Remember, I don't know, when the East was so bad and the West was so good, people yelled at the NBA for getting the top 16 teams into the playoffs regardless of conference because the 38-44 Brooklyn Nets playoffs and the 45-37 Thunders in Oklahoma City?
The NBA recently, in 2020, considered reselecting the bottom four teams regardless of the conference to make the best matchups, but was pushed back by offshore teams due to competitive inconveniences along the journey. While the Miami-Los Angeles or Boston-Portland situation in the conference finals is unlikely, those teams will have a lot less travel time (and the insane amount of frequent flyer miles if they're getting them from charter flights).
Well, this season at least, the scale has shifted east. Currently, the Trail Blazers (21-30) are the 10th seed in the West, but the Knicks (24-27) and Wizards (23-26) both play in the East. Seven to 10 western seeds are all .500 or worse. Atlanta, 02. 1 to 10 seeds, is the only Eastern team to have lost the record (24-26).
If the league had eliminated seeding through the conference, the East would have benefited this season after so many years of under-500 teams battling for eight spots, and every LeBron James team would have a right to win. We could have eliminated this injustice once and for all. This format is an atrocity and robs us of the Knicks-Lakers play-in game. Doesn't the league know that rating gods need to be satisfied?!
As my favorite counter-argument to any "James is the GOAT" argument, it's fair to say that the West was in disarray as soon as it arrived, aside from the dominance of the outdated conference. He came across the playoff structure in 2018, and why not? He benefited from pistol whip peeling throughout his career.
It's equally unfortunate that New York finally came out of the basement to bring them back into the lottery due to the level of competition. (They're only half the game behind the Hawks for last play-in spot, so theoretically they could turn it around and win the game to make the playoffs, but theoretically they could also land the next big-name free agent available . Do you deserve it? (I'm sorry, yes.))
Does that mean a team with nine games under .500 will undoubtedly go into next season with two better teams? Without a doubt, no. (I was with the Bulls-Blazers Sunday, and I mean, Portland personally plays an even worse defense.) Does that make sense even if the 106-winning Dodgers win a wild card game or go home? Have you won 11 and 18 games more than the winners in the two divisions? Or did the San Francisco Giants have to play the same Dodgers team with 107 wins in the NLDS? No, and no intercourse. Does this mean the US doesn't use the metric system? No, but she's the same.
It's important to win your division. Ask the Bengalis. Competitors form up in the playoffs. New York and Atlanta should hate each other, not New York and LA. The NFC Eastern team should be in the playoffs every year. The same goes for AL Central. The foot length should be 12 inches, not 30.48 centimeters.
Earning has nothing to do with it. Being lucky or unlucky is part of the game; It creates history, changes history, and defines legacy.
Goalposts centered around the Knicks and James Dolan are unlucky — or depending on how you look at them. The prequel was fortunate to have LeBron's dumpster Fire on the Cavs and Heat most of the time and definitely made a better change in his career. The legend of Kavi Leonard would be dramatically different were it not for some lucky bounces against the 76ers and some unlucky breaks for the Warriors.
I'm as fair as I can for life, but the game is unfair. Destiny always changes when the outcome is often determined by play, matchup, flag, foul, catch, drop, injury, bubble, mayhem the moment it just happened.