During Wednesday night’s Golden State Warriors vs. Dallas Mavericks game, commissioner Adam Silver alluded to the restructuring of the NBA playoff bracket. This would include four division title teams and the next 10 best teams
It looks like the recent changes to the college football postseason aren’t the only alterations to the playoff system fans will be seeing in sports.
Current NBA commissioner Adam Silver sat in on the broadcast during Wednesday night’s Warriors/Mavericks match up. Silver was asked a multitude of questions from fans that posted on Facebook ranging from things like if he would beat David Stern in a shooting contest to issues surrounding resting players during the All-Star break.
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One of the more intriguing questions given to Silver was if the playoff bracket needed to be restructured. The disparity between the Western and Eastern conference is obvious. Just look at the standings.
“Ultimately we want to see your best teams in the playoffs. And there is an unbalance and a certain unfairness,” the commissioner stated.
If the NBA playoffs happened tomorrow, teams in the Western Conference like the New Orleans Pelicans would be snubbed out of the playoffs, despite a 26-23 record. If the Pelicans joined the Eastern Conference, they would be one game behind a Milwaukee Bucks team for the 6th seed.
Silver would go on to explain in his interview potential formats for the playoffs. That is, if the owners and the League could come to an agreement.
“There is a proposal… where the division winners would all automatically go into the playoffs and then you’d seed the next 10 best teams,” the commissioner noted. “I think that’s the kind of proposal we need to look at.”
If this were to be the adopted format for the playoffs, it would do a number of things that would drastically change the outcome of the NBA playoffs in seasons to come.
One of the biggest complaints of the current system is that the best Eastern Conference teams basically have a walk in the park until the Eastern Conference Finals. Some would argue that the Heat weren’t really tested until they faced the Spurs in the finals last year. They only lost a combined three games to Indiana, Brooklyn, and Charlotte on the Eastern Conference side.
This led to plenty of resting time for the King and company out in South Beach.
With the new system in place, the Heat could have seen a first round team like the Phoenix Suns or the Houston Rockets. This would level the playing field a little bit for those Western conference teams who beat themselves up against tough competition to get to the finals.
After the Spurs fought and clawed their way into the championship last year, they had a well rested Heat team waiting for them.
Additionally, this system would provide the top two teams in the NBA with a bye week in the first round. The NFL playoff system does something similar, and it gives those teams who have not clinched the number 1 or 2 seeds that much more motivation to win late in the season.
Whatever Mr. Silver and company decide to do, I hope it will be in the best interest for the League. Competitive play is important in professional sports and with the current NBA playoff system in place, it seems that the competitiveness is harmed. But for now, we will sit back and watch this year as the West and East retreat to their respective conferences during the playoffs, only to battle it out in order to reach their ultimate goal that is the NBA finals.
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