The messy situation in the eastern conference right now has every team going up and down the conference. Some fans may find that exciting while others who are rooting for their team in the east are stressing. Here’s the explanation of how the eastern conference is like this to this point.
Injuries Have Been Running Rapid
The quality of basketball hasn’t been up to par as we’re accustomed to in other seasons. Part of that is due to the strict schedule COVID has forced the NBA to. The season is shorter. Teams are flying into new cities right after one game and playing with little rest. And with little rest comes injuries. And while both conferences have suffered, the east has been hurt the most.
Look at the Brooklyn Nets who sit at the top right now (probably going to change by next week). None of their stars or even starting 5 have played every game this season. Right when they were about to pull together some wins, the Chicago Bulls lost Zach Lavine for some games. The Celtics… well they’ve been having injury issues all season. As a result, teams aren’t able to get separation from other ball clubs forcing such a tight competition right now.
Messy Situation Because Of Unbalance In Power
If you’ve been following the NBA you know the Brooklyn Nets are the favorite to win. They have Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden. But then the 76ers have been playing great as well with Doc Rivers as their new head coach. Ben Simmons may not have developed a jump shot but he’s looking like a Defensive Player of The Year candidate. And the Bucks of course have the reigning MVP Greek Freak with them—And then there’s the rest.
Teams such as the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics who were once in the conference finals last year are in the middle. Of course part of it is due to issues but it’s also because of franchises creating super teams and loading up. What good is a team with 2 all-stars when guys have legitimate superstars on one squad?
Play-In Games Have Ruined The Regular Season Competition
With the NBA season becoming shorter the league enforced play-in games after the regular season. Meaning a 10th seed team can steal their way into the postseason. Because of that, we have teams like the Celtics and Knicks not playing for the 1st seed but instead to avoid the play-in seeds. Losing games don’t have the same effect they once did when it meant something to be a playoff team. Now the term ‘playoff team’ is loosely used in the regular season.
Depending on how one looks at it, the messy situation in the east can be a good or bad thing. Players in the 4th seed can drop to the 10th in just two games. It must be nerve-racking to the fans who root for their team in the east. Or it possibly just makes for more competitive and exciting TV.