Ever since the beginning of the NBA there has been a split between conferences. We always know that we will see one team from each conference fighting it out for the championship. However, both conferences may not always be equal, and I will be sharing my opinion about which conference has the strongest and most talented teams.
The Eastern Conference of the NBA has been viewed as the weaker of the two for decades. This conference has been ruled by King James for 14 years. Every other team in this conference has always been in the shadow of whatever team Lebron has been on, but last year he finally departed to the western conference. Even though they have lost one of the best players in the league, the departure of King James finally gives other teams in the east their chance to shine. This year has led to the rise of the Milwaukee Bucks, who seem to be ready to take over the East with the MVP in Giannis Antetokounmpo. One of the biggest challengers to the throne is the Boston Celtics who have young talents in Jayson Tatum and Jaylon Brown, and veteran leadership in guards such as Kemba Walker. This division also has contenders such as the Philadelphia 76ers who have talent on all levels, but their superstars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons still need to take their team to the next level. Another contender in this division is the Miami Heat who have a core of young players built around Jimmy Butler, and seem to be one key piece away from getting to title contention alongside the Bucks and Celtics. One of the biggest surprises in this division is the Toronto Raptors, who have recovered from losing Kawhi Leonard by still being one of the top teams in the division. This division also has teams such as the Indiana Pacers and Brooklyn Nets that have injured players that are keeping them from reaching their full potential(with KD and Kyrie healthy the Brooklyn Nets should be a top team to lookout for next season). The East has some young teams like the Atlanta Hawks that are in the middle of a full rebuild. While there are many top tier teams in the East, there are teams such as the New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls that are still sitting at the bottom of the conference.
Many people think of the Western Conference as the superior conference of the two. Now that the Warrior dynasty has been broken up many people are anticipating a very ferocious playoff battle. The top two teams in this conference both hail from L.A and have assembled squads that could compete with any other team. With the duo of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Clippers, and Lebron James and Anthony Davis,Lakers, these teams have brought superstars from all over the league into L.A. Unlike Lebron’s past competition eastern conference, he will face tougher teams in his new conference. This conference is deep, and teams like the Rockets, Jazz, and Nuggets could come out on top any given day. With players like James Harden, Donovan Mitchell, and Nikola Jokic these teams could give the Clippers and Lakers a run for their money. Even though the Portland Trail Blazers have fallen on their faces this year, they have been at the top of the division for the last couple of years and I expect Damian Lillard to power a bounce back season next year. This conference has young teams like the Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, and New Orleans Pelicans that are contenders now and will be around for a while. Even at the bottom of the conference there are teams such as the Timberwolves, that have just added new pieces who could propel them into the playoffs. Lastly, let’s not forget the Warriors who have been on top of this conference for a couple of years. Injuries to Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have pushed this team into the lottery. Once these guys get back to full health this team could be back in the mix.
Both the eastern and western conferences are extremely talented, but in my opinion I’m going to have to give the edge to the west. While the eastern conference has a couple of top tier teams, there is no real competition. The East also have a couple of full rebuilds, and some teams just can’t seem to crack the code on how to get into contention. On the other hand, the western conference is balanced from top to bottom with teams that can contend for the championship even at the number 5 spot. This conference has their share of rebuilding teams, but they don’t really have teams that are consistently at the bottom for extended times.
- CluthPoints/Ashish Mathur
- Yahoo/Yahoo Sports