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The Western Conference is a Joke

One of the biggest misconceptions and outright falsehoods out there is that the Western Conference is superior to the Eastern Conference in the NBA. For the past three years, it’s been a fight that I’ve had to take on with little reinforcement, due to the fact that records don’t lie, or that the West is more competitive, and more jargon that looks true on the surface and to the butt-naked eye. However, when you see the same team not only represents their conference in the Finals three years in a row, but they also face virtually zero real opposition on the way there, why should I be blown away by them?

The Lakers not only made the NBA Finals three times, but they had three different versions of their team (one soft as tissue paper in ’08, one soft as tissue paper but they were experienced in ’09, and one that was battle-tested and somewhat tougher in ’10), yet no one was able to keep them from making the Finals. That’s competitive? Simply put, the West is a fraud, and this season will serve as even more evidence of this ugly and all-knowing truth.

In 2008, all of the playoff participants in the West had 50 wins. Surely, this has to mean the playing field is balanced, right? Even further, the number one seed that year had 57 wins, and the eighth had 50, yet when they played each other, did anyone really think the Lakers were gonna lose to the Denver Nuggets?

Fast-forward two years and the Lakers own the number one seed again. The eight-seed, The Oklahoma City Thunder, had 50 wins. While the series was entertaining and even refreshing since the Thunder weren’t scared of LA at all, we all knew they weren’t gonna beat them. They ended up losing in six, and let some people tell it, that was LA’s toughest opposition, pre-NBA Finals. Now when people say this, knowing there were six other teams in the Western Conference Playoffs besides LA and OKC, is there something wrong with this picture, or is it just me?

Sure, this past season, a two-seed lost to a seven, and in 2007, a one-seed lost to an eight, but (unfortunately) the team is the Dallas Mavericks, and anyone who watched the regular season matchups between Dallas and Golden State saw that playoff “upset” in 2007 coming from a mile away. Hell, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Redd Foxx from Harlem Nights saw that one coming. The Warriors beating the Mavs didn’t prove that West is so competitive that an eight can beat a one. The evidence shows it was a horrible matchup, because in the very next series, that same eight-seed was destroyed by The Utah Jazz in five. At least, in the East, I know what I’m getting. In the West, the public is led to believe they’re getting chicken salad when they’re actually getting chickens---spit. Chicken spit.

Bottom line is something is going to have to happen for me to believe the West is actually supreme to the East, because when the same team makes the Finals three years in a row, it tells me some things: for one, the Lakers are very good. Two, it tells me teams don’t know how to tool up to beat them. Three, it tells me some teams are intimidated by them, and finally, it tells me the rest of the West are imposters. They can’t really win. They are just there, because a playoff format needs eight teams from each conference, and nothing more, and as long as this remains, I will continue to shout from all over that the West is a fraud, a sham, and a joke.

Be easy.
-K. Masenda
www.edthesportsfan.com
P.S. As a reminder, checkout the livest sports talk (and hopefully on the radio soon) show around, "The Unsportsmanlike Conduct Show" as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan! Download our podcasts if you missed the live show as well!

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