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1530East vs. West again

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  • Dean Oliver
    Nov 27, 2002
      OK, JohnH's column said that not much surprised him this year. I
      would tend to agree that this season hasn't been a tremendous
      surprise. But one big classification of the season does surprise me -
      - how mediocre the west has looked. Portland, the Clippers, the
      Spurs, the T'Wolves, the Grizzlies have collectively not held up
      their end of the bargain. I believe every single Western playoff
      team last year had a winning or 0.500 record against the East last
      year. A lot of Western teams have been surprising losers so far this

      So Why? Why did this happen? No major West to East talent swaps
      were made. Vin Baker certainly does not count. Basically, there was
      some reshuffling within conferences with a bit of talent going to New
      Jersey. Teams have mostly gotten better with about the same talent.

      Is this the effect of the zone, which is vastly more important this
      year? Is Western offensive talent more susceptible to getting beat
      by zones? Does the zone significantly help those eastern teams which
      are generally not as quick as the western teams?

      I'm brainstorming here and probably feeding a column for JohnH.

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