"I think the balance is shifting," Indiana Pacers forward Danny Granger said.
The last time the East had a winning record against the West in a full season was in 1997-98. The East also had a winning mark in the strike-shortened 1998-99 season. If the East maintains its .573 winning percentage, it would be its second-best showing since 1990.
Several Eastern teams made offseason moves to compete with NBA champion Boston. The activity has helped them against the West, too.
Philadelphia added Elton Brand, Milwaukee picked up Richard Jefferson and Toronto traded for Jermaine O'Neal. Indiana's Granger and New Jersey's Devin Harris have emerged as young stars, and Miami and Chicago took advantage of good positions in a strong 2008 draft to immediately improve.
With young, established stars such as Cleveland's LeBron James, Orlando's Dwight Howard, Miami's Dwyane Wade and Toronto's Chris Bosh residing in the East, the makings of a full flip-flop are in place.
"Dallas is getting older; San Antonio's getting older," Granger said. "It's going to keep changing because Atlanta's gotten better, Orlando's going to be good for a while, we're going to hit our stride eventually. It's going to change."
Many of the most recognizable names on the West's perennial playoff teams are in their 30s. Phoenix's Shaquille O'Neal is 36 and teammate and two-time league MVP Steve Nash, is 34. Dallas' Jason Kidd is 35 and teammate Dirk Nowitzki is 30. San Antonio's Tim Duncan is 32. Even Los Angeles' Kobe Bryant is 30.
Meanwhile, Wade is 26, Bosh is 24 and James and Howard are 23. Granger and Harris, both in the top 10 in scoring, are 25 and just beginning to reach their potential.
The West has its share of young stars, including Phoenix's Amare Stoudemire, New Orleans' Chris Paul, Utah's Deron Williams, Denver's Carmelo Anthony, Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant and Portland's Brandon Roy. Memphis' O.J. Mayo leads the NBA's rookie scorers.
Still, six of the seven teams with single-digit wins hail from the West, and the East is largely responsible. Memphis, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Golden State, the Los Angeles Clippers and Sacramento have a combined 11-51 record against the East this season.