The New York Knicks are 21-10, sitting pretty in the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference, enjoying a season in which Carmelo Anthony is an MVP candidate and his team is viewed widely as just a Miami Heat injury away from a shot at the NBA Finals.
They are also, thanks to the wide gulf between the two conferences and a statistical anomaly that's unlikely to last, an utter illusion.
Don't be fooled by their 2-0 record against the defending champion Heat or the New York media's frenzied focus on, at long last, a Knicks' team worthy of its city.
The fact is, the Western Conference is so dominant over the Eastern Conference that it warps the realities of each.
Out West, there are at least four serious title contenders:
- The Los Angeles Clippers, who just ended a 17-game winning streak and, despite my own doubts, are respected and feared throughout the league.
- The Oklahoma City Thunder, who have managed to be better this season without James Harden and are fresh ...