JR-Smith-December-2013Prior to the 2013-2014 NBA season, a lot of people were talking about the Eastern Conference finally being as good, if not better than the Western Conference.

Oh boy were they wrong.

A little over a month into the season, only two teams are above .500 in the Eastern Conference. The Indiana Pacers are 16-2 and the Miami Heat are 15-3, and those are the only two teams with positive records.

If the season were to end today, the 9-9 Washington Wizards would be the 3-seed, the 6-10 Raptors would be the 4th seed and the 7-10 Detroit Pistons would be able to sneak into the playoffs as the 8th seed.

Compare that to the Western Conference, and the Eastern Conference looks like a Division III College league! The Western Conference has 10 teams over .500 and two teams with .500 records. Take the Heat and the Pacers out of the equation, and the Eastern Conference is 16-59 against the Western Conference.

What has gone wrong in the Eastern Conference? Why has the play been so abysmal?

To start, New York City has produced two of the biggest flops of the early season. The Nets and the Knicks suck right now and have a combined eight wins! Heading into the season, both of these teams were expected to compete for a NBA Championship. Injuries have hurt both teams, but that isn’t an excuse for their pathetic early season performances.

The Chicago Bulls were NBA title favorites before the year, but Derrick Rose wasn’t the same player and now won’t play for the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. Chicago let Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli go in free agency, so now the Bulls can’t score enough points to compete with top-notch competition.

The Cavaliers were supposed to be good this year, but they can’t seem to find ways to win games. The Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia Sixers, Toronto Raptors and Charlotte Bobcats are all in rebuilding mode.

Right now, the Eastern Conference is atrocious. Miserable. Pathetic. Pick any negative adjective you want and it could be applied to the level of basketball being produced by the Eastern Conference right now.

If the level of play doesn’t increase, David Stern should allow 12 teams from the Western Conference to make the playoffs, and randomly send 4 teams to the Eastern Conference.

Obviously, this would never happen, but it’d be better than seeing the likes of Charlotte and Toronto in the postseason.

By Mike Lucas


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