With another week of non-conference play in the books, it was the same soup just reheated for the West as they went 12-7, a win rate similar to the season overall. Every one of their playoff teams now has 20 wins against the East, however, something I brought up in previous posts about never being done before. Time to celebrate with some cheese and crackers.
Also worth noting is half the league finishing up non-conference play for the season. Gone are the West’s chances to build winning streaks against the middle and bottom of the East, though this also means possible movement in lottery balls. Four teams out West are still in contention for the best non-conference record, but Milwaukee clinched the worst at 3-27. Two of those wins come from a sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers. Fun times.
Below is the updated week-by-week breakdown. Since it feels like these posts have become bland, I also included point differential for each week which I’ll then expand on by looking at how it stacks up against every other season since 1997. That’s as far back as NBA.com goes and, as far as I can tell, Basketball-Reference doesn’t yet have those splits to sort through. 1997 is a decent stopping point, though, because of expansion the season prior.
Anyway, week-by-week breakdown:
The West’s margin of victory month-by-month can be found here, for anyone curious.
But besides point differential keeping this post from being 100 percent stale, it’s also nice to include it because winning percentage shouldn’t be the only measuring stick for how dominant the West has been against the East. In fact, 2014 currently tops 2004 – the season with the West’s highest non-conference win rate ever – in average margin of victory:
I actually expected higher point differentials over the years, but that might be influenced by watching the Minnesota Timberwolves blow out hopeless Eastern Conference teams over and over. The Kevin Love outlet mall is never more open than against the likes of Josh Smith. Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce helped Brooklyn hand Minnesota a loss last night, however.
But that record-breaking point differential isn’t going to change much since there are only 11 games left. Neither are the complaints that Minnesota and one of Phoenix, Dallas, Memphis, and Golden State will miss the playoffs, among other non-conference-related topics, all while Atlanta is limping as fast as it can to the finish line. Hopefully Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks, with their entertainment value, can leapfrog them and make the postseason.
I’ll have another blog post today regarding home/road, east/west splits. It’s actually something I kind of, sort of looked at six weeks ago but this time will be much more simple, hopefully less complicated and hopefully less ridiculous.
Edit: Maybe not, since Google Sheets doesn’t seem to be working for me.
All stats are according to NBA.com.