Western Conference Continues Dominance Over East in NBA

Many basketball fans are wondering why the Western Conference is so much stronger than the Eastern Conference this season. The truth is that the West has always been a stronger conference than the East, going back to the Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal glory days.

The West is deeper, stronger and has better all-around athletes than the East.

While there are plenty of arguments for either side, the fact remains that the Western Conference has won an astonishing 10 of the last 13 NBA Finals.

“Half of those 10 went to the Lakers who are about as big a powerhouse in the NBA as there ever was,” said Ramapo junior Arseniy Leontyev. “The West is the stronger conference mostly because no one likes a powerhouse. All the teams in L.A.’s conference see them contend every year and strive to knock them off every season.”

However, over the past few years, the Eastern Conference has made some sort of resurrection, with the return to prominence seen in teams like the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets. However, the West is still the class of the NBA.

The most intriguing part about this discussion is not whether the West really is better, but why?

Over the past decade, the coaching in the Western Conference has been top-notch.

Gregg Popovich, coach of the San Antonia Spurs, has been impressive, continuously winning and preaching team basketball on both ends of the court in a system built around a selfless core group of players. Coaches like “Pop” are the cream of the crop in the NBA.

“Popovich’s Spurs won in 2001, 2005, 2007 and just lost in seven games in the most recent NBA finals to the now two-time champion Miami Heat,” Leontyev said.

The coaching depth in the West has increased over recent years. Other coaches, like Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks and Terry Stotts of the Portland Trailblazers, have come in and kept the arsenal packing in the wild West.

Younger Western Conference coaches have been solid as well. Scott Brooks of Oklahoma City has made a young team into a championship caliber team. He and other coaches in the West are helping make the West much deeper than the East. 

The superstar power of the Western Conference has also been superior to that of the East.

Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, two future Hall of Famers, won three championships together for the Lakers. Bryant won two more championships with the Lakers, as well as Pau Gasol after O’Neal’s departure. Gasol is another one that will go down as one of the best seven footers in the history of the game.

Fans can’t forget about the old dog Tim Duncan, who may be the greatest power forward to ever play the game.

The West also boasts one of the best sixth men to come off the bench with Argentinean shooting guard Manu Ginobili of the San Antonio Spurs. His close friend, French point guard, Tony Parker joined the Spurs and the team won a second title in 2003. Duncan and his fellow Spurs went on to winning two more championships in 2005 and 2007.

When you think about superstars on the teams in the West, the East can’t come close.

Granted, LeBron James is impressive, but on the other hand, there’s Chris Paul and Blake Griffin for the Los Angeles Clippers, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook for the Thunder, Dirk Nowitzki and Monte Ellis for the Dallas Mavericks, and Rubio and Kevin Love for the Minnesotta Timeberwolves.