The West has become the new East in the NBA
The Golden State Warriors have reached the NBA Finals in the past two seasons and have a foothold on the top seed of the Western Conference this season. The Dallas Mavericks and owner Mark Cuban tried to go the copy cat route in the offseason by bringing over center Andrew Bogut and small forward Harrison Barnes from Golden State and on top of that brought in Steph Curry’s brother, Seth.
Instead of the Golden State Warriors, they became the Pyrite State Warriors. Cuban outfitted Dirk Nowitzki with these players with the expectation of continuing to be playoff contenders in the West.
Dallas has won about a third of its games yet are somehow in contention for a playoff spot. The Mavericks are only four and a half games back from the Denver Nuggets for the eighth seed.
The New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings are in the same position as teams built around star centers from the University of Kentucky that desperately need a playoff appearance or else the apocalypse – only three games back from the eighth seed.
Personally, I’m rooting the Mavericks to get the eighth seed so we get the Golden State Warriors vs. the Pyrite State Warriors, how fantastic would that first round series be? Maybe for a couple games, and then we’ll all likely start feeling sad for Bogut.
It’s like Bogut went to the club, got lit, and went home with Steph Curry as a Warrior only to wake up with Seth Curry as a Maverick.
Barnes on the other hand, he’s a 10 in Dallas after years of looking like a nickel among dimes in Golden State.
That’s the beauty of the Western Conference’s current state of calamity. The Eastern Conference always gets the reputation of being the weakest conference in the NBA and being the easiest path to the playoffs and ultimately in the finals.
Yet it was never like this in the East. Someone among the Nuggets, Mavericks, Kings, Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Minnesota Timberwolves Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, and will somehow be rewarded for their ineptitude.
It’s as if all these teams are in a tanking contest and the biggest loser gets to be the sacrificial lamb in Golden State’s alter. Somewhere, rising from the bottom of the pile, DeMarcus Cousins is stepping up like the protagonist of “The Hunger Games” to volunteer himself as tribute.
Thanks to this nonsensical race to be the least worst, team like the Oklahoma City Thunder and Memphis Grizzlies have been virtually assured a spot in the playoffs with a six game separation between the seventh seed and eighth seed.
The West has become the new East.