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The West continues to be best conference in NBA

Rajon Rondo's trade to Dallas should strengthen Mavericks

The NFL's conferences aren't set up by geography. No East or West. Just AFC and NFC.

Maybe it's time for the NBA to realign. The Lakers wouldn't mind it.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban started the debate last month. It continued after Boston sent Rajon Rondo to Dallas for three role players and draft picks, further strengthening the West.

"I'm sure there's a few teams, us probably included, that would love to be in the Eastern Conference right now," Lakers Coach Byron Scott said Friday.

It has been this way for years, the West solid from one through eight and the East tailing off badly after two or three teams.

Cuban says realignment "shakes things up" and makes the league more competitive. Of course, in his plan, Dallas would move to the East, along with Houston, San Antonio and New Orleans. Milwaukee, Chicago, Indiana and Detroit would move to the West.

Scott sounded like he wouldn't mind if the Lakers got a new conference.

"The Western Conference is just a monster when you look at teams from 1 to 10, 1-12," Scott said. "You look at the Eastern Conference, it's like the first three or four teams and that's it.

"As far as realignment, I don't think it makes sense geographically. But other than that, you've got a good point."

The East's eighth and final playoff team did not have a winning record eight of the last nine seasons. The West's final playoff team had a winning record all nine times.

The NFL's conferences go back to the days when there was an NFL and AFL. Some switches have been made over the years, with Seattle going from the AFC to the NFC in 2002.

Rondo should help

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"I don't know what to make of it. At the end of the year, is he still a free agent?" Scott said. "It's going to be interesting."

Rondo, 28, will be free next July unless an extension is worked out. He averaged 8.3 points and 10.8 assists for Boston. He will debut with Dallas (19-8) on Saturday against San Antonio.

Rondo's abilities to distribute the ball and get rebounds as a point guard (7.5 a game) make him "an asset," Scott said. "There's no doubt about that."

Twitter: Mike_Bresnahan

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