The non-conference update follows games pitting the Western Conference’s teams versus the East’s. This season, the West has often held a winning percentage so large it hasn’t been seen in over 50 years.
A day late because of my Monday post about the New York Knicks, the East and West tied last week in non-conference play. It’s the first time the East tied or won a week since the seven days before Christmas and only third time in the 17 weeks this season.
Below is the updated week-by-week breakdown:
The last three weeks have been respectable outcomes for the East with a combined winning percentage of 46.3 percent. That fits right in with the past 14 years against the West. As for the entire season, the West’s winning percentage has now fallen below 63.3 percent which was their highest mark ever, recorded in the 2003-04 season.
Below is a table of all the non-conference games remaining as well as a separate column for games featuring the Sixers (poor Thaddeus Young), Bucks (poor Caron Butler), Magic (poor Arron Afflalo), Celtics (poor Rajon Rondo?), Kings (poor DeMarcus Cousins???), Lakers (poor Kobe Bryant?????), and Jazz (poor Gordon Hayward???????):
Without taking into account back-to-backs and home and road games, Golden State has a small yet nice edge over a few West teams on the fringe by playing three games against East teams that, from here on out, might not win more than 15 games combined.
New York is worth mentioning too, even if there’s the possibility Raymond Felton misses significant time for, well, Sports Illustrated has a breakdown of what happened and what could happen next. They might even be better without him even if they just bought out Beno Udrih. Washington is also another team with a few winnable non-conference games, though they’re without Nene Hilario for at least a month after spraining his MCL.
Overall, there’s still over a month left in the NBA season and over 120 non-conference games left. The East could continue chipping away at what was once an embarrassing winning percentage, or the West could surpass their 2004 mark as their best non-conference record ever.