Atlantic Division is the worst in the NBA by far

Just how bad is the Atlantic Divison?

12/26/13 in NBA   |   Pat   |   5233 respect

Before the NBA season started, the Brooklyn Nets were viewed as one of the top contenders in the Eastern Conference, and some thought they might even have a chance to dethrone the Miami Heat and make a title run.

Nearly one third of the way into the season, the Nets are looking like an abject failure, currently sitting at 9-19, good for 4th place in by far the NBA's weakest division, and trailing 4 other teams in the race for the final playoff spot in the East.

Despite that level of mediocrity, the Nets are only 3 games out of the lead for the Atlantic Division, which would gain them the #4 seed.

Tom Ziller of SB Nation put together a great graphic showing just how bad the Atlantic has been, based on margin of victory. Or, in this case, margin of defeat.

Blog Photo - Atlantic Division is the worst in the NBA by far

This chart also shows just how much better the Western Conference is overall. All three WC divisions have a higher point differential than all three of the Eastern Conference divisions.

Another cool note: The Detroit Pistons are currently 14-16, putting them 10 games behind the Indiana Pacers, current Central division leaders. If the Pistons were in the abysmal Atlantic, they'd be in first place by 3 games. Maybe more, since they might play a few more awful teams.

In this case, it's just a bit of a coincidence. Some intentionally bad teams are in the Atlantic, as well as some injury-ravaged teams, with Brooklyn and New York. This year is making a great case for abandoning divisions and conferences, and just taking the top 16 teams to make the playoffs.
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