Tonight as Houston became the newest winner of the game of musical chairs that is the top of the Eastern Conference, it occurred to me how much their season is the opposite of SKC's. Sporting is still in good shape in the Eastern standings due to one good burst at the start of the season, even though we've been mediocre for the majority of the year. Houston, similarly, was average for most of the year, only to turn it on in the last month or so. In fact, all three of top teams in the East really owe their position to one burst of dominance, rather than sustained solid play.
Kansas City earned 21 points in 7 games from 3/10 to 4/18. They have 16 points out of the other 15 games.
New York earned 25 points in 10 games from 3/25 to 5/19. They have 13 points out of their other 13 games.
Houston has earned 20 points in their last 8 games (dating back to 6/30). They had 20 in their previous 15.
(DC doesn't really fit--they've had a couple shorter bursts--one in April, one in late May and early June).
Home field advantage has something to do with these streaks--Houston has had 6 of its last 8 at home. But the other two teams weren't especially home-field-driven in their hot streak--KC had 4 of 7 at home; New York had 5 of 10.
I guess I only bring this up to say that Sporting looked invincible in March, but they obviously weren't. Houston looks invincible right now, but I doubt they are. At the moment, most teams in the East are roughly 2/3's of the way through their schedule, and the top spot is likely to be decided by which team has one more hot streak in them, whether it be one of these three, or DC, Chicago, or Columbus. And here's hoping that Sporting just needs the temperature to drop a bit and they'll get back to their March/April play.