The absolutely terrible state of the Wizards has discouraged me form paying much attention to the NBA thus far this season. But it strikes me as noteworthy that this year we’re missing the customary tight race for control of the Western Conference. The Lakers’ five game lead over New Orleans is pretty nice, but actually understates the case. In terms of point differential, the Lakers are 5.9 points per game ahead of the Hornets. That’s quite a bit bigger than the between any other West team and the zero mark. Indeed, it’s almost as big as the gap between the Wizards and an average team.
Consequently, it looks like we should have a pretty boring Western Conference playoffs unless someone manages to shake things up with a key trade. Since there are eight teams of roughly equal quality chasing the seven non-Lakers West playoff slot that will be an interesting race of sorts.