Is A Change Coming to The NBA Playoffs?

By: Colleen B
Posted: February 28, 2018

If you’re a long-time reader, you may remember Nina’s piece that details the current NBA playoff system. To quickly recap:

  • Sixteen teams make the playoffs each season, eight from the eastern conference and eight from the western conference.
  • Each team within each division is “seeded” according to their win/loss record.
  • The playoffs start with the number one seed from each conference playing the number eight seed from the same conference and the second seed playing the seventh, third playing the sixth and fourth playing the fifth.
  • The four winners of the first round move to the conference semi-finals under the same seeding format and the two winners from the semi-finals move on to the conference finals
  • Finally, the Eastern Conference champ and the Western Conference champ play each other in the NBA Finals.
  • By the way, each series is a best-of-seven series meaning the first to get four wins moves on.

Basically, the NBA Finals are played by each conference champ, just like the NFL. But what if…what if the NBA rocked the playoff world by seeding all sixteen teams together? Or what if the NBA extended the number of teams for the first round to eight, forcing a pre-playoff series (for a lack of a better term) that would require teams seeded seven through ten to battle it out for the final seventh and eight seeds in the first round of the actual playoffs?

Crazy, right?

Crazy or not, these are the ideas being thrown around by the NBA commissioner Adam Silver in his attempt to make the playoffs more “exciting.” Maybe it’s me, but…I’m not certain these proposals are going to bring more excitement to the game.

Admittedly, I am slightly intrigued by the idea of adding two more seeds to the process, but can’t help but feel that I’ll have playoff “burnout” by the time the Finals come around. The idea of seeding all sixteen teams together, though? That does not interest me at all. I’d rather watch Cleveland and Golden State for three more years before I watch two teams from the same conference play against each other in the Finals.

What is everyone else saying?

ESPN’s Rachel Nichols believes that a no conference finals would pose a logistical nightmare for many teams; some teams could find themselves in three time zones in a week. That…that thought makes me want to take a nap just thinking about it. In addition, Nichols believes that if you’re going to eliminate conferences in the post season, then you have to eliminate them in the regular season as well.

What do you think?

Tell us below in the comments!

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