A quarter of the way through the season, it is already apparent, as it seems to be every season, that some decent western conference teams will be left out of the playoffs for yet another year. Here are the standings of the top 20 teams by winning percentage:
- OKC: 0.842
- Chicago: .810 (1st in the east)
- Denver: 07.37 (2nd in the west)
- Miami: .737 (2nd in the east)
- Philly: 0.7 (3rd in the east)
- Atlanta: 0.7 (3rd in the east)
- Indiana: 0.667 (5th in the east)
- Orlando: 0.632 (6th in the east)
- LAC: 0.625 (3rd in the west)
- Utah: 0.611 (technically 5th in the west, because of division leaders)
- Dallas: 0.6 (6th in the west)
- Houston: 0.6 (4th in the west)
- Portland: 0.6 (6th in the west)
- San Antonio: 0.6 (6th in the west)
- LAL: 0.550 (9th in the west)
- Memphis: 0.526 (10th in the west)
- Boston: 0.500 (7th in the east)
- Minnesota: 0.474 (11th in the west)
- Milwaukee: 0.421 (8th in the east)
- Cleveland: 0.389 (9th in the east)
Something is seriously wrong here.
Aside from the fact that the Jazz wouldn’t get home court despite deserving it (Houston gets it because of geography), we have two teams in the east that should – by any good measure – not make the playoffs, in the Celtics and Bucks.
But, because of the current standings, not only would the Lakers and Grizzlies (two above 0.500 teams) not make it, but the Timberwolves, who are at this point clearly superior to the Bucks, would also not make it.
Yes, for once more of the better teams are in the east this year, but the east still isn’t strong enough to furnish 8 playoff teams.
Until it is, there should be a crossover, and the preference should be to have all +0.500 teams in the playoffs. I think that would make for better basketball, personally.
On a complete other note: how the fuck is Cleveland winning over 1/3 of their games?