Good morning. The Eastern Confernece has risen.

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Good morning. The East has quietly fought back against the West, culminating in Monday’s Wizards win over the Rockets. Not too long ago the West had a .700 record against the East; now it’s much closer to .600. And teams like the Wizards (7-2 against the West) are why. The Raptors (7-2), Hawks (6-2) and Bulls (7-5) also have winning records against the fairer conference.

The other story here is much of the West elite slowly fluttering back down to Earth. There were once seven teams at .700 winning percentages; there are now four, with Houston on the verge of falling out. The Rockets are just 5-5 in their last 10 and locked in a divisional battle with Memphis and Dallas. Just as the breakup of the NBA elite is exciting due to the uncertainty it brings, the unpredictably of the West elite is a good thing. No one knows what will happen. (Paul Flannery and I have more on this topic coming later today.)

Alright. Let’s basketball.

LAST NIGHT IN 27 SECONDS (IF YOU READ FAST): Charlotte was down 17 at the half, came all the way back and … lost in overtime to Milwaukee. Bismack Biyombo also had a block that careened into his own face, which is the perfect way to describe this game. The Bulls edged the Pacers, in part because Joakim Noah is the one true Point God. The Nets beat the Kings as Deron Williams and Brook Lopez are now 7th and 8th in the rotation. DeMarcus Cousins still dropped a nasty hammer on The Brooklyn Plumlee. The Magic edged the Heat, who are low-key terrible. The Clippers beat the Jazz as Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan invent new alley-oops.

RECAPS GALORE: All the reactions you need at our NBA Scores hub.

IS KOBE HURTING THE LAKERS? That question has a complicated answer, I wrote.

TROUBLE BY THE LAKE: ESPN reports that the Cavaliers are worried players aren’t responding to David Blatt.

OH NO: Kevin Garnett blew in David West’s ear the other day, so West explained that Lance Stephenson (the original!) is more sensual. Is this something Lance did in practice or on the team plane or something?!

YEP: “I wish Carmelo Anthony would sit.”

WOO! David Aldridge’s Morning Tip!

INTERESTING: Jonathan Tjarks provides some interesting context around the Bill Self mock draft debate.

LOTS TO READ: Richard Deitsch’s best journalism of 2014 is quite robust and excellent.

Tomorrow we’ll have a special year-end GMIB. Happy Tuesday.

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December 30, 2014 by : Posted in Uncategorized No Comments

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