literally 12 good teams out west when healthy.

-Thunder, Spurs, Clips, Lakers, Mavs, Grizz, Rockets, Jazz, Nuggets, Twolves (Love + Rubio healthy), Suns, Blazers, heck even the Warriors are solid when healthy (at least they were with Monta + Steph, likely better next year).

Someone also forgot to mention that because of the lockout there are more conference games than normal. West teams play each other more often right than normal=less disparity in records because teams are better.

You know what's scary? Teams like the Kings and Hornets are only going to get better. New Orleans is already surprising competitive, it's not an easy win against them. Add two top high draft picks and cap room this off season, and they'll be a nice team in a couple of years.

-Kobe24-TJ19-
04-17-2012, 03:51 AM
hell no

numba1CHANGsta
04-17-2012, 04:50 AM
1. The West has a better record against the East
2. The West play against tougher teams multiple times and the East play bad teams multiple times

amos1er
04-17-2012, 05:25 AM
The east is much better, but still not quite as good as the west. Now that the east has some decent competition, Lebron can no longer take advantage of the luxury of having the easiest schedule in league history. Hence the reason the Heat have not been the one seed now for the second consecutive season. Looks like James cannot use the weakness of the east to milk anymore MVP trophy's. 4th overall best record in the league with as much talent as Lebron has on his roster is not nearly enough to garner the MVP this year IMO. It is underachieving if you ask me. Lets see just how far his media hype can take him. Should be interesting...

thenaj17
04-17-2012, 05:50 AM
The East is better at the top, the West is better overall. Not too hard of a concept to grasp.

How are the East better at the top? They have only 2 teams with a legit chance to go to the finals this year. The West has Thunder, Spurs and Lakers are all possibilities. The top 2 teams in each conference have equal records.

Heediot
04-17-2012, 07:04 AM
If a west team wins the finals, allthatmeans****all.

Pacerlive
04-17-2012, 11:00 AM
The East is better at the top, the West is better overall. Not too hard of a concept to grasp.

Thats my take as well. There are more scrub teams out in the East. Bobcats Wiz etc plus injuries have totally derailed some teams from being competitive this year. Bargs being hurt, Bogut, Lin, Lopez, Horford. Injuries happen but you have to factor that in.

magic0320
04-17-2012, 12:41 PM
Thats my take as well. There are more scrub teams out in the East. Bobcats Wiz etc plus injuries have totally derailed some teams from being competitive this year. Bargs being hurt, Bogut, Lin, Lopez, Horford. Injuries happen but you have to factor that in.

with Injuries same can be said with west

THE MTL
04-17-2012, 01:05 PM
The Western Conference is still better overall. They are strong 1-8 with seeds 9-11 very much respectable teams. Look at the interconference record. West has never lost a week i believe

Pacerlive
04-17-2012, 01:31 PM
with Injuries same can be said with west

I am not sure from top to bottom. Certainly the West has dealt with injuries but some of these were late in the season like in Aldridge case.

I think the West depth is greater and I would probably give the nod to the bench players as well. The bottom feeders in the East are still fairly young and they haven't developed their lottery picks fully IMO. Teams like the Cavs without IRving or Vaj just get derailed from their lack of depth.

Teams like Knicks and the Nets who gutted their team for their superstars can't handle injuries like the Lakers, Spurs or even the Mavs.

The bottom dwellers in the East are far worse than those of the West and they defintely don't have the depth yet to deal with those injuries.

gbrl
04-17-2012, 02:30 PM
The east is much better, but still not quite as good as the west. Now that the east has some decent competition, Lebron can no longer take advantage of the luxury of having the easiest schedule in league history. Hence the reason the Heat have not been the one seed now for the second consecutive season. Looks like James cannot use the weakness of the east to milk anymore MVP trophy's. 4th overall best record in the league with as much talent as Lebron has on his roster is not nearly enough to garner the MVP this year IMO. It is underachieving if you ask me. Lets see just how far his media hype can take him. Should be interesting...

i dont think ive seen a post of yours on the main forum that doesnt mention lebron james

JordansBulls
04-17-2012, 02:52 PM
I'd bet on the West winning the championship once again and still having the better overall playoff teams, but the East probably does have more of the more potent individual players. It's not as significant as it was in prior years, though - and we can certainly find counter examples all over.

But yeah, give me the West over East in the Finals again.

Who in the west is going to win over the East?

gbrl
04-17-2012, 03:04 PM
Who in the west is going to win over the East?

thunder, spurs, or lakers