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It seems the prevalent opinion among most NBA beat writers is that the West has the best 4 teams in the league every year and it will take 4-5 years before the East wins again. My question is as follows: Is there really a large gap between the East and the West or is it the result of the Lakers recent dominanace? If there really is a gap, then why does it exist? Does the answer lie with one player (Shaq) or several? How about the recent foreign influx? Is it because the West is getting the best international players? What do you think?
 

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Several!!!!!

Kings~Mavs~Spurs~Lakers!!!! All 4 of those teams. The east just doesn't have the talent to even challenge those teams. Not even the nets are as good as the Mavs or the Spurs.
 

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I think its because of the lack of dominate Centers in the East..The west has Shaq, Vlade, etc etc. I know that the East has good centers too, but they dont compare to the ones in the west. I also think that as the Lakers and Kings get better, that other teams like the Mavs, and Kings sign away players from the East.
 

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The simple answer to this complex question is depth. The west is simply deeper. With the exception of the Lakers, every one of the top teams in the West goes a legitimate 9 deep with quality NBA players. Of the top teams in the east last year (NJ, Detroit, Boston, Orlando), only New Jersey has a bench that can compete with any of the top benches out west. I believe that reason alone occassionally gets New Jersey ranked in the top five teams in the NBA. Otherwise, I would think LA, Sacramento, San Antonio, Portland, and Dallas would clearly be the five best teams.

BTW, the worst of those west teams (Portland) has a pretty solid bench:
Stoudamire, Anderson, Patterson, Randolph, Woods, Daniels... WOW!

The Lakers' bench contains only:
Walker, Richmond, Shaw, Medvedenko, George, Rush
Although that bench might be the best one in the east, it is only the 6th or 7th best in the west.

Depth seperates the conferences more than anything else IMO.
 

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Originally posted by <b>hOnDo</b>!
I think its because of the lack of dominate Centers in the East..The west has Shaq, Vlade, etc etc. I know that the East has good centers too, but they dont compare to the ones in the west. I also think that as the Lakers and Kings get better, that other teams like the Mavs, and Kings sign away players from the East.
:yes: exactly. The West has Shaq, Duncan and Nowitzki. The East has Martin, Wallace, and Campbell. See any difference? In these teams... unlike the west, a guard has the biggest load, not the center. Also, I think it has a lot to do with the coaches. Look at the experience the coaches have in the west (Jackson, Adelman, Popovich, etc.) and then look at the east (Scott, Silas, O'brien etc). There are big differences in so many categories...
 

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First I think it is part because of coaches, look the coaches and GM's in the West are just better than the ones in the East right now. Most of the East guys are young and inexperienced right now, but the West have a lot of big names.

Great Coaches in the WEST (9)
Sloan, Popovitich, Nelson, Rick. A, Jackson, Saunders, West, Rudy. T, Jerry West.


Great Coaches in the EAST (2)
Larry Brown, George Karl

That is part of it, and the fact that the West have all of the big men.
KG, Wallace, Duncan, Dirk, Pau, Webber, O'Neal, Malone, Ming.....

But the East's best big guys are Jermaine O'Naal and Antione Walker, they would probably be the 4-5 best PF's in the West.

East does have WAY better guards than the West but this just shows how important a post game is in the NBA. And the East is just young coach wise, there are not as many big names over there. But it should change back soon.
Well once Shaq retires LOL!!!
 

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Originally posted by <b>RollWithEm</b>!
The simple answer to this complex question is depth. The west is simply deeper. With the exception of the Lakers, every one of the top teams in the West goes a legitimate 9 deep with quality NBA players. Of the top teams in the east last year (NJ, Detroit, Boston, Orlando), only New Jersey has a bench that can compete with any of the top benches out west. I believe that reason alone occassionally gets New Jersey ranked in the top five teams in the NBA. Otherwise, I would think LA, Sacramento, San Antonio, Portland, and Dallas would clearly be the five best teams.

BTW, the worst of those west teams (Portland) has a pretty solid bench:
Stoudamire, Anderson, Patterson, Randolph, Woods, Daniels... WOW!

The Lakers' bench contains only:
Walker, Richmond, Shaw, Medvedenko, George, Rush
Although that bench might be the best one in the east, it is only the 6th or 7th best in the west.

Depth seperates the conferences more than anything else IMO.
Speaking from what I have seen, Detroit's bench was close to the top last year (Sacramento, Dallas, and NJ are the only teams that I can think off hand that were better). They were much better than the Lakers or San Antonio. Starting lineup: That's a different story. :D I think the biggest reason for the gap is the domnating big men in the West. The East really has no player comparable to Shaq, Duncan, or Webber. The style of play between the conferences is much different as well. Many of the top Eastern Conference teams are centered around the scoring of one player w/ average scorers around them. (I.E. McGrady, Carter, Stackhouse, Iverson) It shouldn't be any surprise that the two teams with a balanced scoring attack made it to the EC Finals last year. The Western Conference counters with balanced scoring good scorers all around.

Sacramento: Webber, Peja, Bibby, Divac
Lakers: Kobe, Shaq
Dallas: Nowitzki, Nash, Finley, Van Exel
Portland: Rasheed, Bonzi, D. Anderson
San Antonio: (the exception, but Parker and Smith are still good players)

I think this is a definate reason why the West is ahead of the East right now.
 

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Several reasons...

1) Who is the best player in the Eastern Conference? How many players in the Western Conference are better than him?

2) Western Conference teams are more willing and able to spend money than Eastern Conference teams. A lot of money in this country has shifted west of the Mississippi River over the past 20 years.

3) Keep in mind that the gap between the East and the West was FLIP-FLOPPED during the mid-1990s. The Bulls weren't the ONLY great team in the East during that time. These things are CYCLICAL.

4) I think you COULD argue that the Bulls' Eastern Conference rivals were forced to build their teams in such a way that they could beat MJ and the Bulls. As a result, you STILL have a lot of perimeter-oriented teams in the East. The Western Conference teams went a different route, they went big. Shaq moved to L.A., and Western Conference rivals understood that the only way they would eventually be able to deal with the Lakers is to get big, too. IN OTHER WORDS, because of MJ, Eastern Conference teams got smaller, and because of Shaq, Western Conference teams got bigger. Bigger is better, as they say.

5) Western Conference teams seemed to make better personnel decisions over the past 4-5 years. Jerry West brilliantly surrounded Shaq and Kobe with nice veteran role players and gave them the best coach in the biz; Mark Cuban applied his innovative business approach to an NBA team and it's worked wonders (plus, he struck gold in Dirk Nowitzki, who was traded for Tractor Traylor); the Spurs won the right to draft the most obvious #1 overall pick since Shaq (which wasn't a great decision so much as it was dumb luck); the Kings have been brilliantly constructed as well (people forget what an amazing rags-to-riches story the Kings really are!). These four franchises have simply been doing a much better job than any other franchise in this league.

Those are MY ideas, anyway!
 

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The Gap between the West & East, will remain the same for some time, Everyone know's the difference is the West frontline, The Lakers, Kings, Spurs & Blazers all have a strong inside presence, to adavance and to win it all, you need an inside game offensively, Control of the boards, and a physical D in the paint.

The East are loaded with Guards and forwards that are dangerous from the perimeter But how far can a perimeter, shooting game plan carry you?? I think the C's are an example of that, when they weren't hitting their shots, they weren't able to pound or bang the inside. The Kings are a good example of balance and depth, and I'm sure it's going to benefit them. The Nets have made some improvements, and maybe the only hopefull squad representing their side. But the western powers already have answers for them . The West just has the upper hand from style of play (inside) to size and depth in each position.
 

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Top 2 teams in west

The talent gap isn't that large.

The top 2 teams in the east are better than any other teams in the league, thats it.

If the Kings in the Lakers didn't exist, the NBA finals would be a tossup every year.

Don't even begin to talk like the Spurs and the Mavs are far and away better than any team in the east.

The Mavs may be fun to watch, but they just aren't built for seven game series.

And the spurs just aren't that talented.
 

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It is because all of the quality big men(Shaq, Duncan etc) are in the west. The East however has better guards(AI, Vince,TMAC etc.)


Big men win you championships. Its not the guards, its the big people(exception Bulls who had Jordan) that win you championships. Thats why the West is so much better than the east and is more dominant than them
 

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The West is superior for now, but not for much longer. The East has better young teams than the West so they will eventually not only catch up to the West but I think surpass the West. The East has Indiana Charlotte New Jersey and Toronto as young teams who have already prooven theirselves. And the Wizards, The Cavs, The Bulls, and the Hawks all with young teams with loads of potential. Now what young teams do the West have? The Clippers and the Sonics, thats about it. Dallas isnt that young, LA's old, San Antonios going down quick, Sacramentos nto that young, so East will eventually catch up, the gap will close more and more every year as the East teams get more expierence and the Wests teams deteriorate, Shaqs retirement, Duncans issues, Dalls' No D, Portlands hasbeens, etc.
 

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The west is better because they are deeper and have good big men. The east tend to rely more on their guards and perimeter shooting. But in 2-3 years it will be equal or in favor of the East. The Bulls, in my opinion, are the only hope for the East and will dominate if the other teams don't step up.(See Bulls roster) Other teams that will turn the east around are maybe the Celtics and Pacers.
 
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