Nba Changing Its Playoff Format?

Discussion in 'NBA' started by Wolf, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. Wolf

    Wolf Manspreading on DRC

    Adam Silver says the NBA has 'to make a change' to its playoff format | Ball Don't Lie - Yahoo Sports

    NBA commissioner Adam Silver has picked a good season to go on record about restructuring the NBA’s playoff bracket.

    In his first full year running the show, Silver is addressing what is now turning into a Conference imbalance that has droned on for over a decade and a half. The Western Conference is clearly better than the Eastern version. It hardly matters if an eventual NBA Finals between representatives from each conference turns out to be a competitive one, because deserving playoff squads are being cut from the postseason rotation out West while mediocre or worse Eastern squads are being handed playoff dates.

    In years past, opponents of such restructuring (such as your humble, misguided author) could point to the cyclical nature of conference inbalances dating back through the NBA’s long history, or the tough travel that would result with either the abolishment of conferences or the allowance of letting the 16 best teams into the playoffs regardless of conference affiliation.

    Those arguments aren’t working in 2014-15, and while nothing will be changed this spring, Silver is at least considering his options. Via Pro Basketball Talk, here’s what Silver said to the Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area Golden State broadcasting team while being interviewed during last night’sthrilling Warriors win over Dallas:

    “Ultimately we want to see your best teams in the playoffs. And there is an unbalance and a certain unfairness. There is a proposal (from one of the broadcasters)… where the division winners would all automatically go into the playoffs and then you’d seed the next 10 best teams. I think that’s the kind of proposal we need to look at. There are travel issues of course, but in this day in age every team of course has their own plane, travels charter. I don’t think the discussion should end there. And as I’ve said, my first year I was studying a lot of these issues and year two is time to take action. It’s something I’m going to look at closely with the competition committee. I do think it’s an area where we need to make a change.”

    That last statement leaves no room for ambiguity, and that’s refreshing. That’s not surprising from Silver, who has made quite an impact in just 12 months on the job, but it’s also not something that can be easily processed.

    A massive chunk of NBA ownership would have to approve this, and it wouldn’t just be outfits from Detroit, Charlotte or Brooklyn that would oppose such a change. We don’t want to name names so as to spare certain fan bases the horrifying image of their favorite player being knocked out for the season, but every top notch and championship-contending team in the East is just an injury or two away from fighting to eke into the eighth seed in the bracket. It won’t be just the 38-win teams that would vote to do away with the current system.

    It has to be done away with, though. Leaving conferences intact would still leave some imbalance (New Orleans still has to play Golden State four times, whereas a lower-rung Eastern hopeful can build up their resume with four easy wins over Philadelphia), but eliminating the current format to include the top 16 teams regardless of conference is the needed start. The league can take its time to figure out how much it values conferences and divisions later, while making sure the playoff bracket is as good as it has ever been.

    In years past, hypothetical top-16 brackets posed far too many travel concerns to be taken seriously. First-round matchups featuring teams playing in East Rutherford and Phoenix or Orlando and Los Angeles seemed to be the tipping point, but this time around the travel doesn’t look all that terrifying.

    Charlotte and Miami would be stricken from the current lineup in favor of New Orleans and Oklahoma City, with the Thunder and Warriors playing a rather mileage-heavy first round matchup that you’d already probably see in any Western postseason. Cross-conference matchups would include New Orleans taking on Atlanta (they should probably be in the same division anyway), Milwaukee taking on Memphis (they share a time zone), and two dicier ones in the Portland/Chicago and Los Angeles Clippers/Washington Wizards matchups.

    With NBA first rounds already slated to spread out seven potential games in 14 days, seriously, these teams could pull it off.

    The NBA has been around since the 1940s, and it has seen its fair share of tilted conferences and sub-mediocre teams making the playoffs from either side. The Chicago Bulls have made the playoffs with 33 and 29 wins while working in the Western Conference in the late 1960s, and they made the playoffs in 1986 with a 30-52 record while in the Eastern Conference. Conferences go back and forth on this.

    For whatever confluence of damning reasons, scores of Eastern Conference general managers have been making terrible moves since the late 1990s, and while these transactions aren’t always as simple as pointing to Wes Unseld trading Chris Webber and Rasheed Wallace for Mitch Richmond and Rod Strickland (sorry, Washington) in a two-year span, things build up.

    The two Eastern teams slated to miss the playoffs in this system, Miami and Charlotte, are helmed by well-respected basketball men like Pat Riley and Rich Cho. Still, Riley is playing three guys in their 30s (or, in Luol Deng’s case, about to turn 30) in Deng, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh over $45 million to play basketball this year, with all three expectedly going down at times with injury. And Charlotte chose to win now with Al Jefferson and Lance Stephenson, to mediocre (at best) returns.

    Even if the cycle does turn over, and the West starts to only go about five or six deep, it hardly matters. The Eastern Conference’s depth has been shot to bits since Michael Jordan’s retirement from the Bulls in 1999, and even though the East has produced five NBA champions since then, that doesn’t speak to the size of the tilt.

    This isn’t a new phenomenon, the 48-win Suns missed the playoffs in 2014, but the 44-win SuperSonics and 45-win Rockets missed the postseason in 2001. Had the best 16 been sent to the playoffs in 2004, only four Eastern Conference teams would have made the playoffs. Just five in 2005, and just five in 2008 (with the 48-win Warriors sitting out). Just four in 2009 (46-win Phoenix Suns sit out, because who needs Steve Nash in his prime in the playoffs?), four in 2010, four in 2013, and just four in 2013.

    Four teams out of 16, which means that this year’s uptick of six Eastern Conference teams is a sign of good things to come. The East is turning it around!

    Big deal. Change the system.
    semipenguin likes this.
  2. Wolf

    Wolf Manspreading on DRC

    I kinda like this new idea for the playoff system, since the Eastern Conference sucks. This could truly show the best of the best NBA teams in the playoffs and making the playoffs even tougher with inter-conference playoff format.

    So just saying if they used it for the 2014-15 season and if the season ended now, the playoffs would look something like this.

    Division Champs
    Toronto - East
    Cleveland - East
    Atlanta - East
    Portland - West
    Golden State - West
    Memphis - West

    Wild Card
    Houston - West
    Clippers - West
    Dallas - West
    San Antonio - West
    Washington - East
    Chicago - East
    Phoenix - West
    Milwaukee - West
    New Orleans - West
    Oklahoma City - West

    So that would make it 5 eastern teams and 11 western conference teams.
  3. Aaron

    Aaron Moderator

    New Orleans is a good team which would probably be 5th best in the East, but will probably miss the playoffs in the West. I wouldn't mind a change in format since the Eastern Conference is so weak.
    Wolf likes this.
  4. blyons200

    blyons200 These pretzels are making me thirsty.

    Be nice if they cut the number of playoffs teams too, but that won't ever happen
    Casual Fan likes this.
  5. semipenguin

    semipenguin Bum Looker

    The fact the East sucks now is no different than when the West sucked in the 90s

    The Bulls had to play some really good teams to get to the finals, while the Lakers, Trail Blazers, Suns, Supersonics, and Jazz had easy paths to the finals.

    I say get rid of the divisions, shorten the season to 58 games, then rank the teams by record into a 16 team playoff.

    Each team would play the other teams twice. A shorter schedule would make winning more important.
  6. semipenguin

    semipenguin Bum Looker

    At least the NBA isn't afraid to change or try something new.

    I would like to see the NFL do away with the divisions & go with the best teams with the best records get into the playoffs (playoffs?)
  7. Wolf

    Wolf Manspreading on DRC

    I prefer having divisions, I'm not a fan of the new nhl realignment. Way to many teams in one division, specially in the future whenever the league needs to expand.

    Now for the nfl, they need to do something about there divisions and letting better teams into the playoffs.

    Now mlb, got a little bit smarter by allowing couple more teams in and doing a one game playoff, which I rather see over a best of seven which takes forever or at least do a best of three.

    Sent from my iPhone 6 using Tapatalk
  8. semipenguin

    semipenguin Bum Looker

    If MLB had best of seven in all rounds of playoffs, they'd be playing until Christmas.
    blyons200 likes this.
  9. Casual Fan

    Casual Fan Surprisingly nice

    You mean aside from having to play the Lakers, Trail Blazers, Suns, Supersonics, Jazz and don't forget the Spurs? ;)
  10. semipenguin

    semipenguin Bum Looker

    The Bulls never played the Spurs in the finals, although the Rockets & Spurs had a classic playoff series once in the 90s.
  11. Casual Fan

    Casual Fan Surprisingly nice

    I'm just saying, I think the west has been loaded for a long time, even if the occasional team from the east has been very good (like the Bulls, Pistons, Heat, etc.). As long as I've been a hoops fan they've been saying the west is deeper, and it always has been. Those teams you mention beat up on each other all season, so their paths to the finals are actually pretty hard.
  12. Wolf

    Wolf Manspreading on DRC

  13. Casual Fan

    Casual Fan Surprisingly nice

    I stopped giving a crap about the NBA when Jordan left the Bulls (for realz this time). I wish something could be done to keep college players in college. We'll never see a great team start three or four NBA-bound juniors and seniors again.
  14. semipenguin

    semipenguin Bum Looker

    There are plenty of schools that have 3 & 4 year players. They're called Mid-majors.

    If you don't like the NBA, why do you post here?

    I stopped caring about NASCAR, so I don't post there unless there's news to post there
  15. semipenguin

    semipenguin Bum Looker

  16. Wolf

    Wolf Manspreading on DRC

    What do you mean, have all 30 teams in one division?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. semipenguin

    semipenguin Bum Looker

    A balanced schedule = each team plays every other team an equal amount of times. No divisions. No conferences.
  18. Wolf

    Wolf Manspreading on DRC

    I kinda go along with the balanced schedule, but playing teams couple of extra times in your division/conference helps break up ties. But we will always need conference and divisions to separate teams in different regions. It already dumb they, almost have every team in one division in the NHL.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  19. Casual Fan

    Casual Fan Surprisingly nice

    But Kentucky and Duke et al. still win with the one-and-dones. It's not good for college hoops.

    There's no requirement to like the NBA to post here. I'm not disparaging anyone who likes the NBA. I watched the Finals. I just don't have any emotional connection any longer.

    NASCAR still cares about you, and wants to get back together if you'd only return its calls.

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