NBA / Jan 27, 2009 / 4:33 pm

Is the East Officially Back?

Kevin GarnettKG

Thinking back on it, it’s been a long time since ESPN ran that commercial in which Stephen A. yells at Carmelo about how the East isn’t all that far behind the West anymore.

But even in that ad, the conversation was still about the East catching up.

After the C’s took the ‘chip last year, and we’ve had the Celtics, the Cavs, and the Magic all leading the League with the best record at one point or another this season, might the East be the premier conference?

Doc Rivers thinks so.

“Yes, the East is back,” Rivers said. “I said last year that I thought the three or four best teams were in the East. Cleveland, Detroit, and Orlando [along] with us, that’s the top four teams last year. No one wanted to hear that because the bottom of the East struggled a little bit. This year, the bottom of the East, you can get beat by any of those teams.”

Do you think the East is officially back?

Source: Real GM

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  • doc (i like kobe AND bron)

    Yessir.EASTSIDE!

  • Sanpitch

    yeah it’s back. don’t know if it’s tops but it is definitely back.

  • mrkolous

    its back yes, but its real top-heavy and a team can still squeak into the playoffs with a sub .500 record.

  • Tbeezy

    Is this bulletin board material for the lakers? Doc Rivers says they were the 5th Best team in the League or lower last year.

  • srb

    it’s theirs to lose really.

  • miamiVIS3

    IMO it was never really all that weak it just seemed that way because the West was so good.

  • http://www.traileraddict.com/trailer/black-dynamite/red-band-trailer fallinup (Black Dynamite = Best Movie Evar!)

    I wouldn’t say back. I’d say a little better, but not back. Not when the 7 and 8 seeds in the east are still below 500. But yet, Dallas is at 25-19 (.568) and 8th in the west. Utah is .556 and is not even top 8.

    The east is sucking less as compared to the West’s shittiest teams. But the competition is still thicker out West.

  • Jah

    Yes, the East is back.

    Last year’s defending champs and this year’s favorites are in the East (Boston, Cleveland and Orlando).

    The best record(s) are in the East.

    The MVP favorite (LeBron) is in the East.

    The majority of the All-NBA Team (SG – Dwyane Wade, SF – LeBron James, C – Dwight Howard) is in the East.

    That’s it for now.

  • E$

    The Fakers were not the best rep for the West last year, I think it will be back in the West this year

  • isotope

    lol @ SG-Dwayne Wade for All-NBA team

  • the cynic

    NO, last time I checked their were 15 teams in a conference, not 3. The East is still a year or two away

  • one66soul

    Hawks Biatch!!!….Although we couldnt buy a basket last night and the next 14 of 19 are on the road…YIKES.

  • Drink the Haterade (KB24 Chip 09)

    I said last year that I thought the three or four best teams were in the East. Cleveland, Detroit, and Orlando [along] with us, that’s the top four teams last year.

    And How many championships do those teams have together compared to the Spurs and Lakers over the last decade? Exactly and to put Pistons and Magic in there is just stupid…

  • Bron42 aka Haters drink my bath water

    it was never really gone. the spurs and the lakers are the only 2 teams who really won anything in the west. the east is more spread out from top to bottom but the top teams still could hold their own against any team in the west. the fact that the east was so good in the 80s is what made the west good in the first place with lotto teams.

  • LakeShow84

    I never thought they were “gone” either considering Detroit has been one of the Leagues top teams for a good 5-6 years now.. And the Pacers before they crumbled were bad as well..

    The bottom feeders are still horrible..

    But where is the Trophy at?? If its in the East then you would have to say the East is the spot FOR RIGHT NOW..

  • LakeShow84

    Yeah Doc is good at taking little smile snipes..

    He really thought Orlando was a top team last year?? Wow i hope someone just took that out of context..

    Just another reason to hate the Celtics lol jk..

  • haslem

    a large part of the West’s strength was texas. Houston cant stay healthy, San An is amazing (and will remain so for a little longer, but after that its over), the Mavs are on the way out, smae goes for the suns who dont have many years left with their core.
    its hard to imagine but one day a lot of these western teams will have to go into rebuilding mode and a lot of east coast teams are begining to exit the rebuilding phase.

  • Drink the Haterade (KB24 Chip 09)

    Check out this PETA ad that got banned from Superbowl

    http://www.wwtdd.com/post.phtml?pk=18161

  • Tbeezy

    I agree with Haslem. It would make sense that it would be cyclical. There are always going to be teams that are loading up with lottery picks year after year, while teams like the mavs, suns, spurs, etc are drafting late in the draft. If the teams with repeated lottery picks draft well then they should eventually get better while the teams that are drafting late will eventually age and get worse. There are some franchises that can work free agency and late round drafting and avoid the pitfalls of rebuilding, but in general teams are going to cycle through phases. That’s why Orlando, ATL, and Portland are on the come up. They are loaded with lottery picks and the mavs and suns are on their way down.

  • mules

    It’s kinda like the ACC/Big East argument. If you rate the conference by their elite (top 4) teams, then the East is probably a little stronger right now (No, I’m not saying there are 4 teams in the East better than the Lakers). If you rate the conference by their overall strength, then the West is still ahead….although the Clips and the Warriors are pretty damn bad.

  • doc (i like kobe AND bron)

    Well Doc did run through LA so its not farfetched for him to think they not the best like you LA fans.And the only reason the West 9th seed got a winning record is because yall have teams that are terrible over there.OKC,Memphis,LAC,Minny stepping up now.Out East its Washington and the rest of the bottomfeeders are average at best.Better than the West bottomfeeders for sure.

  • K Dizzle

    No way in hell are the east bottom feeders better than the west bottomfeeders. Milwaukee is in a playoff spot? Knicks are barely out of one. Minny’s the hottest team this year. OKC is competitive and gettin better daily with a bonafide stud in Durant and GS just got Monta back. If the Clips could stay healthy, this wouldn’t be a discussion. The tops of the conferences are damn near even, but there is no comparin the depths, but it’s really not a story when there’s only 5 games separatin 2-9 while the Celt, Cavs, and Magic are blowin away the comp.

  • Bron42 aka Haters drink my bath water

    ya k dizle but those same 3 teams (celts, cavs, magic) have also blasted the top west teams.

  • LakeShow84

    In the West’s defense we did have all 8 seeds at 50+ wins just LAST YEAR..

    So yeah the teams in the East are getting better but the competetion is still cutthroat out here son..

    Im still pissed at the Cav’s schedule..

  • rlf

    how is the east back? have you looked at the standings?

    3 teams are good in the east, they have great records, because none of the other teams in the east can compete with them.

    in the east the 8th seed is almost 5 games under .500.

    in the west, the lakers are that good, and then from 2nd to the 9th seed, all of them are separated by 2 games. the 9th seed in the west is 6 games over .500

    how is the east back?

    the west teams have more losses because of the quality of the opponent, not because the west went down.

    all this about the east being better, is because the media wants to give lebron his mvp.

    the west is tougher, at least someone like chris paul deserves the mvp.

    i would never understand how some people buy into all these propaganda, just look at the standings and you’ll figure it out.

    it’s not that hard!

  • Chaos

    The East is getting better. of course their top 4 teams are prolly the best in the L but the middling teams are making noise too. i think there is just so much inconsistency between those middling teams. Philly should better than they are and ATL is suffering missing their two key players. ATL doesnt have a bench so they really suffer unlike Houston who can still win games with either TMac or Ron Ron out the lineup

  • K Dizzle

    @ Bron

    Lakers got the Celts and crushed the Cavs

  • AY

    orlando is not a top team, they’re a regular season squad like dallas a couple of years ago. in order: cavs, celtics, lakers, hornets, nuggets, spurs then magic. Magic is a flawed team, they will get exposed at some point. DaEast is doing much better though.

  • Ian

    hell no
    top three record because they get to beat up on the rest of the teams that arent that great
    u think cleveland would have that record out west???

    someone said top players in the east well the west has 2 of the top three players in the league.

  • LakeShow84

    “all this about the east being better, is because the media wants to give lebron his mvp”

    now if i wouldve said that i wouldve been called a hater.. but it is DAMN true..

  • doc (i like kobe AND bron)

    The East champ went 7 games twice and barely pulled them out then went on to embarass and destroy everybodies favorite team out West while making MJ smile in the process.

  • doc (i like kobe AND bron)

    Them 1 game scenarios mean nothing.The Sixers whipped the Spurs ass at San An so we would be better than them in some of yall warped views.

  • LakeShow84

    Wasnt Ray Allen vacationing during those east conference playoffs though?? everyone acts like the Celtics were clicking on all cylinders during those playoffs.. All year they were a three star team and when Ray Allen slumped it made it that much harder for them to handle the HAWKS..

    Soooo come on.. the Celtics didnt really start clicking until the finals..

    And in my opinion Ray Allen should’ve been the MVP.. Dude was hitting daggers on us.. Yeah PP hurt us but i still thought Ray Allen was the reason for us losing..

  • fallinup

    When the east can get at least half of it’s 15 teams over .500…then I’ll say they are back. Making the playoffs without winning more than half of your games is BS. I don’t care how badass Cle, Bos, and even Orlando are. They still play in a conference with sub par teams way more than the west…hence the better records.

    This is why teams in the east, aren’t considered true contenders until they go west.

  • My 2 Cents

    Hell No!!!

  • Bron42 aka Haters drink my bath water

    dizzle, lakers got the cavs and celts and dwight howard owned them and the spurs

  • Bron42 aka Haters drink my bath water

    hell the heat beat the spurs and lakers and cavs

  • fallinup

    Just one more breakdown from me:

    Over .700

    East 3
    West 1

    Over .600

    East 0
    West 5

    .500 – .600

    East 3
    West 3

    .500 or worse

    East 9
    West 6

    The fact that the west has 5 teams right now playing .600 ball to the east’s 0 should make it clear as day that the west is still better and more competitive.

  • Dragonyeuw

    “lol @ SG-Dwayne Wade for All-NBA team”

    yeah what a crazy idea, I mean he’s been complete shit this year (note excessive sarcasm)

    Anyways, I still think the West is the overall better conference from top to bottom, but there’s more parity now. And the top teams from each conference are pretty equal.

  • http://www.ballerblogger.com Brandon @ BB

    The East hasn’t caught up with the West.

    I’m not convinced that Orlando is a legit contender. They’ve played great basketball recently, but does anyone think they could beat the Spurs or Hornets in a 7 game series? I have my doubts.

    There are nine teams in the West with a win percentage greater than .500.

    There are only six teams in the East playing above .500.

    The path to the Finals is infinitely more difficult in the West.

  • will

    Detroit can never be counted out.
    The Magic are flexin serious nus right now.
    The Celtics are the champs.
    Finally, the Cavs found their other allstar. Lebron gets a triple double and Mo drops 41 and almost had him a tripdub himself nasssssty.

  • rkirby

    the west is better right now, bcuz from top to bottom they have more talent at two of the most pivotal positions in basketball: center and point guard. with all the young talent filling those positions in the west, i dont know if the east will have a chance to overtake the west anytime soon. should be interesting to watch how derrick rose, devin harris, brook lopez, and, even, dwight howard develop over the next couple of years.

  • tim

    people need to show the Pistons more respect for going ot the conference finals 6 years straight…

  • Dragonyeuw

    “people need to show the Pistons more respect for going ot the conference finals 6 years straight…”

    With a prime Ben Wallace and Chauncy Billips. Neither are there anymore. So what they did prior has no revelance as this is not the same time that accomplished that feat(regarding the personnel)

  • http://www.traileraddict.com/trailer/black-dynamite/red-band-trailer fallinup (Black Dynamite = Best Movie Evar!)

    “people need to show the Pistons more respect for going ot the conference finals 6 years straight”

    * jerking motion with hand.

    mmmm kay, whatever dude.

  • robmo35

    Through the years of western dominance there was always a hushed and dire tone to any mention of an eastern team going on a west coast jaunt to play five odd teams. There was little if any fear for a western team going east. An elite eastern team would consider itself lucky if it won three of five while a western cellar dweller would consider anything less than winning three games back east a failure. The question is do western teams fear coming east now? I’m not sure they fear it, but they sure don’t lick their chops like they used to