|This is the face Stan Van Gundy is going to make when Josh Smith shoots a three.|
Last year, the Western Conference dominated the East, to a tune of 284-166. Prorated to a 82-game schedule, that's the equivalent of the West being a 51-31 team and the East being a 31-51 team. That's kind of a lot.
The trend should continue this year. As such, after outlining nothing but lottery teams in the first two sections of this preview, we've exhausted the Eastern Conference lottery teams, but have yet to hit that point with the West. This section breaks down four playoff teams, all from the East, and two lottery teams, both from the West. But in a vacuum, the two best teams in this section are both lottery teams out West. But we'll get to them later.
2014 Record: 29-53
Over/Under Wins: 36
Odds To Win Championship: 300-1
Of all the teams that didn’t sign LeBron James and trade for Kevin Love this summer, Detroit is the most likely to improve in a big way. And they’re doing it without the benefit of a first-round pick. The reason they’ll likely improve is that they’re going from having one of the worst coaches in the league (the Maurice Cheeks-John Loyer combination) to having one of the best in Stan Van Gundy. He’s never won a title, but he’s been to the Finals once and he’s never had a losing season. In Orlando, he turned Rafer Alston into a reliable, steady hand who started for a team that made the Finals, and took Dwight Howard and launched him into the most destructive defensive force since Kevin Garnett.