The way it’s talked about, you’d think the NBA’s Eastern Conference is the Washington Generals to the Western Conference’s bucket of confetti.

“Is it bad for the Cavaliers to not face adversity on their way to the finals?”

“Cleveland hasn’t had to go through the West.”

Yep, I also think the West is better than the East.  But I don’t think it’s a cause, nor do I think it’s an effect.

If the Cavs lose Game 1 of the Finals at, say, Golden State’s Oracle Arena, will it be because the East is < the West?

Or might it be because the Warriors are, you know, historically good at basketball?

Would Cleveland have not easily dispatched West playoff teams like Houston, Memphis, or Dallas?  I wouldn’t take those three over Cleveland’s first playoff opponent, the East’s 8th seeded Detroit, who by the way split this year with Golden State and Oklahoma City.

No, I haven’t been impressed by Atlanta or Toronto recently, but could that have been caused by–now, hear me out–the Cleveland Cavaliers?

  • Atlanta split with OKC this year, and lost in OT at the Warriors.
  • Toronto split with OKC and the Spurs, and lost by 5 at Oracle.

How many East playoff teams finished sub-.500 against the West this year?  That would be zero.
Cleveland was 14 over, Atlanta 10.  Toronto, Boston, and Miami were 4 over.  Detroit, Charlotte, and Indiana were .500.

If the city of Cleveland somehow ends its city’s five-plus decade championship drought this year, it won’t be because they deftly avoided the Memphis Grizzlies and Doc Rivers’ general managing.

Or does DeAndre Jordan make his free throws east of the Mississip’?

The Cavs were 6-1 vs three of the West’s ‘big four’.
They were 0-2 vs Golden State.

If the former wasn’t caused by an acute case of West > East, then neither was the latter.



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