The slow and gradual shift of power to the Eastern Conference seems to be complete. The East has a clear top eight teams and their top-three teams are arguably better than the West's top-three following the additions of Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler to the conference.
In the Western Conference every team besides the Phoenix Suns are at least 4.5 games back of the No. 1 seed. The Clippers have started to gel in the post-Blake Griffin era, with veterans Danilo Gallinari and Tobias Harris helping lead an elite offense with many ways to attack opponents.
The Warriors will continue to be uneven without leader Stephen Curry but Kevin Durant can do enough playmaking—averaging a career-high 6 assists per game this season—to make up for the temporary absence of Curry and Draymond Green. No one feels sorry for the Dubs, as we are nearing the point of the season where all 30 teams have at least one major contributor dealing with ailments.
Philadelphia’s roster is still due for a roster move or two after the Jimmy Butler trade to take their roster to its full potential. Butler has sealed a couple games with game-winning shots already and he makes the Sixers a real threat to win the top-heavy Eastern Conference
Seeing which Eastern Conference teams provide the most trouble for the Warriors will be a recurring theme all season long as NBA fans thirst to see a new NBA Finals matchup.
The Warriors play the Magic, Raptors and Pistons this week. This should allow us to see how the Dubs match up against some of the stronger squads in the East, including a potential NBA Finals preview in Toronto.
Check out how the league's power structure shakes out in our latest rankings here.