As of today (end of games – 17th Jan 2014), based on the statistics available in the ESPN’s NBA page, in the dismal East conference, only 3 teams have Points Scored For above 100 points per game, almost halfway through the season. And that would be the defending champ Heat, Hawks and 76ers. Kind of surprising to see 76ers there. Before the season began, they were supposed to have league worst record. The effort some of the other Eastern conference teams have put in to make them even worse than 76ers have been outstandingly rubbish.
Now, comparing this to the Western conference. How many teams have Points Scored For more than 100 points per game? Actually, in this wickedly brilliant conference, the question should be – how many average less than 100 per game. And just two – Grizzles and Jazz. While this metric alone does vindicate any hypothesis, it just provide a clue on how dismal Eastern conference teams have been.
The third placed Raptors in the Eastern conference wouldn’t even be in the playoffs if they were in Western Conference. (win % .526. Win % of the 8th placed Suns in Western Conference is .564).
Amongst other things, Suns are slowly going down after Bledsoe went down with an injury. Grizzles, Timberwolves and Nuggets are slowly bridging the difference and things would become brutal in the last 3-4 weeks of the regular season for the last two spots in the Western conference.
Knicks are going to play 7 consecutive home games against teams with sub 0.500 record. They should be in the mix to grab the lower playoff seed in the Eastern conference by that time. They are currently 1.5 games away from the 8th seed.