Is Western Conference a title lock?

Examining the West-East disparity and its impact on who wins NBA crown

Updated: December 16, 2013, 1:43 PM ET
By Justin Kubatko | ESPN Insider

George-DurantGetty ImagesDoes the NBA's conference gap give a title edge to Paul George's Pacers or Kevin Durant's Thunder?

One of the big themes of the first two months of the 2013-14 NBA season has been the dominance of the Western Conference over the Eastern Conference.

In West versus East matchups, the West has a winning percentage of .716, a mark that would obliterate the league record of .633 set by the West in the 2003-04 season.

And these games are not particularly close: The average margin of victory is 6.0 points, more than a point per game better than the highest figure prior to this season.

But does this matter when it comes to winning championships? The answer is, unsurprisingly, yes.

Although the head-to-head difference has not always been this extreme, it is not a new development. Since the 1999-2000 season, the West has had the advantage in all but one season, posting a cumulative winning percentage of .573 over that span (see chart at right for a historical breakdown).

To read the full article about the growing disparity between the conferences, and whether the West's dominance gives it an edge when it comes to winning championships, sign up to become an ESPN Insider.