Theorizing why the East is terrible

Injuries only one possible reason for conference disparity

Updated: December 3, 2013, 1:13 PM ET
By Tom Haberstroh | ESPN Insider

Blake GriffinNoah Graham/NBAE/Getty ImagesThe Western Conference has soared over the East this season. Why?

At this point, it's only a matter of time before the NBA officially renames it the "Leastern" Conference.

Tuesday marks five full weeks of NBA games in the books, and if you look at the standings, you'll see exactly two Eastern Conference teams with winning records.

That's right, two.

The 16-2 Indiana Pacers and the 14-3 Miami Heat are basically lapping the rest of the East while the 9-9 Washington Wizards try to sprinkle some credibility to their conference brethren. It's gotten so bad that the 6-10 Toronto Raptors, who somehow "lead" the Atlantic Division, would finish two games behind the last-place team in the Southwest Division, the 8-8 Memphis Grizzlies.

The Eastern Conference has turned every NBA fan into a comedian this season, and Monday night gave us even more material. There were three East versus West matchups, and how did the East teams fare? They lost all three games in the closing seconds. It was another terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day in the East.

After last night's defeats, the East's interconference record has dropped to a pathetic 23-60, meaning that it's won just .277 of its games against the West over an 83-game span. By comparison, the Charlotte Bobcats finished last season with the second-worst record in the league at 21-61.

It gets worse. If you take out the Pacers and the Heat, the East is 16-59 (.213), which makes it pretty much on par with the 2013-14 Utah Jazz, who are 4-15 (.211) -- and until recently, the laughing stock of the NBA.

So you might be wondering: Is this the worst Eastern Conference in NBA history?

So far, it sure is. And it's not even close.


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