The Eastern Conference is garbage. I wouldn't even say hot garbage. Yes, hot garbage smells more, but it also possesses some semblance of movement. Nothing is moving or alive or warm in the East outside of the Heat and Pacers. (The Hawks are like vampires, neither dead nor alive and if you put them under light they turn to dust.)
The rest is cold, dead garbage. Yet, there's some valuable scrap. The Raptors are in the driver's seat for the Atlantic simply by not falling apart. The Bobcats are competitive when they're not accidentally falling through windows. The Bulls ... let's not even talk about it.
The result: Fourteen of this week's top 20 teams are from the Western Conference but the Pacers hang on to the top spot. We expected some Eastern Conference teams to surprise. We didn't expect half of them to crash and fall into the ocean like the HMS Titanic.
Maybe some of the teams will rise out of the muck, brush themselves off and make something of their seasons. But meanwhile, the teams out West look just as good as the East teams look bad. The Spurs have one loss, to the red-hot Blazers, and the only thing that has caused the Warriors to slip lately has been injuries.
So while we've established what the East is, it's also important to note that the West is legitimately great. ... and less smelly.