6 teams with records that are 10 games below .500 are in the hunt for the final 2 playoff spots in the Eastern Conference in the NBA.
In contrast, in the West, two teams with records that are 8 games above .500 are vying for the last playoff spot. Those two teams, if in the East, would be tied for the fourth seed.
Check out Hoops Hype for the current standings.
Honestly, does anyone believe that the Nets, 76ers, Pacers, Bulls, Hawks and Bobcats are worthy of the playoffs? And does anyone think that either of Portland or Houston are not?
But such is the imbalance in the NBA, which means that you'll have some joke first-round playoff matchups, as the Celtics, Pistons and Cavs will be playing terrible teams in the first round. Sorry, but that's the only adjective that I can think of, and why should the fans have to suffer through that when the top 3 teams in the East are excellent and the top 9 in the West are terrific.
Perhaps they should have a rule that has each division winner (6 in all) making the playoffs and then say 10 at-large teams (figuring that the NBA wouldn't be able to live with itself if fewer than half the teams made the playoffs despite an 82-game schedule that should mean something). If that were the case, then Boston, Detroit, Orlando, Utah, Phoenix and Dallas would be in. And the next 10 would be New Orleans, San Antonio, Lakers, Denver, Golden State, Houston, Portland, Cleveland and Toronto (the worst of which is 5 games above .500). Those are the best teams, the playoffs would be great, and you'd avoid travesty in the first round.
If the NBA wants good basketball, then they should consider this proposal in order to eliminate bad teams from making the playoffs.