The Detroit Pistons (and the rest of the Eastern Conference) were probably not delighted to hear that the Cleveland Cavaliers were trading for All-Star Donovan Mitchell.
The move may have turned Cleveland from a fringe playoff team into a contender in the East, though I think there are arguments that they won’t be that much better off with Mitchell.
But he gives Cleveland the potential to have four All-Stars in the starting lineup, so they are going to be a team to be reckoned with right away.
For years the West has been the superior conference. Not only has the West won six of the last 10 titles, but it has been the far deeper conference, with fewer really bad teams at the bottom.
But that has all changed over the last few seasons, as years of getting top draft picks, as well as some of the superstars changing conferences, may have finally flipped the balance of power.
The East not only has up and coming teams like the Detroit Pistons with future superstars like Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey, but there are plenty of teams ready to contend now, which is not great for Detroit’s chances of finally climbing out of the cellar in the East.
Detroit Pistons: Is the Eastern Conference finally better than the West?
To evaluate the conferences, I have broken them into tiers that range from “Bad” to “Real Contender for a title.”
Let’s start at the bottom of each conference with the teams that will struggle to make the play-in and are likely to end up in the lottery.
Western Conference bad teams
- Utah Jazz
- San Antonio Spurs
- OKC Thunder
- Houston Rockets
Eastern Conference bad teams
- Detroit Pistons
- Indiana Pacers
- Orlando Magic
As you can see, the West has four teams that are almost guaranteed to be bad, while the East has only three. The good news is that the Detroit Pistons could be the best of these seven teams, though if you are a fan of Detroit tanking next season, maybe that’s not a good thing, as the Pistons probably still don’t have a realistic chance of making the playoffs.