/On Pro Basketball: As N.B.A. Season Opens, East Is Bound to Learn From the West

On Pro Basketball: As N.B.A. Season Opens, East Is Bound to Learn From the West

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Stephen Curry was all the rage last season, as the Warriors used 3-point shooting and a fast tempo to tear up the league and then the Cavaliers in the N.B.A. finals.

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Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Another N.B.A. season is scheduled to begin Tuesday night, but not much has changed from the last one. The Western Conference is again loaded with up-tempo, star-laden teams. Superficially at least, the East is about the luminary named LeBron and his quest for a sixth straight league finals appearance.

One longstanding mystery of the N.B.A. universe is the freewheeling style that took root in the West while the East embraced a more methodical brand of ball. Along conference lines, the geographical word association would be: Out West — Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix and Golden State. Back East — Boston, Detroit, New York and (pre-LeBron) Miami.

There have been exceptions, but by reputation the West has traditionally elevated the game as a more aesthetically…

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