This is an excerpt from today's edition of 5-on-5:
What's the worst thing about the East?
Stein: For me it's the fact we've been calling it the Leastern Conference since Michael Jordan won his last title with the Bulls. It's not a good enough line to use for 15 years straight, but the East has continued to be considerably thinner/weaker/pick-your-adjective than the West in virtually every season since MJ left the Bulls in the summer of 1998. Simply astounding. You'd think we'd see some good 6-7-8 seeds in the Least just by accident. But we pretty much never do.
What's the worst thing about the East-West disparity?
Stein: I think we're all annoyed by now about the playoff races, year after year after year, that see legitimately decent teams out West get squeezed out of the postseason because there are always 12 teams competing for eight playoff spots on the left side of the conference divide. I'm sure all five respondents today will have something snide to say about the Atlantic Division and the "pace" those teams are setting en route to the East's No. 4 seed. Just sad.