East teams lagging way behind the West in NBA

Posted Wednesday, Dec. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said the vast imbalance between the Western and Eastern Conference could actually wind up hurting the East when the NBA Draft is held in June.

Indiana and Miami are the only teams in the East with a winning record, meaning there’s a high probability a few of the East teams will reach the playoffs with a losing record. But that also means some West teams with a winning record might not advance to the playoffs. Ten of the 15 teams in the West have a winning record through Wednesday.

However, nonplayoff teams draw better draft positions than playoff teams. So all that losing by those teams in the East will work against them if they make the playoffs.

“I think it’ll result in the law of unintended consequences in that as unbalanced as it seems it means that the worst teams will make the playoffs in the East, which means that hurts their draft position,” Cuban said. “Which means better teams in the West will get better players out of the draft since this is a good draft.

“So the law of unintended consequences comes into play.”

The next NBA Draft is expected to be one of the deepest and strongest in many years. And there’s no way to truly find out if teams in the East are losing on purpose to enhance their draft position.

“I don’t know who’s tanking it or not tanking,” Cuban said. “They only have two teams in the East over .500.

“That says it all. Whether it’s intentional or not, it doesn’t even matter.”

While it may not matter, Cuban wouldn’t mind having the Mavs move to the East.

“I can make that argument,” he said. “Obviously with the Cowboys over there [in the NFC East], that means there’s an argument to be made.

“We’ve had a thrilling rivalry with the [Washington] Wizards. And so it would balance out with the Cowboys.”

All-Star New Orleans

This season’s All-Star game will be held Feb. 16 at the New Orleans Arena and Cuban can’t think of a better place to stage it.

“The last time we were here [in 2008] for All-Stars they did a bang-up job,” Cuban said. “New Orleans is still New Orleans.

“The reality is [the All-Star game is] kind of our big party central for everybody to come and celebrate all things NBA, and there aren’t a lot of better places to do that than New Orleans, so I’m excited.”

The 2008 All-Star game was held in New Orleans to help the city recover financially from Hurricane Katrina, which caused $108 billion of damage and much of it to the area. The New Orleans Arena is undergoing $50 million in renovations.

“I thought it was a good thing for the NBA to do to send a great message [in 2008],” Cuban said. “And I think it came off with flying colors.”

Morrow on radar

Coach Rick Carlisle said the Mavericks wanted to re-sign guard Anthony Morrow, who was a free agent this past summer after playing the last third of last season with Dallas.

“He was on our radar,” Carlisle said. “We were very interested. I think he may have been snatched up before we signed Monta [Ellis]. We weren’t able to get him, but we got Wayne Ellington, who we like a lot, too.”

In 17 games for the Mavericks last season, Morrow averaged 2.3 points in 4.8 minutes per game. Morrow ultimately signed a two-year, $2.1 million contract with the New Orleans Pelicans.

“I like Anthony a lot,” Carlisle said. “He’s a pro, he was ready to play and he did good things for us.”

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice

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