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Breaking News: Western Conference Still Better Than Eastern Conference

SB Nation's Tom Ziller penned a piece over at the mothership yesterday about how the Western Conference has tended to be deeper than the Eastern Conference over the past eight years, and how that is likely to be the case again this year. Our Houston Rockets will likely finish above .500 again, but won't get the same chance to ply their wares in the playoffs that the New York Knicks will, despite being a few games better than them. All for the sake of geography.

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Ziller proposes a system where the playoffs just seeds off 1-16. In such a formula, the Rockets would have played the Lakers if the season had started yesterday, and they'd be the No. 14 seed.

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The Houston Rockets are this season's victim. The Rockets currently sit at 39-35, four games ahead of .500 but 2.5 games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the No. 8 seed in the West. The East playoff picture would, as of Wednesday, admit three teams with records worse than that of Houston to the postseason: the 76ers (38-36), Knicks (36-38) and Pacers (33-42).

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I find it a little hard to actually get riled up about this issue. Does it sorta suck that the Rockets don't make the playoffs and worse teams do? Yeah. But the NBA playoff system is so big already that it's hard to argue that it really keeps a good team out.

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The Rockets are decent, sure, but over the course of the season they've plainly been outplayed by eight teams in their conference. If the NBA had a more reasonable amount of playoff teams, like say 8, then you'd see some indignation from this corner about teams being left out over the conferences. But all you have to do is be one of the best eight teams in the West? Apply that to baseball last year, and you'd have the Dodgers and Marlins in a one-game playoff to see who could get their 81st win.

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